Pregnant through a Renovation--Share! — The Bump
February 2016 Moms

Pregnant through a Renovation--Share!

Hello : ) My DH and I are looking at houses and he is very set on buying a  house that he can update. The logic is that we can find a bigger home in a nicer neighborhood, which is true. I'm nervous about living in a house during a renovation while being pregnant (mainly because I can't help as much as I would like and the whole thing not being done before the baby is born--which honestly, it won't be.)  I'm a FTM and a bit nervous about the idea.  Everything would be mainly cosmetic (the house has wood paneling, carpet in the kitchen and bathrooms, etc.) But I'd like to know, have any of you survived a renovation while pregnant?  How did it go?

Re: Pregnant through a Renovation--Share!

  • We are in the middle of a complete refurbishment/rennovation of an old Georgian house - but we aren't living there or doing the actual work! It's around the corner from where we currently live, and the architect and contractor promised we'd be in by well before the new baby is born. Otherwise I'd be a little uneasy...
  • We are kind of doing this now, but more a redecoration- all new paint, crown moulding, all new furniture, new light fixtures, maybe new tile in the bathroom, etc. It is a little overwhelming and I have had to come to terms with the fact that it will not ALL be done before the baby comes. I'm trying to just focus on the most important things and remember that houses are just one ongoing project anyway. My bigger struggle is that I'm moving stuff out of my house into our current house now and it has been hard for me to not do as much as I would like to do. I generally like to do things myself and not have to ask for help, haha. I have been doing a lot but just not as much as I normally would. I'm totally Type A and honestly I think that this has been good for me because it's allowed me to just let go of some things that I would normally obsess over. I know this is a skill I definitely will need as a parent so I'm embracing it. ;)


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  • I'm going through this right now! My master bath is completely gutted (and has been for almost 3 months now). It's been taking so long because it's hard work and my hubs who is doing it himself has taken some time off. But he has kicked things into high gear this week and will be tiling the floor today. I'm hoping to have my bathroom back within a couple weeks or so. But it is a pretty huge inconvenience. Also our hardwood floor downstairs buckled and in order to get the insurance $ he had to rip it up. So now there is a huge hole in our hardwood, and the biggest problem with that is that it's an eyesore. After he finishes the bathroom he will be taking up the rest of the flooring downstairs and replacing it with tile. I don't expect that to be done until November.... but it better be because my baby shower is at my house on December 5th!

    Honestly it's not too bad, just inconvenient and stressful because I'm one of those people that obsesses about having a clean, put together house. My house is a pretty big mess right now (well, the affected rooms), and it's a little hard to relax. But I know that the outcome will be worth it.

    Probably the biggest problem with this is the fights that it has caused. My hubs really likes high end finishes and they are expensive! I often have to talk him down to a more mid-range product, and sometimes this does not go over well. And we fight when he says he is going to work on the projects on the weekend, and then goes to play golf, watch football, goes to a game, etc... those haven't been pretty. But I just try to remind myself that he needs a break from doing all the work too. After all, we are saving a lot of $ doing it ourselves. I just feel bad that I can't help too much- everything is so heavy and it's a lot of bending over!

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  • We'll be moving when I'm about 28 weeks along. The thought of moving all our stuff feels like a renovation but on top of that, we're actually finishing the basement of the home along with a few other things that need done. Luckily I'm not too worried because me being pregnant makes us feel not so guilty to ask for help.
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  • 22snc1222snc12 member
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Photogenic
    edited September 2015
    Living through one now!!! We have a toilet downstairs and shower upstairs lol. Not convenient for peeing at night!!! When we first had to move in last November, my son wasn't a year yet and I was still pumping/breastfeeding, and we actually didn't have a toilet for a few weeks. We also only had a mini fridge (no kitchen, it was down to the studs) so storing breastmilk was rough. Definitely was/is interesting. It's doable though.
  • I am also living through one right now. We had finished off our basement back in March and a few months later it flooded, so we had to gut everything we just put in. I cried haha. But we just finished all the drywalling and painting the entire basement and are now working on getting the carpet in so we can get our house back to normal. Our entire basement is off limits right now which sucks cause all the storage and furniture was moved upstairs so it's been a real pain. But it is manageable. Just a little bit more stress than I would like at the moment. It has gotten more difficult with me being pregnant cause I can't do a lot of the lifting I normally could so it has been more on my husband. So if you have people that are willing to help, don't be afraid to ask them! I hope it all goes well!
  • Sadly I too know the woes of remodeling while pregnant. We live in an old house and something always needs done. While I was pregnant with DS my H redid the bathroom -our only bathroom. At one point I actually had to walk to my parents (they live one house over) at night when I had to pee!

    Now we are putting an addition on. I have accepted it will not be done before LO Is born but as it was said before homeowning is constant upkeep. This is a much bigger project but I survived the last remodel and we will again.

    Drywall dust and mess are the only parts that really stress me out but it's manageable when you keep in perspective the outcome. It does cause more fights though so be prepared for that. It's so easy to get caught up on deadlines and ideally how we want stuff to go but with remodeling you have to be flexible or you will lose it!
  • We are in the middle of this now, too! This is actually our second fixer-upper, and we are 18 months in to our current one. Granted, we completed much of the huge projects (kitchen, floors, family room addition) prior to this pregnancy, but we've lived in the house the whole time. We also do the majority of work ourselves.

    I have to do a little less now (especially the heavy lifting), but I'm still able to come home from work and lift a hammer/paintbrush/shovel. In my opinion, this isn't the ideal time to start a whole house reno... Mostly because there tends to be TONS of dust and potentially getting into some nasty stuff (mold, BUGS), not to mention harmful fumes. And time... It will always take longer than you anticipate. Just be aware of what you're breathing and wear a mask, provide plenty of ventilation, and remove yourself from areas with harmful fumes.

    I'm assuming you are about halfway through your pregnancy and this time left is going to fly by. Keep in mind that it'll take time to find the house and close, so you'll be doing the work with a newbie. In which case I would recommend finishing the master bedroom and nursery first (you'll want a safe place for the babe and a place to relax after a long day of work).

    It certainly can be done! Just pace yourself and set realistic goals. Have you ever read Young House Love blog? They don't blog anymore, but they've had 2 babes throughout renovating 3 homes (while living in each) and creating quite a name for themselves. Check it out to give yourself a little confidence booster!
  • We just bought a house in august and have been renovating the entire house for the last 6 weeks. We aren't living in the house which is making it easier, but I definitely recommend do as much before the baby comes. I have 3 other children (6 and under) and it's almost impossible to accomplish anything with them lol
  • ... Just went through this. My grandma purchased the house her father built and we rent from her. The whole thing had to be gutted and renovated due to the last update being sometime in the late 60's. I wasn't pregnant when the project began so finding out about a month into demolishing the downstairs was a bit of a set back. It was hard but it also made the time fly by for me. I kept active and healthy and I think working on my house has helped me to keep in shape this time around and have a happier (though sometimes more stressful) first and second trimester. We aren't completely finished yet but I am happy to have worked on it even while being pukey and miserably tired. I would say follow your instincts. Just don't be afraid to say your tired and never overdo it. Take breaks, keep hydrated and let others work when you've reached your limit :) and because I want to be an attention whore for a sec I'll just post a photo of my recently done bathroom. It's heaven and was so worth the work!
    Good luck to you and your family no matter what you decide to do!
  • We've just done a major reno on the top floor, having done the basement ourselves. To be honest, with only four and a half months left I think you will be doing really well to buy a house and move in, let alone renovate it. During the reno there will inevitably be dust and nasty stuff around and it's very time consuming and stressful. I'd totally go for a house that needs updating, but plan on living with it for the first year as it is and updating it once you are settled with the baby. The one hole rule is also absolutely critical. This is the rule that you and h are only allowed to make one hole in the walls/ceiling at a time. Never two. If you want a second one you need to repair the first one first. Otherwise you will end up with holes all over the place and will take years to fix them all. Trust me on this one. It's also a good idea to pick one room and just with on that room until it is totally finished. Never start another room or your whole house will rapidly become uninhabitable. (Guess how I know these things!).
  • I used to be a residential Interior Designer and it was hard enough on clients to survive a renovation when they weren't pregnant/getting married/sick. You wouldn't believe the way people stress and panic over the things we had under control and when the bad surprises pop up, people never take it well. From my perspective I would wait to renovate until you feel at ease with the things you need to get accomplished before the baby comes. Obviously renovating with a newborn presents its own set of challenges! Best of luck to you!! I never have the desire to renovate a house after having to perform them for several years. It turns people crazy and I felt more like a counselor than a designer!
  • Right before my daughter was born, we had a major pipe burst and flooded a few rooms in our house. We had to gut those rooms, walls, ceiling and floors down to the studs. It was hell. The house was a mess and constantly dirty due to construction no matter how much I cleaned. It drove me crazy bc my desire to nest and be clean, organized, and ready for baby was a losing battle bc of the madness. Luckily the workers finished 3 days before my water broke but I never felt ready. So yes it is hard to live in a mess when pregnant. And then it's really hard to get anything done after baby is born. You would rather sleep if you have an extra minute.

    All that being said, keep looking at houses. If you find something that feels right and you can live with things not being perfect it might be worth it. Just try to have realistic expectations. Things always take longer and cost more than you expect. However, you will get through it and after awhile forget the madness. Finding a house you love with good bones is so important and it might take time. But when you find something you love, you'll know it. You might be willing to live with it the way it is for now if you love it. Good luck!
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