If you’ve been living with an outdated kitchen or a leaky bathtub for too many years, then the idea of a renovation has probably crossed your mind. But if you share your home with a brood of little ones, there’s a lot to consider before you call in a contractor. Keeping your kiddos not only safe but also happy while the construction crew works is basically a full-time job. If you head into the project prepared, however, it’s not an impossible one.
If you’re thinking about staying in your home (with your whole family) as the remodel gets underway, here are a few things you should consider before and during the renovations.
1. Hire Experts Who Empathize
Before you commit to doing business with a contractor, make sure you’ve found the right person for the job. Ask friends and family for references if they’ve recently completed a project of their own, especially if they have kids. It’s important to find a contractor who understands the extra care required when kids are in the house—even better if the contractor and their employees have children of their own! If none of your friends can offer a recommendation, check online review sites to find the perfect fit.
2. Keep It Simple (and Short)
Whether you choose to replace the roof, remodel the kitchen, overhaul the bathroom, or do everything all at once, work with your contractor to find the simplest way to perform the feat. Also, make sure you know exactly what the schedule looks like. Although some delays will likely be inevitable over the course of construction, it’s helpful to have at least a general idea of the game plan before the wheels are already in motion.
3. Pick Projects Wisely
Of course, you don’t need to perform a full home makeover all at once. You can pick and choose the projects you want to pour your time and money into, depending on the state of your home. Some projects can’t wait, like a roof replacement. If your roof is leaking relentlessly or many decades old, you should start with this project. Before work goes underway, make sure you remove any fragile objects from the walls—roofing work may shake the whole house and cause items to fall. Also, always keep kids indoors when the crew is up on the roof.
4. Take It Piece by Piece
For those who do choose to tackle more than one room in the house, don’t do everything at once. Remember, you and your children will need some space to keep going about your daily routine as the crew works elsewhere. Ask the contractor to focus on one room at a time. Pack up as much as you can in the other rooms to make it easy to switch from one living space to the next as the team works their way around the house.
5. Add Some Simple Rules
You probably don’t micromanage your kids at home under normal circumstances, especially not when it comes to safety. Chances are you’ve worked hard to make your home a safe space, so you don’t have to worry. But when you’re living in an active construction zone, it’s impossible to avoid the unexpected, at least now and then. Ask your kids to keep their socks and shoes always on (in case of wayward screws and nails), and invest in noise-blocking headphones for little kids so they don’t get any permanent hearing damage.
6. Stick to a Set Budget
Just because you’re remodeling doesn’t mean the rest of your life comes to a grinding halt. You still need enough cash to grab groceries, pay the bills, and, of course, splurge on some family entertainment. The average home remodel costs about $42,000, so make sure you budget accordingly before embarking on any major undertaking in your home. Set a realistic budget and communicate it to your contractor clearly.
7. Plan a Vacation
There might be a part of the construction schedule that makes it simply impossible to stay in your home. Maybe the crew must shut the gas or water off for days on end, for example, while they work on the kitchen. Take this as an opportunity to plan a getaway with your family! Scoop up your kids and significant other, and jet off to a theme park or rent a cabin for a week and enjoy the great outdoors. You’ll get a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the construction zone back home!
If you keep these tips in mind, the entire process of renovation should get a little less stressful, even with your family to think about. When those inevitable stressful days do pop up, just remember that you’re creating a more comfortable home for your family in the long run!
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!