A straightforward guide to home improvement for single mums

When you’re a single mother, you often must play the role of both parents, even if you share joint custody of your children with your ex-partner or have support from friends and family members.

Sometimes, it can feel like you have no time for yourself or your surroundings when every waking second is spent picking up after your children, chauffeuring them back and forth, helping them with homework, and much more. 

Due to this, you might not have noticed the paint in the living room flaking off in patches or the caulk around the bath starting to peel until it’s too late. But when juggling cooking, cleaning, helping, entertaining, and other kid-related stuff, it can be challenging enough to have a five-minute shower, let alone do some home improvement tasks! So, it’s understandable that some jobs have slipped unnoticed; however, they can’t be put off forever. 

Fortunately, no matter how impossible it may sound, there are ways to complete home improvement projects, even when it’s your turn to watch the kids. We hear you screaming at your laptop screen; how? Don’t worry, we have some suggestions for you!

Im this article we outline several methods in our guide to home improvement for single mums, including everything from enlisting the services of reputable carpenters and joiners near you to getting your kids involved.

Seek the help of knowledgeable professionals 

Those who have undergone home improvement projects can attest that despite the excitement they bring, for a couple of weeks (or however long your project will take), home improvement projects can make you feel like you’re living in chaos. Dust, debris, tools, dustsheets, and new faces trudging in and out of your home all day, your completion date can soon feel like it can’t come soon enough! 

Add children running around the place, distracting people, picking tools up, and trailing dust from one room to the next, and you’ll soon start wishing you’d never begun this home improvement project. To avoid this, we’re sure that you’ll want to make the process as straightforward as possible so that you avoid complications and complete the intended work promptly. 

One of the best ways to do so is by enlisting the help of local carpenters and joiners and other relevant tradespeople so that you take the pressure off yourself (and give yourself more time to occupy your children!). But, if you’ve neglected your home improvement tasks for a while, you might wonder how to find such people.

Availing professional painting services can transform your home or business space into a work of art. If you are living in Pittsburgh, it is best to hire Pittsburgh exterior house painters. With skilled painters at your service, you can revitalize your walls with a fresh coat of paint that not only enhances aesthetics but also provides protection. Whether you’re looking to create a cozy atmosphere with warm, inviting colors or make a bold statement with vibrant hues, painting professionals can bring your vision to life. 

Be it asking friends or family for recommendations or using the newspaper’s advertisement section – there are various ways to find knowledgeable professionals.

Alternatively, you could consider using online directories like MyBuilder, which uses a unique matchmaking system to pair you with the relevant tradesperson depending on your job advert. Whether you need a plumber, a roofer, or a carpenter in the area, consider using their site the next time you need a job done. 

Get your children involved 

Whether you’re washing up, cooking a spaghetti bolognese, or typing away at your laptop, when you have kids, it becomes almost second nature to have a second pair of tiny hands trying to ‘help you’ with whatever task you’ve set to mind.

Although it can be annoying to have your six-year-old trying to help you do your tax return for the year, when it comes to nipping the vacuum around the living room – it can be handy having a second (or third) pair of hands from time to time.

According to studies, children are born with an instinct to help others, which is why they’re so quick to offer themselves up to do the tasks that would make most of us roll our eyes with boredom. As well as helping us get minor jobs out of the way, allowing your children to help you fold the laundry, dust the living room table, and butter a slice of toast can help your child’s development, social skills, and much more. 

And who are we to deny Mother Nature? Therefore, as you’re working towards completing your home improvement project, don’t be afraid to let your children get involved (so long as they’re supervised!). Now we’re not advising you to let your children go wild with a hammer and nails; instead, delegate jobs appropriate for their age, allowing them to get involved and feel satisfied knowing they’ve helped a parent. 

For instance, if you have a child above the age of thirteen, you could ask them to help you with moving/holding items and more hands-on jobs like painting.

On the other hand, if you have a child below the age of ten, you could ask them to read the instructions aloud to you, pass objects, and much more. Yet, this depends on the type of home improvement job you’re undertaking and for anything more serious, we suggest leaving it to the professionals! 

Consider the safety of you and your children 

Having work completed on your house can leave your property looking like a building site for a couple of days/weeks/months. As local carpenters and joiners will tell you, a building site is no place for children or pedestrians due to the higher risk of accidents, which is why it’s a good idea to consider the safety of you and your children while the work is taking place. 

From slips, trips and falls to accidents while carrying, handling, or lifting items – various threats and accidents can happen while on a building site. As a parent, one of your primary duties should be protecting your children from harm, so if you intend to stay in your home while your home improvement project is carried out, you must put precautions in place. 

If you’re going to enlist the services of carpenters and joiners near you, it is imperative that you instruct your children to stay away from them and the area where they will be working to ensure their safety. Ensure that you tell your children everything about the project and stress the importance of safety, so they aren’t tempted to disobey your instructions. 

On the other hand, if you’re completing the work yourself, ensure that you lead by example and protect your hands, head, and feet with the appropriate safety gear.

This could be wearing a hard hat, steel-toed boots, goggles, dust masks and long-sleeved shirts. Doing so will ensure your children develop safety habits, which will blossom from seeing you practice them first-hand.

Research affordable ways to improve your house 

Not only can motherhood take away some of your freedom, but it can also cause your financial freedom to suffer. According to research, single-parent households in the UK have the lowest net wealth of all groups, making disposable income incredibly hard to come by. Due to this, it can be challenging for single parents to afford the necessities and keep their houses looking nice. 

However, just because it’s challenging doesn’t mean there aren’t ways around it. Your home improvement goals might have been a more spacious living room or a loft extension. Still, if money is tight, you might consider researching alternative ways of achieving similar results without the high price tag.

For instance, if you’d like to make a room look more spacious without the cost of knocking a wall down, you could consider adding a lighter coat of paint, removing doors, or using mirrors as a more cost-effective way of achieving the same effect.

Replacing old and outdated hardware, such as table legs is another inexpensive update as well! Swapping out furniture legs for a more modern or stylish option can give your furniture a fresh new look without the need to buy a completely new piece. Doing so ensures that your budget doesn’t suffer while allowing you to follow your home improvement goals!