My family is in the middle of a pretty big remodel. My kids are all at different ages, but each one feels that he or she is the best person to help dad demolish the bathroom; to help mom create the raised garden of her dreams; or to pick out the siding color for our exterior. While my husband and I nod and smile at our children and their ideas, we have the responsibility to keep them safe. Although we have our own thoughts about what changes should occur in our house, letting our children have some input has helped qualm their fears about the house being out of order for a couple of months.
Spring Renovation Safety for Kids
My husband and I have a major renovation project underway at our house. Everything that we have put off for ten years is getting attention this spring. We are re-building a bathroom, dry walling ceilings, painting rooms, replacing siding, and installing new windows. This makes me ultra aware of my children and their inability to stay out of harm’s way. Especially my middle son. In lieu of making him wear a helmet around all day, I looked into some safety tips for parents taking part in a similar endeavor.
When they were young, we had outlet plugs, fasteners on the cabinets, and corner protectors, and my little dude still found a way to bang his head all over the house. The last thing I need is for him to continue that accident-prone behavior around a demolition area. Bob Villa has great tips for parents. After a conversation with your children about the new procedures while work is being done, find a way to tame the tools. Villa mentions having a tool gather period where all tools are collected in a central location. In addition, take out the batteries and unplug the electrical tools so that children don’t try them out. My kids are all so attracted to tools. I have actually said, “Drop the hammer before going down the slide” before in my backyard, so these tips will be helpful when curtailing my children’s tool curiosity.
Living Through a Remodel
Aside from getting a hotel and living remotely during this time, it is beneficial to make a temporary living space within your home. Many of my coworkers have found fun ways to do this. Anything from camping in the basement to sectioning off a “kitchen-living room-play area” in an unaffected zone of the house are good ideas. Remember that you’ll need to eat, wash dishes, wash clothing, and sleep while your house is under construction. If it is possible to close off the area of construction, do so. The dust and other particles that pollute the air can have negative effects on your family.
As Kelly mentioned, it may be best to organize fun outside of the home if at all possible. During previous construction projects, my kids and I went to a movie on $5.00 night, we went to the park, we went for a bike ride, and sometimes we go to other friends’ houses. It shakes up our routine in a fun way, while getting the little people tired.
Kids Can Help
Since we are doing our remodeling ourselves, we can involve our children. Jamie Wiebe writes on House Logic, that letting kids share their input on small changes to the house gives them ownership in the process and can lessen their anxiety about it. She writes, “No, you don’t have to hand over the decorating reins to your teenager (unless you were already planning on turning your foyer into a One Direction shrine, in which case, shine on). But allowing them to pick small things, like their bedroom paint color and duvet, or their own stool for the new kitchen island, helps them feel more connected to the renovation.” Small successes like these can suffice for a process that can be confusing, especially for little ones.
Home remodels are uncomfortable necessities. When finished, the struggle was usually worth it. What are your family survival tips during this time of unrest? Let us know! Thank you for reading.