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Total house renovation while pregnant/with a newborn

(15 Posts)
Toptack Sun 31-Mar-13 11:21:20

Sarah Beeney always seemed to be at it, but would you do it? We would be living in a rental nearby and all the major work would be done by contractors, but we've no experience of renovating and I'm wondering about stress levels...

doglover Sun 31-Mar-13 11:22:55

No. Just no! smile

lalalonglegs Sun 31-Mar-13 11:35:06

I've done it, it's always stressful but at least if you're on maternity leave you can show up on site and kick ass when need be. I'd do it again (not that I'm intending to have any more babies). It'll be fine - and if you never did things that you hadn't done before, you'd never do anything iyswim.

JazzAnnNonMouse Sun 31-Mar-13 12:04:47

Yeah especially if you're not living in it!!

We're doing ours at the moment - have a dd 18 months and pregnant. We're living in ours grin

wendybird77 Sun 31-Mar-13 15:50:05

I'm in the middle of renovating. I would not do it with a newborn if I were living in it. In fact I wouldn't do this again living in it. As you will be renting elsewhere I would go for it.

notcitrus Sun 31-Mar-13 20:10:22

I've lived through it. Twice, actually. If not living in it but nearby, then go for it - chase everyone, don't pay up front, keep asking questions until you understand exactly what you are paying for and what the work depends on. And talk to both planning and Building Control at the council before you start.

Living in it like me is a different matter, but it was the only way to get this large lovely house. Well, becoming more lovely...

NotAnotherPackedLunch Sun 31-Mar-13 20:21:03

We lived/camped in our house during extension and remodelling works when DC1 was new born.
At the time it felt like a big deal, but with hindsight it was good timing to do it whilst DC was fully breastfed and not mobile. I think trying to do it alongside toddler meals and mobility would be far worse.
If you're living in a rental nearby then I'd go for it without a second thought. It will be so worth it in the long run.

Brugmansia Mon 01-Apr-13 07:47:54

We're doing this at the moment but are living in the house. DS is 2 months' old now. We've been in the house for a while but only just been able to start the building work that's needed before we can do the rest of the work. This started a couple of weeks ago and it's fine so far.

Given that we're living here the most important thing for me is that we have managed to sort out on a temporary basis our bedroom, the living room and a kitchen. They'll all be redone later on but it means I can get on with looking after DS in only semi-chaos.

As NotAnotherPackedLunch at least at present DS is not mobile. Also being on maternity leave means I'm around to deal with builders and accept deliveries etc. I also have more time to deal with all the admin, which DP and I were struggling with when we were both working full time. I've done a lot of research and been firing off emails for quotes etc while breastfeeding in the middle of the night.

If you will be renting elsewhere I think the most important thing will be to ensure you have all your finances sorted and a relatively large contingency fund in place so you don't have to worry about money if things overrun and you have to rent for longer than anticipated.

MelanieWiggles Mon 01-Apr-13 08:14:37

We did this - moved out in April, DS1 born start of July, moved back in in August. House was completely gutted, rewired, replumbed and reroofed.

In retrospect it was perfect timing. DS1 was our first child so we had lots of time (those were the days!) to go shopping for things / be on-site at weekends. He was also a week late so I had three full weeks of maternity leave to sort out as much as possible. I was in a lighting shop when my waters broke!

A few tips:

1. You need a VERY GOOD builder or your stress levels will go sky high. You need someone who has their own plumber, electrician etc so you have to source as few tradesmen as possible. Going the direct labour route will break your heart.
2. Make a list of everything you need to choose / source / supply yourself (floors, bathrooms, kitchen, lighting, paint colours, door handles etc) and have them chosen / ordered well before your due date.
3. Be prepared that for most of the month after the baby is born you won't be able to do much house-related stuff (I ended up having to delegate the light buying to DH <looks unhappily at certain light fittings>)

I would just go for it. It won't get any easier once you have the baby. We are currently extending our house (and have moved out) and with two small DC and working full time it is 100 times harder to be involved.

RubyrooUK Mon 01-Apr-13 08:26:26

We did this while living in the house. Total renovation - from floor joists to ceilings, from rewriting to rebuilding walls, from new bathrooms to new sash windows. We moved in when I was 38 weeks pregnant with DS1 and finished when I was 30 weeks pregnant with DS2 (two and a half years later).

It's really hard and exhausting but won't be easier when you have children. I went back to work full time after DS1 was 9 months old; it was also very expensive. DS1 found the last stage of work (when he was two) upsetting to see his house ripped apart so it would have been better if we hadn't had to live here.

To me, the key thing is that you'll be renting elsewhere. It will still be stressful but not nearly as bad. And maternity leave gives you a chance to be much more devoted to researching fittings etc than if you were working.

staverton Mon 01-Apr-13 12:44:29

Yes I would.
But I wouldn't do it with 2 preschool children and pregnant ( and then a baby) as we did.

cooper44 Mon 01-Apr-13 12:48:33

yes i would and have done this. I totally agree with Melanie get a brilliant builder who will arrange everything for you.
You'll still have to make a gazillion decisions about everything probably but as long as you know there is someone totally on it in charge of everyone it will be fine.
and you're not living there so that's great - I don't think I could deal with all the mess plus a new baby.

vez123 Mon 01-Apr-13 14:37:11

Renovating with a newborn must be so much easier than renovating with a toddler!! Going to hardware stores on weekends chasing a two year old rather than picking taps or tiles is not fun. Last trip to homebase ended with a trip to A&E after DS ran into a display unit (he was fine in the end).
What bliss just having a baby in the sling or pram needing the occasional feed.
Go for it before DC gets bigger!
Especially if you can afford to rent rather than live in the place it sounds comparatively easy envy
Good luck!

HappyAsASandboy Mon 01-Apr-13 14:53:57

Yes, you can do it. Particularly if you're not living in it.

We're 4 years into ours (expecting another 2 years ish) and had twins 2 years ago! There have been a few shuffles in the order of things to accommodate babies (prioritising floors up before they could walk etc!), but mostly you just buy a lot of stairgates and treat the house as 'house' zones and 'building site' zones, keeping toddlers out of building sites using stairgates smile

It is always stressful. Newborns are stressful, toddlers are stressful, houses are stressful. You'll regret renovating at points anyway, so you might as well have timing to blame for the stress grin

Good luck!

Toptack Mon 01-Apr-13 16:04:38

Thank you for all your advice, at least now i know we're not bonkers to consider it... although I feel I should have disclosed the fact we will have a toddler in tow too! The move into rented is probably going to be unavoidable anyway (we are relocating to the opposite end of the country) so now seemed as good a time as any to get stuck into a renovation project, then soon-to-be DC2 popped onto the radar and it all got more complicated! I'm not working now so hoping to get as much done as possible prior to the birth (due in Sept). Will builders be prepared to have an informal chat with us before we actually purchase a property? Ideally I would like to be 110% sure that we have adequate finances in place before we have an offer accepted.

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