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Renovating with Kids

By 86'n It on Aug 15, 2012

Renovating is hard.

Renovation with kids is a million times harder.
(but it can also be pretty hilarious.)

I think in a perfect world we would have finished our renovation before having kids, but here we are expecting a new Pork Chop and still firing up the table saw. Such is life.

To illustration just one morning of Renovation with Kids, I've put together a helpful info-graphic explaining the steps of Toddler Carpentry Apprenticing. Enjoy:


Here are some additional general guidelines:

  • Distraction is futile.  But if you desperately need a moment, hand your child a tape measure, ball of twine or flashlight. This will buy you approximately 15 seconds.
  • The Wife is not the Default Child-Minder.  Remember that bad-ass woman who can to swing a mean sledgehammer? She is still there.
  • Keep things extra safe.   Learning to place dangerous things out of reach while working takes some getting used to. Nothing is worse than hearing "wha dees Momma?" and wondering where you put the jumbo bottle of wood glue.
  • Plan around naps.  Organizing your day to do the heavy/dangerous/complicated/etc. things during naps is key. Buy a $15 noisy box fan for the kid's room.
  • Your missing screwdriver is always in the play kitchen oven.  Always. Duh.

One of the Best Things about Renovating With Kids is showing them the finished work. Often we will start a project during the day and finish at night after Franca goes to bed. I get all giddy like Christmas morning to show her our progress.

For example, when G (the other child I care for part-time) rounded the corner into the kitchen after we did this work, she SQUEALED with delight and exclaimed: "A new table!!". Exactly G, exactly the reaction I wanted.


Here's a sneak peak at our most recent work. We are finishing up the LAST cabinetry project in the kitchen before we start on the new bathroom. 

Ikea cabinets have been successfully hacked. Next up is a trip to IKEA to get more counter tops.


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