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Caring for Kids and Pets during your Construction Project


Caring for Kids and Pets during your Construction Project

Undergoing a major renovation is stressful for a family, particularly when you have children and pets. During a home remodel, safety is the number one priority for all parties. Beyond basic safety measures, taking steps to keep everyone comfortable and relaxed ensures stress-free living with minimal disasters.

Talk to your Project Manager and Installers before they start working

Prior to the start of your enclosure, let the Project Manager and Installers know that you have pets and kids. The more information they have, the more they’ll be able to adjust their work environment to accommodate them. For example, a crew may be able to complete the majority of their noisiest tasks while kids are in school. They’ll also take care to secure construction items and hazardous equipment when they aren’t in use. If you’re designating separate entrances for work crew and family as well as the work zone itself, go over this information with them too, so there are no surprises.

Introduce your Project Manager and Installers to your children and pets

During an initial consultation or before the crew begins work on the first day, make a point to introduce them to your kids and pets. While some cats will hide no matter what, allow friendly cats and dogs to see and sniff the crew members to help put them at ease. In turn, the installation crew will see that your pets are friendly and approachable.

Providing an introduction between the crew and your kids will also help make your kids more at ease with the renovation. Even when kids are interested in the construction process and equipment, they may be apprehensive about unfamiliar faces, loud noises, and changes in their environment. A brief introduction will help ease their fears.

Designate the construction areas clearly

Put up clear boundaries between the construction area and the rest of the home, so there is no room for question or debate about which area is off limits. Children as young as 18 months will understand that hanging plastic sheeting or tarps designates a construction area where they aren’t allowed to wander. Putting up safety gates will further prevent small children and pets from getting into the construction area.

Secure the work area, including the tools and materials, when not in use
When the installation crew is finished for the day, confirm that they’ve secured the work area, which includes the tools and materials. After the crew leaves, give the work area a quick once over to make sure everything is as it should be. Even with a clearly designated area, many pets and children will still be curious. The less danger there is in the work area, the less chance they’ll be able to get injured.

Assign separate entrances for workers and family

Having separate entrances for workers and family will help maintain privacy, prevent workers from leaving their supplies in non-work areas, and limit the spread of dirt and debris. Select an entrance for the construction crew near the work zone to limit the amount of time they spend in the house, even if this means you and your family use different entrances than normal.

Ventilate the home

Air out your home, including the work area, during and immediately following a home renovation, to keep your loved ones safe. When the construction crew is sanding or scraping, avoid running the heat or central air-conditioning. Change the air filters monthly, or even more often as needed, to prevent dust and debris from spreading throughout the house. During extended air outs following work with hazardous materials or excessive dust, vacate the home temporarily.

Give your kids a construction-free safe zone in the house

When there’s a home renovation taking place, it’s easy to find yourself saying no to your children all the time. If their normal living room, playroom, or bedroom space is disrupted, set up a temporary play or sleep area away from the construction. Kids will feel better knowing there’s a place in the house they can always retreat to where they won’t get in trouble for messing with the remodeling site. Give them control over the safe zone, choosing favorite toys and other items (i.e., blankets) to keep in the space.

Create a safe area for your pets

If your pets will be staying home during a portion or all of the renovation period, establish a space for them to stay while everyone is at work and school. Ideally, the safe area should be as far from the construction as possible and shouldn’t allow them access to the construction area. Post a sign such as “pet zone: keep door closed,” so no one will bother them, minimizing the risk of injury or escape. Provide easy access to water and for cats, a litter box, as well as a comfortable space to sleep.

Keep an eye on kids and pets when construction workers are present

Even with proper precautions, children and animals are likely to be curious about the home renovation. As long as workers are present, keep pets in their safe area. When you have small children, keep a close eye on them during work hours. Avoid solo tasks that may distract you from their activities to minimize the risk of them escaping and getting a hold of dangerous tools or hazardous items.

Maintain a normal routine as much as possible

Sticking to a regular routine will help your kids and pets through an atypical period. Maintain your regular sleeping and eating schedules. Keep dogs exercising regularly and give cats ample opportunities to play and socialize when the construction crew isn’t there. Avoid switching food brands, taking away beloved toys, and skipping walks during a renovation to minimize stress. If you opt to board a pet or have him stay elsewhere during the day, send a few favorite items, such as blankets and toys, to help the new space feel familiar.

The Project Manager and Installation Crews are very familiar with the construction process however maybe not your exact situation. Be sure to ask your project manager if you have any concerns before your enclosure begins or during the project.

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