Can Your Children Help with Remodeling Projects?

From on May 08, 2009 in General

Can your children help with remodeling projects? Well, that’s a loaded question. There are so many variables that it’s impossible to give a simple yes or no answer, let alone list ways they can help. Let’s take a look at just a few of those variables:

  • How old are your children?
  • What is the specific remodeling project?
  • Are your children’s skills and maturity levels up to the tasks involved?
  • Who is in charge of the project? You? Or a hired professional?

kids-building.jpgPhoto Credit: Pingu1963

For starters, each child needs to be considered separately. Then, common sense will help you sort out whether your children’s involvement in remodeling projects is appropriate or not.

Assuring your children’s safety is the most important thing.
This topic is covered with sensitivity and humor in an article by Broderick Perkins for, “You see a pile of scrap. They see a mountain to scale. Keep kids away from the site, just as you would keep them away from a busy street.”

Perkins talks to a few contractors for their opinions on involving children. Among them is Susan Davis, mother of two and a contractor with Spectrum Construction and Design, in Mountain View, CA. She says, “Kids vary in temperament, just like adults. Some can function just fine amid the chaos of remodeling, while others come apart. It’s important to reassure them that it’s a building process and let them participate on some level.”

Another suggestion encourages letting children make choices. “The design phase is a good time to include your kids, especially when it involves their room or rooms they spend time in. A child’s unbridled creativity can be put to use when choosing colors, finish, furnishings and accessories, as well as where their toys will be placed.”

Rick Maselli, of Your Questions Answered by Rick for weighs in on how kids can be remodeling helpers when a single mom with boys ages 8 and 12 asks how to include them in a bathroom remodel. She wants to use the project as an opportunity to teach the boys handyman skills.

“First of all, remember, safety always comes first,” says Rick. After listing tools needed for the job, his advice is, “Now that you know what safety items and tools that will be needed you will need to show them how you will do the work. Have them watch you closely and ask questions.” He continues to give useful information on doing a particular project, which (in my opinion) might be daunting to a skilled do-it-yourselfer. But here again, you know your children and if you’re in charge of the project, it’s up to you to determine how and if it makes sense for them to help.

Safety first and common sense—consider these, and then your decisions will be right for you and your family.