Finally getting the chance to remodel their home is a dream come true for many homeowners. However, renovations can be stressful during the best of times, and for families with young children and/or a baby, the stress of a remodel can be even greater. Renovations are not only loud and messy, but they will also disrupt your regular routine. Additionally, power tools and workstations can look like play areas to kids. This makes renovating with kids seem like an accident waiting to happen.
Fortunately, there are simple steps to help make the process of renovating your home with children simple and safe. Here are 5 steps that you can take to keep your family safe and comfortable during a home renovation.
Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with parents every day who are looking to find a great contractor for a remodel in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened home contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.
Timing Is Critical When Renovating With Kids
In order to ensure that your renovation is as easy as possible, think about timing. You will want to start your remodel when it will cause the least disruption. While the summer months are often an attractive time for remodels, this can be the most difficult time to work on your home if you have kids as they are off from school and at home a majority of the time.
Remodeling your home during the school year will actually likely be the least disruptive option, as crews can get the majority of their work done while your kids are at school, and you will not have to worry about your kids being in harm’s way. It can also be helpful if you arrange after-school activities, and play dates as this will help to keep your kids away from the noise and mess as much as possible when they aren’t in school.
Timing your remodel is particularly important if you are pregnant. If you are currently expecting a child, you should consider starting any planned renovations as soon as possible. Having your home under construction during your pregnancy may not sound appealing. However, it is better to get this work done before your baby arrives. The fact is that having a newborn can be hectic enough (particularly for first-time parents).
Indeed, you do not want to make things harder on yourself by trying to handle a renovation with a newborn. Of course, renovating with kids may be unavoidable. If this is the case, it can be helpful to bring in backup to help you take care of the baby. Having a friend or family member on hand can give you time to oversee the remodel and give you much-needed support during a chaotic time.
Talk to Your Kids Ahead of Time
Let’s face it, home renovations can be scary for kids. For younger children, the mess, noise, and changes to their home that a remodel brings make this process feel overwhelming. It is important that you take the time to talk to your kids long before contractors arrive. Try to help them understand what’s happening so that they are not taken aback by strangers in their homes.
Explain to your kids that you are making improvements to the home. Keep them informed so that they feel comfortable with the process. Explain to them what changes will be taking place, how long strangers will be in their home, and show them pictures of designs you’ve picked so that they know what to expect.
Making sure that your kids feel safe and informed can help them to feel comfortable throughout the remodel. One way that you can make your kids feel more comfortable would be to introduce them to the people who will be working in your home. If they are familiar with the people coming and going during construction, this can help to reduce their stress and uncertainty.
Talk to Your Contractor When Renovating With Kids
Critical to ensuring safety during a renovation with kids is talking to your contractor before construction starts. Be upfront about your family’s needs. While you can’t expect your contractor to babysit, they can take steps to ensure no one gets hurt.
Communicate with your contractor how many people live in the home, how old your children are, how mobile they are, and if one is prone to mischief. Ensuring your contractor is informed can go a long way in keeping your family safe.
In fact, if there are serious concerns regarding the safety of young children, your contractor can help you put up barriers to keep kids out of construction zones.
Your contractor should have experience working in homes where there are young children present, and they will likely be able to work with you to come up with solutions to keep your family safe.
Establish Safe Areas
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make when remodeling is trying to do everything at once. However, when renovating with kids, do not try to renovate the entire house. Unless you have the ability to move out during construction, leave areas of the house untouched. Take the time to make sure that your kids know what areas are off-limits.
Also, explain to them the importance of never touching building materials or leaving your designated “safe zone” unaccompanied.
Having a safe zone established makes it easier to keep your kids out of harm’s way. Leaving one area of your home untouched can make this time less difficult for your kids. Indeed, they will have a space that is safe and familiar during the renovation chaos.
Even if your contractor does an amazing job of sealing off construction areas from the rest of the house, it’s likely that some amount of dust and fumes will linger in your living spaces. Make sure you are regularly running your HVAC or HEPA filter so that these various harmful particles can get constantly filtered out of your air. Make sure you are changing the replaceable filter in both of these appliances. If you want to get serious about keeping your air clean during construction, consider renting a commercial-grade air scrubber. This device is the same one used by professionals to filter the air after a flood or fire. Be aware this device is loud and you won’t want it on all the time.
Make Sure Someone Is Watching the Kids
Make sure that someone always has an eye on small children. While your kids may be old enough to play in another room unsupervised, this is not a good idea during a remodel. Your child could quickly wander into a construction zone and get hurt without anyone noticing. It is then critical that you make sure that your kids are supervised at all times when they are at home throughout the course of the renovation.
Learn More About Renovating With Kids
While the prospect of renovating with kids can seem overwhelming, taking the right precautions ensures that everything goes smoothly. In the end, you will likely find the stress worth it once you see the finished product. However, before you start the process of renovating your home, it is important that you take some time to research contractors in your area. Finding an experienced contractor ensures that your remodel goes as smoothly as possible. Thus, leaving you with the dream home you’ve always wanted.
When it comes to finding the best general contractor for your remodel project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & San Diego Counties. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened contractors and provides homeowners with project support from start to finish.
Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com.