Whether you’re thinking about starting a family or already have a baby on the way, you’ll want to take care of as many home improvement projects before your new addition arrives. Not only do you want your home to be safe and comfortable for your children, but any parent will tell you remodeling with a baby in the house is infinitely harder. In addition to upgrades you already had in mind, here are six renovation ideas to meet your growing family’s needs.
1. Safety Issues
If you can only tackle a few projects, resolve any safety issues first. You’ll be able and want to do a lot of baby-proofing after your baby arrives and before they start walking. Big safety concerns like unsecured windows, electrical and plumbing issues and mold should be addressed first, in which case a more experienced remodeler can help. If you have stairs without a banister, install one now with spindles close enough together to prevent falls.
The nursery is where most expectant parents focus their nesting instincts — and for good reason; after all, you’ll spend a lot of time there with your baby. While they may not sleep in their rooms at first, you’ll no doubt change their diapers as well as feed and rock them to sleep and eventually play in the nursery. Thus, you’ll want it to be clean safe, and comfortable for your baby. Even if you’re just dreaming about starting a family and aren’t ready to add furniture or nursery decorations, you can prepare this room by painting it, installing a ceiling fan (which can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by 72 percent) and making structural changes like adding trim, closet updates and installing shelving.
If you’re planning a kitchen remodel before your newborn arrives, make sure to factor in the costs for necessary child safety upgrades into your budget. Have your contractor add features like safety latches to your cabinets and child locks on appliances. You may also want to consider configuring your kitchen so that small appliances are out of reach and trash is hidden away. Any new flooring should be easy to clean and disinfect, too.
4. Laundry Room
Having a baby means lots and lots of laundry. If your laundry room is in need of an update, now is the time to do it. Upgrade your washer and dryer to high efficiency models. You may also want to install closed storage spaces that have child safety latches, particularly for storing detergents and other chemicals. Add a space for folding and sorting, because you’ll want clean clothing to be out of reach of small hands.
You never think about your flooring quite as much as you will when you have a baby lying, crawling and playing on the ground. Start by making repairs to uneven or broken floorboards and tiles. Additionally, have your carpets professionally cleaned or DIY it. In rooms where you’ll be spending lots of time, like the living room and nursery, consider floor mats and soft area rugs with plenty of padding underneath.
A bathroom remodel is inconvenient at any time, but especially so with a new baby or toddler, so complete your bathroom renovation beforehand, if possible. Like in the kitchen, factor in childproofing costs for things like cabinet latches and anti-scalding devices for your sink and bathtub. You might also want to look at getting a tall medicine cabinet so that all the things that could potentially harm your child are out of reach. If your bathtub is old, update it now, as you’ll need a clean, safe place to bathe your little one. You may also want to consider heated flooring, which will be appreciated on those cold early mornings and at bath time.