Unless construction is going to take only a day or two, your home life is going to be disrupted by noise, dust, and workers going around the house. For families without kids, this can already be difficult enough to deal with. But when you have inquisitive little tots running around the house and demanding your undivided attention, having construction done can be a lot more challenging.
There are lots of things you have to deal with when you’re doing construction with kids in the house. First, you have to keep them away from work sites at all times to keep them safe. You also have to make sure they don’t touch anything when the workers are gone. Second, the noise and the strangers coming in and out of their house might cause distress or at least a little bit of discomfort. Furthermore, you still have to take care of their needs on top of overseeing the construction process.
How do you do it all? Here are some tips to help you out:
1. Contact your contractor
Tell your contractor that you have kids in the house if they haven’t asked you already. If you have a trusted roofing contractor coming over, for example, informing them of your kids’ presence will let them know that they have to take extra precautions when working on your house.
2. Don’t let them out of your sight
If your kids are not old enough to go long periods without parental supervision, never let them out of your site while work is ongoing. If you have other things to attend to and can’t watch them all the time, have a spouse or another family member do it. Alternatively, hire a babysitter to take charge of the kids during the day. Once you leave your kids unsupervised, it can only take a few minutes for things to go wrong, especially when construction is going on in the house
3. Consider remodeling in the spring or summer
It’s a well-known fact that the best time to renovate for families with kids is during the summer and spring. During these seasons, children’s routines are already shifted, it’s easier to take vacations, the weather is warm enough to spend most of the day outside and away from construction, and there are no major holidays to plan around.
Moreover, it’s a great idea to have the remodeling done when the kids are out of school. This might seem counterintuitive since they would be in the house during construction instead of at school, but it’s easier for them to adjust to a new routine when they don’t have to go to school every day. Their schoolwork and after-school activities also won’t be affected.
4. Make meals in advance
You might think that you would get to sit back and relax while the contractors do all the work. While this is the ideal situation, there are times that you have to oversee the work, answer questions, and make decisions with the project leader. On top of that, you likely have a lot of other responsibilities at work and at home that you would have little to no time left for cooking. And when it’s your kitchen that you’re getting done, you may not be able to cook at all.
The best solution for this is to make meals in advance. Cook batches of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to last you for at least a week (or however long the construction is going to take). Doing this is especially important if you’re doing a kitchen remodel since you won’t be able to cook even if you wanted to. During meal times, simply reheat meals in the microwave (which you can relocate to the dining room for the time being). In this way, you won’t have to live off of takeout or instant foods while construction is ongoing.
5. Educate your children
Before construction starts, orient your kids to what’s about to come so that they can be mentally ready for the changes in the house. Start off by setting some house rules; make it clear that they are not allowed near the worksite, much less touch any tools or materials. Moreover, let them know about what’s going to change, especially if it’s going to be a major change; it’s their home, too!
Having construction done at your house can be a stressful experience, but it’s all part of the process. If you have children, however, you have to take extra steps to ensure that they are safe and comfortable while things are hectic, starting with the tips we’ve mentioned above.