Yes, you read that right. It was never our intent to have our kitchen renovation, basement renovation, and the first several months of my pregnancy overlap. Unfortunately our kitchen got started late, our basement got started early (and took much longer than expected), and before you knew it we were expecting baby number two. Living through a renovation when you're at home all day with a toddler and two dogs is tough, so I wanted to share a few things that helped us get by.
This was part of the basement waterproofing process. One of MANY truckloads full of yuck that got removed from the house.
1. Get your pets out of the house.
Whether this be for a few minutes or a few days, do what you can. Our dogs were surprisingly well behaved considering we had men in and out of the house several times a day, and our yard was monopolized by construction equipment rendering it unusable for doggy bathroom breaks or play time. I made it a point to strap Norah into the Ergo and walk them, even if it was just for a few minutes, as many times a day as I could. When my belly got too big to wear Norah, we'd load up and hit the dog park for as long as I could wrangle everyone. It was a juggling act, but it was necessary. We also bought a daycare package so they could spend entire days away from the chaos. I'd definitely budget daycare and/or occasional boarding into your renovation budget if you have active animals. Or find a friend or family member that will take them off your hands. We completely under-estimated the amount of coming and going contractors would be doing, and how much they'd need our back yard to work in.
2. Plan to eat out. A lot.
I was incredibly niave going into our kitchen reno and thought we'd still be able to eat dinners at home. Breakfast and lunch was doable, but dinner was almost impossible. While we still had some appliance use, with no counter space, a tiny refrigerator, and several stints without power, our dinner time meal options were really limited. Not to mention, after dealing with the crazy all day, I just didn't feel like doing all the juggling that it took to prepare a decent meal. I wish I'd done more research and planning to get healthy, affordable dinners out planned for my family. We relied on fast food one too many times simply because my lofty goals of planning out weeks and weeks of crock pot meals weren't met.
3. Accept help.
We were lucky enough to have several friends and family invite us over for meals, or just to get out of the house. This is something I said no to a lot just because I hate to be a burden, but in retrospect, that was a mistake. People offer because they want to help, and it really does make a difference.
4. Have a Plan B.
I had no clue how much construction on our home would interrupt our routine. Turns out, power tools are LOUD and power and/or water often needs to be shut off during major renovations. This was of course ALWAYS during nap time, which was my worst nightmare. Luckily, we had a crib set up at Will's parents. It wasn't ideal to drive 20 min away just to take a nap, but I was happy we had the option.
5. Have the right permits.
This is probably obvious/self explanatory. I won't elaborate, but trust me. When the inspector comes wrapping at your door one morning asking to look around and threatens to shut down your whole operation, you'll wish you were more prepared.
Those are probably my four biggest nuggets of advice that no one gave me before we started on our reno journey. Hoping to share before and after pics soon!