With a baby on the way, the idea of renovating your home might be the last thing on your mind.
Most parents-to-be have probably thought about designing a charming nursery, but upgrading other key areas like the kitchen, flooring and bathroom will be beneficial for the whole family. Not only do these renovations allow your growing family to better enjoy your home, they also have some of the highest returns on investment.
To help finance these upgrades, the TD Home Equity FlexLine gives homeowners access to credit that’s secured against the equity of their home, which means the interest rate remains low. This line of credit is useful for renovations both big and small, as well as unexpected home repairs.
While top-to-bottom renovations can be stressful and costly, a few upgrades ensure your house is safe, secure and comfortable for a new baby. Here are three upgrades that will make your home more kid-friendly.
Kid-proof your kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of every home, so make sure it’s fit for the whole family. Open layouts are great for kitchens with small children since they allow parents and children to be together while dinner is being prepped or tidying up afterwards.
Consider knocking out dividing walls, like between the kitchen and the dining room, to accommodate a large table and extra space for roaming toddlers. If you have the square footage, think about adding an island. It’ll give you some more storage space, which is crucial in a kitchen, and it’ll also offer a space for the kids to do homework.
While it may be tempting to pick out trendy tile, cabinets and countertops, keep everything neutral and durable. For example, butcher-block countertops will give you a chic country cottage look, but it requires a bit of maintenance that might be too much upkeep for busy parents. The kitchen is the most hardworking room in the house, so do your research when choosing new cabinetry and appliances to ensure you shop within your budget and needs.
Invest in hardwood floors
Although carpeting was once the norm in most homes, more and more families are choosing hardwood flooring instead. Dust, mold, mildew and pet dander can get locked into carpet fibres and trigger asthma and allergies in children. New carpeting is also made with harsh chemicals like formaldehyde and phthalates, which can increase the potential of allergens. Choose hardwood floors instead; they’re easy to clean, sturdy and timelessly stylish.
In playrooms, family rooms and nurseries, soft flooring can make playing more comfortable and cushion potential falls. That’s where eco-friendly area rugs come in. Look for rugs made of natural fibres like organic cotton and wool, with non-toxic backings made of materials like natural latex. Finally, find out if the rug was treated with any chemicals that could emit volatile organic compounds.
Update the bathroom
One of the smallest rooms of the house is also one of the most important. If you have multiple bathrooms, it makes sense to designate one for the kids that will adapt as they grow. First off, pick long-lasting materials. Rather than granite for the countertop, which can be easily scuffed or stained, try quartz, which looks similar but is more hard-wearing. Pick a durable tile that won’t become slippery when wet, like a textured porcelain.
Next, invest in renovations that offer long-term solutions. For example, if you’re replacing the vanity, opt for a standard-height countertop instead of lowering it for youngsters. A non-slip stool will give them the extra inches they need to reach the faucet until they’re tall enough. Also consider installing a handheld showerhead. It’s helpful when bathing young children, and is it’ll come in handy when it’s time to clean the tub.
There are lots of small upgrades that will make your space more kid-friendly. A safe family is the most important thing in the world; invest now so that your house can support you as you grow together.