As a designer and having entered the remodeling industry fresh out of college, I never imagined my first (… and second) experience of living through a remodel would be while I was pregnant. For many of us, pregnancy brings on a whole new world of emotions, excitement, and well … nesting. If you are planning on remodeling before your little one arrives, here are a few tips to keep yourself, your baby and your mind safe and sound.
1.) MUST HAVE : GREAT DUST PROTECTION
Great dust protection is a must-have for many reasons, but when you’re pregnant and growing your newest family member, it’s imperative. It’s no secret that the EPA came out with requirements for Lead-Safe practices for all contractors to follow, and for good reason. Lead was commonly used in paint for residential use prior to 1978 and has been linked to behavioral problems, reduced IQ and learning disabilities. Every contractor is required to provide all homeowners and tenants the Renovate Right pamphlet, no matter when your home was built. At Case, we take pride in our Lead-Safe work practices and take indoor air quality while renovating seriously– zippered dust doors are installed at the entryways to the affected space(s); temporary vasqueen dust walls are installed to seal off as much dust as practical from adjacent areas; HVAC registers are sealed to prevent as much dust from entering into the HVAC system as possible; and Case uses Hepa Filtration 360 Air Purifying Units on most all projects.
For more information about laws surrounding Lead Safe work practices, visit the EPA’s website.
2.) PLAN AHEAD!
Make sure to have a plan, selections and materials ordered and a contractor who understands the plans, and all of your goals (…ahem TIME…) prior to swinging a hammer! The last thing you want to be doing while pregnant is running around town trying to track down a cabinet, cabinet pull, hardwood floor stain or that striking accent tile you knew you should have ordered the moment you saw it. You (will) have bigger and more important (little) things to be thinking about. Having all of your selections lined up, ordered and on site prior to the start of construction will help to make the most of your time (and your contractor’s time) while under production, and alleviate any stresses that may come from that 40 (or less) week timer that inevitably awaits.
3.) ZERO VOC PRODUCTS
If you’re anything like me when I was pregnant, patience was a virtue that was thrown out the window the minute I knew our little one was on the way. I thought “Oh boy! I get to take some aggression out and help with demo”, then, as I would walk through the construction site to see what the guys were up to, you know… get my hands dirty, my husband (who also works for Case and was leading the project construction) would <calmly> lead me back out of the room and back to the protected sanctuary on the other side of the dust wall. So what did I do? I went straight upstairs and started painting. Long and short, if you’re impatient and need to get your hands dirty, make sure you’re handling products with low or NO VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). Both our children’s rooms were painted with Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint which has zero VOC’s and I was able to feel like I was contributing to more than, well… a child to the process.