Renovations with a Pregnant Wife + a Toddler

Whew. It has been a while since I’ve written. It seems like with the holidays, moving, expecting, and general lack of light during the winter in Pennsylvania, I’ve really not been focused on the blog. With that said, I’ve also been quite busy working on some home projects that I want to share with you here.

When we moved into our new home at the end of October we knew there were going to be a few rooms that needed attention. Specifically the master bathroom and the kitchen. Since the kitchen is an expensive and time-intensive project we opted to fix up the bathroom first. So after the holidays ended we jumped into demoing the bathroom. Here is what we were dealing with:

As you can see – pink tile, narrow space, a very tiny sink, and a shower stall that barely measured 26″ deep (FYI code is 30″). We knew from other family and friends, that the demo on this age home, with this style tile, meant a lot of work. We’ve been chipping away at it one weekend at a time with the help of my dad and brother.  Meanwhile, my mom and Lindsay have entertained a toddler, while also managing to paint a good portion of our beigey/pink walls.

We chose to move a few walls and change up the closet system in our bedroom to accommodate more space for a larger shower and a larger vanity.

All of that to say, we’ve learned a lot about renovating with a pregnant wife that is losing energy (understandably) by the day and a toddler that seems to soak up that energy and explore. Here are just a few tips I’d give to anyone as crazy as we are:

Plastic sheeting is your friend: With the amount of dust the plaster and drywall creates you need a good system to contain that mess. We did a really poor job of this the first 2 weekends and were cleaning dust off surfaces at the other end of the house for days!

Vacuums are greater than brooms: After the dust cloud settled I tried sweeping prior to vacuuming and mopping. I should have and could have skipped the sweeping altogether. We are also now looking for a better vacuum for our hardwoods since we realize their power. If you have any suggestions, please drop them in the comments!

Get an air purifier: Even after the dust is vacuumed and mopped, there is still a crazy amount of garbage floating in the air. We also learned this the hard way by Lindsay feeling really crummy and coughing a lot when at home. We finally picked up this inexpensive one as a test and within a few hours, we both noticed a difference.

Be patient, with the process and each other: No matter how much you think you can get done, you won’t. We spent an entire half day just moving a pipe for our heating system. Totally unexpected and blew out the amount of things we thought we could accomplish that day.

Let a pregnant woman rest: Also learned this one the hard way myself. I had higher expectations of how she could contribute and quickly realized I needed to temper what I thought and help her out even more.

Let the toddlers get involved: Juniper is so interested in the painting and noises. So my mom, Lindsay, and I all encourage her to try her hand at various things so she feels invested in the projects too.

The trifecta of expecting, raising a toddler, and undergoing a major renovation may sound intimidating, but if we don’t start sometime we would never get anything done. I’m really pleased with the progress so far and I know it will be a huge improvement for all of us in the future.

Comments

  1. Reply

    Having done many renovation projects myself with a pregnant wife and little ones around, I know how challenging it can be. Don’t get discouraged. Keep at it – even if it takes you 2 years to complete! 🙂

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