It’s a dilemma many families face – surviving (and thriving!) during a remodel with young children in the house. While renting or staying with family is an appealing option, it’s not always possible – and though it may not always be easy, staying in your home during a remodel does have some advantages. Here are a few tips to minimize disruptions to your family’s routine (and sanity!) while remodeling your home.
A Designated Classroom
We recommend setting aside a designated classroom for the kids, where they can tune in to classes and complete their homework assignments without having to worry about the renovation noise making an appearance in the background. For example, if you’re remodeling the kitchen, a room that’s upstairs and away from the activity would be a good choice, just as a desk set up in a quiet corner of the basement may work well. Add some comfortable beanbag seating or a fun pillow fort in the corner for independent work, and they’ll be more likely to utilize the space.
It should also, if possible, be physically separate from one of the common areas of the home. This way, when they’re done for the day, they can shut the door to “school” and come home to their favorite spots in the home without being reminded of classes.
A Designated Playroom
If the kids continue to have a space – aside from their bedroom – that’s theirs to play and relax in while the remodel is progressing, then the whole process will feel less intrusive to their routine. Having their own space in a home that’s defined by zones that are off-limits will also go a long way to helping them feel more comfortable with the construction team in the house. In the playroom, make sure their favorite toys, gaming devices or coloring books are within reach to avoid any undue stress or last-minute searching through rooms that are supposed to be closed off.
Case Indy’s Kid’s Activity Book is available for download here! Your kids will be able to learn more about how their house is going to change, and how the different members of our team play a role in the process.
A Temporary Kitchen
For the adults, having access to a toaster, microwave and even an electric burner will get you a little closer to that elusive home-cooked meal, even if you haven’t got access to everything you usually do. If you’re remodeling during the warmer months, you can take advantage of the backyard to grill and gather for meals. But no matter where you eat, getting some consistent family time together to catch up on school, friends, and more – not to mention getting out of the construction zone for a while – will help the remodeling process feel a lot more smooth.
Designing With the Kids
Let the kids pick a new paint color for their room, or go along with you to the design studio to compare cabinets and countertops – they’ll get a better idea of why the construction crews are there and get even more excited to see the final product. Providing them with a few paint colors or decor items to choose from will help their room be more fun and kid-friendly, but also give mom and dad the chance to keep the color palettes and materials within the desired design scheme. If age-appropriate, offer them the chance to help knock down walls, and paint or decorate with you – it’ll be another part of the experience you can look back on fondly together.
Playing It Safe
Here are some questions to ask your remodeler about completing a project with kids in the house:
Dust. There is a lot of dust generated during any remodel – what should be covered and what should be stored away? Will the dust affect the air quality in the home? Ask your remodeling project manager how they plan to seal off the room that’s being remodeled – this will keep dust and fumes away from the rest of the home – and what ventilation measures they have in place. Seeing the level of care they take with this process will be a good indicator of whether they’re a good pick for remodeling with kids in the house.
Ventilation. Good ventilation is as important as any material aspect of the remodel; the use of plastic barriers and local exhaust ventilation – which can be as simple as installing a box fan in the project area to direct air out of the home – can keep fumes from spreading. An air scrubber can rid the air of the remaining chemicals; if you’re remodeling during the summer, you can also keep doors and windows open around the project area for an added measure of comfort.
Lead Paint. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if a home was built before 1978, homeowners can assume that its paint contains lead, meaning any lead dust from construction work could be harmful to children. Ask your remodeler about their experience with older homes, and the added precautions they’ll be taking to improve ventilation in this scenario.
Plan Your Routes. Even though most of the remodel will be centered around places you can’t go, it’s important to consider where you’ll be able to pass through while the construction team is working. If you typically reach for the garage door while bringing home groceries, then you’ll have to plan for alternative routes through the front door or backyard. If the kids like playing outside after school, leave them a note to remind them which doors are okay to enter, and which should be treated as off-limits.
There’s a lot to consider when remodeling with little ones, but we’re looking forward to showing you why remodeling with kids can be fun with the right team. Ready to talk about your kitchen, bath, or whole house project? Fill out the contact form to get in touch with our team today!