17 Remodeling Projects You Might Need to Make If You Have Children
Children are a blessing, but they push your home to the limits. They need plenty of space and storage. Plus, the house that felt perfectly safe when you first found it looks like a nightmare waiting to happen once you introduce kids to the mix.
Moving may not be the best option for a growing family in today’s economy and real estate market. Transforming your current home is likely more financially manageable and prevents the upheaval of a move. You can stretch your budget further by spreading the projects throughout your kids’ growth. Accommodate the different needs of each age and stage with these home remodeling projects.
Before you bring your first baby home, you need to make some initial safety adjustments. You also want to maximize your current space’s functionality and wrap up unsafe projects for little ones.
1. Prepare the Nursery
Prepping the nursery is the most exciting project on the whole list. You’re transforming a room into the perfect space for your new little one. Revamp the closet, making plenty of room for all the baby gear. Install a dimmer switch so you can control brightness for nighttime feedings. Finally, ensure the room is up to your safety standards.
2. Update the Entryway
Babies need lots of stuff, so traveling can get challenging. Make things easier on yourself by updating your entryway. If your floorplan allows, expand the usable space so you have more room to set down the diaper bag and other accouterments. Adding a storage bench lets you tuck away extra shoes and have a place to sit down.
3. Fix Staircases
The steps into your home and heading upstairs or downstairs are all possible safety hazards. Loose boards on your steps are a serious problem. Hammer in any loose nails and secure carpeted treads to avoid an accident.
4. Finish Painting Projects
Paint can completely transform a space, but it’s also loaded with toxic fumes. Even low-VOC options are harsh on a baby’s lungs. Prevent breathing problems by wrapping up any desired painting projects before your baby arrives. Otherwise, you may need to stay in a hotel or with family for a few nights to clear the fumes.
Once your child can crawl, you start seriously rethinking your home’s safety. Toddlers will go everywhere and get into everything.
5. Refinish Floors
Just as rickety stairs posed a problem when you were carrying your little one, floors are a safety risk for mobile toddlers. Hardwood floors offer durability other options can’t match. You’ll need to designate an area in your home to store the supplies since the materials need at least three days to acclimate before you can install them. Strategically add area rugs to cushion your toddler’s knees in areas they crawl frequently.
6. Open the Floor Plan
A mobile toddler can get into trouble quickly. Improving the sight lines in your home will give you peace of mind and keep your little one safer. Talk with a contractor to see which walls you can safely knock down.
7. Revamp the Laundry Room
Toddlers go through so many outfits a day, and their clothes are slowly getting bigger and bigger. The amount of time you spend in your laundry room will increase from here, so now’s the time to treat yourself to a laundry room makeover. Install a counter for accessible folding space and add shelving to hold all the stain-treating products you need.
8. Child-Proof Outside Spaces
Your toddler is old enough to begin playing outside but still too young to make smart decisions while out there. Remove toxic plants because your little one will sample them at least once. If you live near a busy road, consider installing a fence or hedge around the property as additional protection. Pools should also be behind locked gates.
If you thought babies came with a lot of stuff, just wait for the toy explosion that comes with having a preschooler. Kids who attend daycare will also bring home a stack of their “art” daily. Your home needs ways to accommodate the increase.
9. Install Built-Ins
You’ve probably realized by now storage is your best friend and defense against a chaotic house. Built-ins will add character to your home and solve your “stuff” problem. Once in place, use baskets and containers to keep things looking tidy.
10. Build a Breakfast Nook
Once the days of highchairs are behind you, your family is more likely to congregate in the kitchen for mealtimes. Building a breakfast nook in the corner of your kitchen is an excellent solution for keeping everyone together. If you don’t have enough space, add tall chairs around your island to create an eat-in kitchen.
11. Set Up a Designated Play Area
The amount of toys increases exponentially when your kids grow into preschoolers. Keep your living room clutter-free by creating a designated play area. You can either transform an unused bedroom, convert an unfinished space or build an addition.
Attics and basements are good possibilities because they provide plenty of square footage and are cheaper than an addition. However, an addition lets you place the playroom where it makes the most sense with the flow of your home.
Elementary and Middle Schoolers
Your school-age kids will need space for hobbies and their school stuff. This stage is about making your home function more effectively for new activities and growing children.
12. Create a Home Office
A home office can serve dual purposes with school-age kids in the house. It can function as a space for you to get away from the hubbub to work or pay bills in peace. The office also gives a quiet and dedicated area for young ones to do homework.
13. Improve Kitchen Storage
Growing kids eat a lot, which worsens when they become teenagers. Now is the time to upgrade your kitchen storage. Find a good contractor to discuss ways to increase your pantry size or functionality. If your kitchen is outdated and ready for a remodel, you can also rethink the layout to give you maximum cabinet space and countertops.
14. Establish a Drop Zone
Between the soccer cleats, dance shoes, instruments and hobby items, you’re drowning in a sea of child chaos. It’s great your kids are at an age where they want to try everything, but you need a solution for the mess. Create a drop zone in your entryway, mudroom or laundry room. You’ll need plenty of storage space to tuck away all the gear. Add a cubby for each child and install coat hooks.
Teenagers long for more space of their own. These home remodeling projects will give them exactly what they’re looking for.
15. Add or Expand a Bathroom
Teens spend a lot of time in the bathroom. The time it takes them to get ready and shower each day shoots through the roof after childhood.
You’ll notice increased fighting over the bathroom at this stage if you have more than one child. When you’re current setup isn’t working anymore, you can make your life easier by making the existing space bigger by adding a sink and having them share better, or adding a new bathroom.
16. Create a Teen Hangout Space
The playroom your kids loved needs an update. Your teens are too old for the toys of their childhood and have outgrown the decor, so refresh the room with fun paint. Change out tired and stained carpeting, or refinish wood floors. Adding some lounge furniture and gaming equipment is the cherry on top.
17. Add a Bedroom
Young kids often like to share a bedroom with siblings. It gives them a sense of safety from the dark and someone nearby to play with. Now that you have teenagers, they may want their own space.
A basement or attic conversion is the perfect spot to add a new bedroom for your teen. Building out over a garage is another possibility, but it will cost you more.
Spread Projects Out to Save Money
Give yourself more time to save for home remodeling projects by completing them as your kids get older. Children have different needs during each phase of their lives. Holding off on particular renovations allows your house to adapt to each stage and keeps more cash in your wallet.