Home renovations, though often necessary, are something that many people enjoy. That’s why HGTV has a whole network of shows dedicated exclusively to people performing home remodeling. But when you start thinking about how to work together as a family to remodel your home, things get a little bit trickier.
That’s not to say that it can’t be fun, because it absolutely can be. But having children around when renovating your home provides a different set of challenges, and can create added stress.
If you can figure out fun ways to work together as a family, and accommodate your children’s needs, then a family home remodeling can provide a lot of opportunities for fun and growth. And of course, you want to make sure you do things as safely as possible, so you don’t end up needing to seek medical attention for anyone.
First, start by knowing what to include your kids in, and what to leave them out of. Some things children just aren’t capable of doing, and it will also depend on their age. For jobs that kids might not be able to help with, like roofing or wiring, it can be a good idea to take them on a mini-vacation and let the roofing companies do their work unhindered.
If you don’t want to get your kids out of the house, you can always give them scaled-down jobs to make them feel like they are helping, even if they aren’t. What these jobs are will depend on the job you are doing, but you can get creative with it, especially if you have younger kids.
If you are going to work together as a family for most of the renovations, you should also take into account the child’s schedule. Doing it in early spring, when they have to go to school and worry about homework, could be stressful for them. But doing it in the summer will be a lot less disruptive, as they won’t have school, there aren’t any major holidays, and it will be easier to carve out the time to do it.
Once you’ve thought of these basic things, you can start to think about your specific renovations, and what your kids can help out with in each area. A good way to easily work together as a family is to create a plan that everyone can follow, so you have an idea of how to move ahead.
No, this doesn’t mean the sport. Oftentimes, remodeling your home might mean putting in a new fence, or repairing the existing one. Depending on how old your children are, they could help you with the actual building, making it easy to work together as a family for this project.
But if you have younger kids, it might be best to leave them out of the construction. You could hire a fence company to come in and build it for you, or do it yourself and just keep the kids occupied. A good way to do this is to give them a toy construction set or fake tools— let them feel like they are helping, while also keeping them out of your way.
When it comes to painting the fence, this is a job that almost anyone can help out with. Kids, especially younger ones, love paint, so it can be a fun activity for your family. This is a great time to let the whole family help out, even if it means you have to come back and touch it up later. It can also help you teach your kids how to properly paint, and for younger ones, you could even have fun teaching them how to mix colors!
Even if you’re not renovating your home, keeping bushes and trees trimmed is important. But once again, this can be a difficult and dangerous activity, so your kids may not be able to help out.
Tree trimming is likely something you want to keep kids away from unless they are much older. Tall ladders and falling branches can be hazardous. But bush trimming is something kids may be able to help with.
If you supervise them closely, and show them how to do it, most children could use a pair of hedge trimmers safely. If even that is too much, you can once again get them a fake pair, or occupy them with something else. And, once the trimming is done, they can help you carry all of the branches and leaves away. Even young ones could grab small branches and feel like they are helping.
Sometimes, you may want to keep children away from these activities entirely. In that case, you can have them work on something else, like gardening or yard decorations, while you do that.
Whether you grow flowers, vegetables, or herbs, gardening is an area that makes it easy to work together as a family. Children of all ages can help with gardening in one way or another.
Younger children can help dig holes for plants, as they love getting messy, and maybe help pick out plants. Older kids could help you plant or repot the plants, and maybe help plan the garden. And anyone can help water plants.
If your family has a garden, it is a great opportunity to get everyone involved and have fun while doing home renovations. Plus, you could grow delicious foods that you can then cook with, and teach your kids about how plants work.
While similar to gardening, hardscaping is all of the hard, yet still mobile, elements of your yard. Stones, gravel, walkways, any harder and heavier objects that can decorate your yard or improve its functionality. This can be a great area to work together as a family and get creative with your kids.
Hardscaping elements are also something that you can assign to kids while you work on the stuff they can’t help with, like roofing or tree trimming. You can have them paint rocks to go in the garden, pick out tiles for outdoor living space, or even create a fun pathway, like having your children’s handprints in glow in the dark paint on a stone path.
Hardscaping gives a lot of opportunities for creativity and fun, and is usually something that any kid can help with. It serves as a good distraction when you have to do jobs that they aren’t able to do.
Roofing and siding
This is another aspect of home renovation that kids might not be able to help with. Roofing repairs, putting in a new roof, gutters, and more all mean hazardous ladders and heights. You might want to take your kids on a mini-vacation for this, while you let contractors do the work. Or, you could give them other tasks, like working on gardening and hardscaping, to keep them out of the way.
If you do want to work together as a family on this, you could always assign children small tasks that make them feel helpful but keep them away from danger. Have them find the nails, be “in charge” of supervising you, or even task them with bringing refreshments, like squeezing lemons for lemonade. These duties will give them something to do while keeping them out of danger and letting you get the work done.
When you start indoor renovations, one of the first things you will do might just be demolition. Sometimes there are walls that need to be knocked out, and luckily, this is an opportunity to really work together as a family.
Older kids can help you demolish the wall— after all, what child wouldn’t enjoy being allowed to destroy things with a hammer? Plus, having a kid to do the hard work could help if you suffer from low back pain or other pain issues. Make sure that they wear proper safety equipment and that they are never left unattended.
Younger kids might not be able to help with demolition, but to keep them busy, you can allow them to color or draw on the walls that you will be knocking down. It will give them something to do, and there will be no harm since you’re getting rid of the wall anyway.
Lastly, you could have your kids draw up “plans” of what the demolition will be, and where new walls and fixtures will be going. For kids more in the middle range, this is a great way to engage their creativity and make them feel helpful, even if those plans aren’t the ones you follow.
New wall construction
After you’ve knocked out the old walls, you will likely need to put in new walls, floors, and/or doorways. Again, this can be a risky activity, so it may be best to have younger kids avoid this part. Besides, most kids won’t know how to assemble floor trusses anyway.
If you do want to get kids involved, you can again give them small tasks. Ask them to hold pieces for you, get you drinks, or even provide entertainment while you work. This can help them feel like they are contributing without putting them at risk.
Redoing the wires
Electricity can be unpredictable and dangerous, so this is an area that’s best to steer kids away from. Like the demolition, you could help kids feel helpful by having them draw up diagrams of how they think the wiring will look. It could be funny to you and/or your contractors, plus you could teach them about how it works.
You can also assign them to other tasks while you do this. Having kids create stones for the garden in another room while you do wiring is a great way to work together as a family while keeping everyone safe.
If there are changes being made to bedrooms and bathrooms, it’s a great opportunity to get kids involved. They can help to shape their bedroom the way they want it to be, and really feel like they contributed to improving their living space.
There are a lot of possibilities when doing this. You can have your kids draw out how they want their room to go, and then work with that. You could have them help move things around, and install new fixtures.
Many people hate this part of home renovations. Furniture instructions can often be confusing, and a lot of people get stressed. For this reason, you may think that you wouldn’t want kids around. But it can actually be a great opportunity to work together as a family and educate your kids.
Having kids help with furniture assembly can make it more fun, because they will joke around and provide entertainment. It also teaches them two things. The first is how to follow instructions for furniture assembly, which will help them later in life. And the second is how to work with other people, which is a valuable skill that they will certainly need.
When remodeling, you will likely update your fire protection system. Use this as an opportunity to teach your kids about fire safety, and create a plan in case of emergencies. Make sure that they know what to do so if there ever is a disaster, everyone can make it out safely.
Of course, this is the easiest way to work together as a family when doing renovations. Kids love to paint, and if you give them permission to paint on the walls, they will certainly do it. You can also use it as an opportunity to teach them how to paint properly. Even if you have to come back in later and touch it up, it will be worth it for the fun you will have.
Working together towards a better home
Clearly, there are a lot of ways that you can work together as a family to do home renovations. Around 62% of people say that they feel grateful for their kids and family, and if you have fun with renovations and get your kids involved, you will likely be one of those people.