Home renovations can be huge and messy projects, and when you add children to the mix, there can be a lot of dangers. If you are planning on doing any home renovations, and you have children, there are many things that you are going to need to take into consideration in order to avoid putting your children into dangerous situations.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you hire the right contractor. They need to be kid-friendly, using barriers, keeping tools out of the reach of children, and never leaving live wires unattended. Find out if they have worked in other homes with children, and if they are comfortable working in a home where children are living and playing. Here are some more things that you will need to consider.
1. Put Up Barriers
One of the best ways that you can protect your children from getting into things is to make it impossible for them to get into things in the first place. Whenever possible, erect barriers around work areas, even if it is just plastic drop cloths to keep dust and dirt from spreading. Put up safety gates across doorways, and tell the workers to step over them to make sure that they stay shut and small children can’t get through.
2. Set Up Alternative Areas
“If the area in your home that is being renovated is a room that is frequented by the family, you will need to set up alternate areas to use. For instance, if it is the kitchen that is being renovated, set up an apartment size refrigerator so your kids can get something to eat or drink without having to enter the construction area,” suggests an expert from Flipping Houses 101. If the bathroom is being renovated, open up the guest bathroom and make sure that all of their hygiene products are there for them to use so they don’t have to go into the construction area for anything.
3. Contain the Waste
There are all kinds of sharp things that end up in the trash during a renovation job, and if they aren’t contained, they can be easy to be stepped on, grabbed, etc. and cause injuries. Make sure that your contractors know that all waste must be carefully contained while they are working, and that any messes need to be cleaned up before they leave at the end of each day. You also need to make sure that you keep your kids away from the trash, as it can be pretty tempting for them.
4. Schedule Work for School Hours
Whenever possible, try to schedule all of the renovation work to be done while the kids are not at home. A lot can be done during the hours when they are in school, and by the time they get home, messes are cleaned up, and there are no tools laying around for them to get into. If the work will go on past the time the kids get home, arrange for them to be someplace else after school until the contractors leave for the day.
5. Clear the Air
Not all dangers associated with home renovations are visible dangers. A lot of dust and debris gets into the air, and your kids can end up breathing it all in. You will need to take steps to protect the air inside your home. Seal off all HVAC ducts and vents that are in the work area, and hang plastic sheeting across doorways to keep dust contained to the renovation area as much as possible. Look for contractors that use air scrubbers while they work to reduce dust from drywall sanding.