Parents Who Paint, Peel and Plaster: Tips to Renovate with Kids in the House

When you renovate, you have two ways to go. You can continue to live right there in the house in the middle of the chaos doing the best you can, or you can find another home to move into for the duration of the project. The latter approach is infinitely preferable to the one where you live in the dust and squalor; it can take some major additional resources, however. It can be especially hard to live through a renovation when it’s more than just you and your partner. If there are children thrown into the mix, life can turn next to impossible. 

It’s about more than the children’s comfort. It’s also about safety. With half-finished areas and tools lying around, the dusty surroundings of a home under renovation are hardly a fit place for a child. If there is lead paint and asbestos being removed, it makes things even worse. If you can’t find another home, you need to thoroughly strategize your stay in your home with your kids. According to HE Lettings renovations done right can add value to the property, so checking with an expert before starting off is sound advice.

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Make safety a priority

Safe breathing air around the house is one of the first areas to consider. You should speak with the contractors to have air filters installed in the living area, and also seal off HVAC ducting to make sure that there is no dust that makes its way in from the areas being worked on.

Talk to the contractor about having all tools put away each evening, and making sure every work area is free of excess dust and dangerous objects such as nails or glass.

Work areas can contain plenty of other risks — live wires, toxic substances, heavy items precariously placed, unfenced drops, allergens and powerful glues, among other things. As far as possible, it’s important to keep kids well away from all areas under renovation. If they do need to go there, it can take a very careful sweep of the area first.

It’s always a good idea to find a certified contractor, rather than someone who is simply willing to work on a low bid. Certified contractors tend to have a greater amount of training and experience when it comes to working to established safety rules and routines.

Find a way to help your child stay comfortable

A major renovation project can take six months or longer, a period of time that can seem like an eternity to a kid. Help your children understand the changes that they need to live through. The explanation can be hard to deliver to a kid who has no idea what renovation involves, however. Rather, the explanation should be a running talk. You can help your kid understand the work to be done each day. The more understanding there is, the more cooperative your kid will likely be. Important safety rules can be easier to establish when it comes with understanding.

Finding small, but important responsibilities for your child to handle each day can be one of the most important parts of helping your child cope. Responsibilities offer a sense of control over difficult circumstances. A little safe cleaning task each day can be one of the easiest and safest things that your kid can do.

Establish a routine

In the middle of the constant disruption, a dependable routine can be your kid’s rock and anchor. School, timely meals, homework and entertainment can be excellent ways to help your child keep oriented when they follow a good schedule.

Make sure that you plan for enough food

Kids get hungry, and hunger makes them cranky. While it can be difficult to keep all mealtimes on schedule, though, the hassle can actually turn out to be a good thing. You can turn to plenty of prepackaged and unhealthy foods. Children love pizza, microwavable, ready-to-eat hamburgers and sandwiches. Let them get away with it all at least once a day. Certainly, you’ll have trouble getting your kids off the fast food habit once all the work is done. One day, though, they’ll look back on the remodel and think of it as the most fun that they’ve ever had.

Living through a renovation can be a challenge. Depending on how you take it, though, it can end up bringing the family closer together. In these times when families rarely have hardships to bond over, a home remodel can be the closest that one can get.

Ernest Collins is a life coach who helps get people on the right path to living a happy healthy life. Ernest also loves DIY projects that get the whole family involved. He writes motivational articles which cover all aspects of happiness, being healthy, and more importantly; letting go.

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Comments

  1. Renovations are certainly tough enough and I wouldn’t even want to imagine doing it with young kids but sometimes there’s no choice so these are such helpful suggestions.

  2. Kimberly M. says:

    My family has a lot of asthma. We try to keep the kids free from paint smells, sanding dust, etc. Safety is our main priority when renovating.