Going through a remodel with kids in the house is crazy even under the best of circumstances but when we opted for a remodel fresh on the heels of our out of state move – we were certifiable. Surviving a remodel with kids in the house is not a completely impossible task, however, as long as you adjust your expectations and plan to be flexible.
Have a Plan
Most things in life go smoother with a plan. With a remodel, there are bound to be setbacks but starting with a clear plan will go a long way towards simplifying the process and keeping your stress level down. Be prepared to be flexible when you run into a snag but start your remodel by laying out exactly what you need to do and when you want to do it.
Renovate During the Summer
During the summer months, your backyard can become an extension of your house, which is especially important if you are tearing up the interior during a remodel. Warmer weather will give your kids a safe place to play when you pull out the power tools and allow you to keep the windows open for ventilation and to minimize the dust.
Create a Kid-Free Zone
A remodel comes with all kinds of very un-kid-friendly tools, but without out them, the job will never get done. Create a kid-free zone where your kids are not allowed to go and keep anything with a sharp edge or a power cord in that area. If you have younger kids who don’t understand the importance of staying out of that area, use child gates – lots and lots of child gates. Be sure to unplug any power tools when you are done working for the day just in case any curious kids decide to sneak in and imitate daddy or the contractors.
Allow your Kids to Help
You won’t see my kids helping use a table saw anytime soon, but there are kid-friendly jobs involved in a remodel if you look for them and they can be a great learning experience. My 7 year old son discovered that he loves to hammer nails and he single handedly put together half the cabinets in our kitchen with a little adult supervision. My 5 year old and 3 year old were too young to help with most jobs, but they still wanted to feel included so they were delighted to be put to work rounding up leftover screws and throwing away the trash. Allowing kids to help does take a bit more time but it’s a great way to teach important life skills and spend time together during an otherwise stressful time.
Schedule Time for Fun
As tempting as it is to plow through a remodel as fast as you can in order to get the job done, if you don’t take some time out for fun, the process isn’t going to be enjoyable for anyone. If your kids are starting to act up and you can feel the chaos getting to you, take some time to have a picnic at a local park or visit some friends. The break will do everyone good and you’ll be more productive when you return.
Give yourself a Deadline . . . Kind Of
Having a deadline to look forward to can help the process of remodeling with kids in the house seem a little less overwhelming. The problem with that, though, is that remodels rarely go according to plan and there are few things worse than hitting your deadline without reaching your goal. Set a deadline that gives you a bit of a cushion. That way you’ll have a date to look forward to and if you finish your remodel before your deadline it will just be an added bonus.
What tips do you have for surviving a remodel with kids in the house?