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Home Improvement & Renovating

10 Essential Tips for Renovating When Living with Children

10 Essential Tips for Renovating When Living with Children

It’s no secret that renovations to your home can turn your household upside down, but the thought of doing it yourself – with kids at home – may have you thinking twice!

We’ve gathered some tips to help make your renovation go more smoothly and make it a fun family adventure.

Our team at Knowles Building Centre is ready to help you with all your home renovating questions. Stop by the store today!

1. Communicate Your Plans

Start by having a family meeting to explain to your children what will happen during the renovation, why you are doing it, who will be working on it, and how they can help.

Explain how it will make your home more enjoyable and beautiful when completed, but it will take a lot of hard work and sometimes be loud and messy.

Communicate clearly and well in advance with contractors and tradespeople to make sure everyone involved is on the same page for scheduling and timing of work. Make your contractor aware that you have young children so they can find ways to reduce disruptions to your routines and keep everyone safe.

Let your family and friends know your plans. They can care for your children during more challenging parts of your renovation.

2. Think About Safety

Your house will become a construction site – ensure younger children are away from work zones and tools. Teach your kids that tools are not toys and they should not touch them unless they have permission and are supervised.

Set the safety rules from the beginning and be consistent. Explain clearly the days and times certain rooms will be off limits to them for safety.

Dealing with noise and fumes – Take extra care to source environmentally friendly, low-VOC products and materials for your home renovation. Be aware of loud machinery’s extended use or fumes from solvents so you can plan to have your children stay with a friend or family.

Child-proofing your home – Install secure baby gates and thick plastic sheets in doorways to prevent your children from wandering into areas that are under construction. To keep small children safe, keep doors to the outside closed and monitor when contractors are coming and going to prevent your children or pets from slipping outside without your knowledge.

Keep pets safe – Make sure your home is well-ventilated during the renovation, but be aware that open doors could allow children and pets to get outside. Keep your pets in a room safely away from the construction. Monitor floors for stray nails, screws, plastic, wood splinters, and other debris that could be a hazard to your children and pets. Ensure all machinery and tools are unplugged. Cans of paint or other solvents should be tightly sealed and safely stored out of reach.

3. Budget and Plan

Budget for unexpected costs due to errors. Include the cost of take-out food or short stays away from home.

Create a project schedule to keep things flowing logically and efficiently – include time for your children’s school and activities, homework, special days, and time with friends and family. Add a few weeks to your estimated completion date for unexpected slowdowns and interruptions.

Avoid disrupting your children’s routine by working while your children are at school, napping, or with grandparents.

4. Invite Children to Share Their Ideas

Let your kids help in the planning stage. They can choose paint colours, bedding, furniture, and curtains for their bedroom, or give ideas for a playroom, recreation room, outdoor decks, patios, an indoor gym, bathroom, study or family room, and storage areas for sports equipment in the garage.

5. Keep One Area for Play and Homework

Keep at least one room construction-free and protect it from dust so your children can carry on with their routines: playing, drawing, and colouring, crafts, doing homework, etc.

Ideally, renovate one room at a time and hang plastic in doorways to keep dust out.

6. Decide How Your Kids Can Help, Safely

Each parent will have their comfort level with letting kids help, especially if tools are involved. Older children can help you with selected tasks based on their ability and age. Let them hold the flashlight, remove wallpaper, paint with a brush or roller, or sort the screws. Give younger kids a toy toolbox.

Always use caution and ensure you and your children are wearing safety gear when working with tools and paint.

7. Declutter and Organize Toys

Home reno is also the ideal time to clear out toys and other items you no longer use. Your kids can help sort toys, books, and clothing, pack them away, pass them to friends and neighbours, or donate to a charity.

8. Make Sure the Air Stays Healthy

Dust from the renovation will be unavoidable, even when you hang plastic sheets in doorways and cover up vents.

Dusty floors and walls should be vacuumed and damp-mopped daily for healthier air quality in your home.

Pace yourself to avoid fatigue and costly errors if you overextend working long days and nights to complete your renovation.

Don’t be too concerned if you run behind now and then. As with any renovation project, there will always be complications and delays that will require your patience and problem-solving skills.

9. Be Prepared to Move Out 

The parts of your renovation project that involve electrical, gas, harmful fumes when refinishing floors, or safety issues when taking down walls are always best done when the kids are away visiting grandma or at camp.

10. Prepare Bathrooms and Kitchens

Always have a fully functioning bathroom available. If this is not possible, plan to stay away for a few days while your bathroom is under construction.

Repurpose another room in the house to create a temporary kitchen, for example, the laundry room or basement. Set up a table and chairs, a microwave, a toaster oven, and a bar fridge.

You may find it easier to order take-out, especially after a long and tiring day, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to prepare simple meals with a few basics in your makeshift kitchen. Kids can also help by preparing food and washing dishes.

Renovating with children at home is bound to be a much slower process, but with some planning and patience, it can be a rewarding learning experience for the whole family.

Drop by Knowles Building Centre today to learn more about additional tips and products for a successful home improvement project!

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