When your family grows, it is a joyful time, but also a very busy time. There is a lot to consider when you are bringing another life into your home.
Of course, the most important thing is that the pregnancy itself goes well. In most cases, even if you are healthy and there are no risk factors involved, you’ll still need to see your doctor once a month for the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Even after that point, there will be a lot to keep in mind health-wise as a pregnancy progresses.
That’s to say nothing of the state of your home. If you can, take some time to think about how your living space will accommodate family growth.
As your family grows, your home may need to change as well. You might find you don’t have enough space or need to re-imagine how you’re using the space you already have. Things like additions and remodels can be ways to better prepare your home for family growth.
If your family is about to grow, check out these 8 ways you can prepare your home.
1. Consider Your Current Floor Plan
When you are thinking about expanding your family, you might need to think about expanding your home to match. Perhaps you already have a home and are comfortable making changes to it. Perhaps you are looking for the perfect place for you and your family to live.
The specifics of your circumstances will change how you think about family growth. If you are in the early stages of buying or looking for a home, you could invest in custom floor plans that will precisely meet your needs. This is a more difficult service to get once you already have a home that you’ve been living in for a while. It is easier to customize things from the get-go rather than retroactively.
When considering your floor plan, a key area to focus on is the bedrooms. Are there enough of them? How much do you anticipate your family growing? If you have clear plans in mind, you can work around those. If you don’t, you may want to round up. Running out of space is a bigger issue than having too much space.
You also need to consider the long term. How will your family’s needs change over time? A baby has very different needs in terms of bedrooms and space than a teenager, for example. That’s something that will only become more important over time.
If these projects sound overwhelming, consider a home loan to help you pay for the space you need to accommodate your family growth.
2. Figure Out If You Need an Addition
Even with all the careful planning in the world, life can throw you a curveball. It’s a good idea to plan and prepare, but you should also always expect the unexpected. Life has a way of shaking up even the best-laid plans.
Ensure you have some flexibility in your planning around family growth by considering home additions. You don’t need to commit to anything right away, but a home addition can be a great way to be flexible as your needs change over time.
Perhaps you planned for one child but now have two. An addition can be a way to get more space when you suddenly need it. Or maybe it’s just that your family needs more space over time. If you’re finding that you’re suddenly feeling cramped, an addition can be a great way to add a playroom or other space that can alleviate that.
3. Make Sure the Roof Is in Good Repair
Expanding is one thing, but it does not address all the issues that come up with you are thinking about family growth and your home. You also need to think about the current state of your home.
This includes things like routine repairs and maintenance, including the roof. The roof is a very important location for maintenance. It takes a pretty hard beating from weather and time, yet it also protects you and your family from those elements.
Every roof needs replacement eventually. If you aren’t sure how old your roof is, you may want to go take a look at it before it reaches a critical state. A damaged roof can mean leaks, which can cause things like mold growth. You might also see pests sneaking inside and using your home for themselves due to a convenient hole or gap in the roof.
Prevent all these complications by getting residential roof restoration before it becomes an urgent concern. You can even do some of this kind of work on your own if you have the tools to do so. If you can safely get up on your roof, you can make simple repairs like replacing cracked shingles and fixing glue. This work can be dangerous, however, so always contact a professional if you are unsure.
4. Expand the Kitchen
Don’t overlook the kitchen when thinking about family growth. The kitchen will get much heavier use as your family grows. That can increase over time as well. Family meals take a lot more space and preparation than cooking for just one or two people.
This could be a great opportunity to get the kitchen of your dreams, if you are a person who enjoys cooking and baking. Kitchen remodelers can help you get set up with better equipment and a better space for all your foodie dreams. You could get an island installed for food prep and extra eating space. That can add extra seating as well as more room for preparing food.
You should consider more than just fancy new appliances, however. An exposed knife rack is fine when it’s just adults living in the house, but when there are children around, suddenly that knife rack becomes dangerous. A kitchen remodel to accommodate family growth is about more than just improving the space. It’s also about making it safer, as kitchens contain many elements that could end up being hazardous for small children.
You also might want to consider cabinets. How easy is it for children to reach those cabinets? Do you need child safety locks on them? Young children can get in a lot of danger by rummaging around through cabinets unsupervised.
These new considerations will crop up as your family grows. You need to think about safety and not just functionality. The kitchen is one of the top places to have those concerns in mind.
5. Check on Your Heating and Cooling System
Your growing family will put increased demand on your heating and cooling system. Whether you have window units, an HVAC system or something else entirely, you will definitely want to make sure your system is up to snuff when you’re considering family growth.
Maybe you don’t really have air conditioning at all, for example. This is fine for now, but if you have a new baby in the house that can suddenly be dangerous. Very hot temperatures might be dangerous for a newborn baby. You should consider the weather where you live and how that could affect a very young child.
The same goes for the heating. Extremely cold temperatures can be dangerous for children. This is especially important at night. You might be asleep and warm and not realize that your baby is too cold.
If you think you might need to update your heating or cooling, air conditioning contractors in your area can help assess your needs and get you set up. You may find your existing system is fine but needs some cleaning and repair. Or you may discover that what you’re using now simply isn’t going to be able to keep up with an increase in demand due to family growth. That’s something you definitely want to fix early to ensure your home is ready for your expanded family.
6. Fix or Add a Fence
As children grow up, they start to run around and play outside on their own. You will want a fence long before that day comes. That’s why we recommend considering fencing installation while you’re thinking about family growth.
A fence can offer your home and family protection. It not only can help keep your kids safely indoors. It can also help keep other people out. You can rest easy knowing your children are safe when they’re playing in the back yard.
If you already have a fence, you might want to make sure it is in good repair. Like the roof, the fence takes a beating from the elements. Boards can weaken over time, becoming loose or breaking altogether. Now is the time to fix up your fence so that you can be sure your family is protected.
There are also areas that might require extra fencing. If you have a pool, you definitely want a fence around it to keep young children from wandering in on their own. Even your garden might be worth fencing off if it has anything sharp or dangerous inside it.
7. Do Routine Repairs
In the above tips, we’ve mentioned some repairs, but it’s worth restating. If you have routine repairs and maintenance to take care of, now is the time to get it handled. You don’t want to wait too long and suddenly find yourself trying to juggle the responsibilities of your newly expanded family right alongside the responsibilities of house maintenance.
Plumbing and electric are two great places to start if you aren’t sure where to begin. Your plumbing will see increased demand due to family growth. More people always means more stress on these kinds of systems, so if you have any kinds of issues with plumbing get those cleared up ASAP.
You also might have a bathroom that you aren’t using right now. Ensure the plumbing is working well there, too, since it may suddenly get used a lot more often.
When it comes to the electric, this can be a safety concern. It too will likely see more demand because of family growth. You wouldn’t want to find out there’s some sort of issue or danger too late. If there are any concerns around your electrical system, get electrical repair before your family expands. This can help keep your family safe as well as accommodate expanded needs.
There are plenty of other areas that might also require some maintenance. Maybe your floor is old and creaky. Maybe your driveway is cracked. Maybe your windows are drafty. Houses require a lot of upkeep, but do what you can before your family expands so that you can focus on what really matters.
8. Make Sure the Water Works
Speaking of repairs, check on the water. The water impacts a lot of other systems, including your plumbing and your heating and cooling. It is important not only to make sure it’s working but also to repair any damage you might have.
For example, you might have water damage from a natural disaster or simply a leak in your roof or pipes. You should invest in water damage cleanup before your family expands. Family growth will only put more demand on this system. That can lead to damage getting worse. You don’t want to expose your family to mold before of water that wasn’t repaired and cleaned up properly.
You could have the opposite problem, however, where water isn’t getting out. Maybe you have some pipes that are clogged up. It’s a good idea to get help with drain line cleaning before the problem is exacerbated any further. This can also lead to leaks and water damage in and around your home.
No matter how your family is expanding, now is a good time to think about how family growth will affect your home. It’s never too early to start getting prepared for your new, bigger family. As much as this is a joyful time, it is also a good time to assess your home, your needs, and your challenges. By being prepared, you can focus on the stuff that matters most -– the joy that your expanded family will bring you.