Yes, you can renovate your home with kids (including ones under the age of 5)!
These are tried, tested, and true tips! I’ve used all of these tips in our own renovation endeavors.
And once one renovation project goes to completion with kids in tow, I believe it will give you added confidence to attempt further renovations.
Most families with children, especially young ones will often delay or put off the work that needs to be done on their home as soon as they imagine all the inconveniences that are likely to occur. Undoubtedly, home renovations can definitely mess with a well-established family routine.
So, my hope is that this post will motivate and encourage you to consider going ahead with your plans to renovate or make major needed repairs to your home, despite the challenges that will come with having to coordinate the kids.
So here they are! My 7 tips for renovating your home with kids.
TIP #1: Go at the speed that suits your family the best
Every so often, as we are pulling into our driveway, with our kids excited chatter drowning out the music playing in the car, I cast a wistful glance at our neighbours who seem to be renovating at lightening speed. Conversely, our own renovation projects seem to progress at a turtle’s pace! So the truth is, renovating with kids in the house will mean some flexibility and patience on your part. So don’t look and compare yourself to your neighbours or friends and acquaintances who seem to be renovating at a much quicker pace. The important thing is that the family is as content as possible despite the disruptions caused by the renovation. So if that means that certain tasks take a little longer to complete, don’t sweat it!
TIP #2: Be realistic about how things will proceed
Ideally, you’d love to send the kids away to somewhere safe and fun for the entire time it takes to complete your renovation project. But, for a majority of people, this option is just a lovely dream and not very likely.
In planning the renovation, it is important to realize that daily routines and schedules will be very hard to sustain. So don’t get frustrated or disappointed. You just may have to go with the flow!
Also, with kids in the picture, one person may have to do the lion’s share of the work, while the other partner or a willing helper may likely be keeping the kids engaged and away from the ‘work sites.’
TIP #3: Ask for support
Don’t feel you have to go at this alone. Kindly enlist help and support from friends and family. Every bit of help, no matter how little is beneficial. Let friends and family members know about your plans to renovate and kindly ask for assistance. You’ll likely find that they willingly offer to help with the kids or even with meals.
TIP #4: Pick the right tradespeople
Choosing the right tradespeople is so important! Tradespeople that can work comfortably despite the disruptions of kids goes a long way to helping you to feel more at ease with the whole process. Kids, especially younger ones will often ask questions or want to watch (if it’s safe for them to do so from a distance). I believe having tradespeople who are professional in their work, use clean language, and try their best to keep a work site that is tidy and clean are wonderful when you have kids in the home.
TIP #5: Be flexible
Have you ever made plans to leave the house in 10 minutes with the kids and 30 minutes or more later, you still haven’t left? This tip goes hand in hand with Tip #1 and #2.
Likely, your kids are not concerned with your renovation timeline. They want to play, eat, and do their regular activities. They can get sick too or have very needy days. So be prepared to flexible. Have several back-up plans so that you can quickly adapt and proceed with the renovation and possibly avoid higher costs or a higher budget due to extended work time.
TIP #6: Plan out the areas the kids can’t be in ahead of time
Young kids can’t help wanting to know what’s going on. So they’ll be naturally curious about the renovation work. That’s why setting up ‘NO GO’ areas ahead of time is so important to ensuring their safety. Try using red and green tape to highlight areas that are safe (green) and ‘NO GO’ areas (red). Practice with the kids ahead of time so that they are clear on where they can go and on areas they absolutely must stay away from. And as the renovation progresses and the areas change, be diligent in updating your kids on safe and unsafe areas.
To make it fun, set up a rest area in the safe area. Put an inflatable mattress or a comfy chair in the safe area and add some books, play toys and some snacks so that they are less apt to wander to the ‘NO GO’ zones.
Tip #7: Make sure renovation materials are stored out of kid’s reach
Kids are so good at finding things they are not allowed to touch! So make a habit of storing materials that are harmful for children way out of their reach. Even if they are in the areas that you’ve designated as the ‘NO GO’ areas, you still want to keep them out of their reach in those areas.
So those are my tips. I hope they help!
And if you know a friend, colleague or family member who is planning to renovate soon and has kids to consider, please share this article with them. Maybe it will be helpful! So, go ahead and get started on that renovation project you’ve been planning for a while. I promise, it’s not as daunting as it seems! You got this!