How To Baby-Proof Your Home on a Budget
Your baby is about to be on the move, and you’re terrified they’re going to get hurt. Since you can’t pad your entire home in bubble wrap, it’s time to start child-proofing.
You’re committed to doing a really thorough job, however, you’re hoping to accomplish this without breaking the bank.
Generally speaking, you can expect to spend around $410 to child-proof your entire home, according to HomeAdvisor. Costs vary by several factors, such as the size and specific attributes of your home — i.e., features like stairs and a swimming pool will drive the price up.
While you can’t do anything about the baby-proofing needs of your home, you can save money by handling the process on your own, instead of hiring a professional. Expect to save around $75 per project by completing the installation on your own, according to HomeAdvisor.
Of course, if you are unable to safely and correctly install devices on your own, you should absolutely outsource the project.
Bill Samuel, a licensed general contractor and father of two young daughters knows a thing or two about baby-proofing.
“One of the biggest concerns I had when our girls started crawling around were the electrical outlets around the house,” said Samuel, who is also a full-time residential real estate developer and owner of Chicago-based homebuying company Blue Ladder Development. “Since most of the outlets are accessible when they are crawling around on the floor, we wanted to figure out a way to prevent them from sticking their finger in an outlet and hurting themselves.”
To combat this issue, he and his wife replaced all of their existing electrical outlets with new tamper-resistant outlets.
“[They] have spring loaded shutters on them that close the slots when a plug is removed,” he said. “The shutters of the outlet will only open when both springs are compressed at the same time.”
A 10-pack of these outlets costs $11.27 at Home Depot.
Many other baby-proofing items are also relatively inexpensive, but they can add up fast. For example, safety locks average $2 per lock and doorknob covers cost approximately $2 per cover, according to HomeAdvisor. Some of the more expensive items include an average of $200 for an anti-scald valve and roughly $20 per square foot for pool fencing.
Beyond handling installation yourself — when you’re sure you can do so safely — the best way to save money on baby-proofing is shopping around for the deals. Starting the process as early as possible will allow you to purchase items when they’re on sale, instead of waiting until there’s an imminent need.
This will ensure you’re able to buy the highest-quality items, as this isn’t an area where you want to cut corners.
In some cases, you can also save money by purchasing second-hand items or accepting hand-me-downs from family and friends. Just be sure to check for product recalls and ensure you have access to the instruction manual to ensure the product is safe to use and installed correctly.
This can help you save a considerable amount of money. For example, baby gates at Target start at $14.99, so if you need several, buying each one brand new can be costly.
Ultimately, you can’t put a price on the safety of your children. Accidents — unintentional injuries — are one of the leading causes of death for children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While it is very possible to baby-proof your home on a budget, don’t opt out of hiring a professional when needed or choose subpar products to save money. Taking advantage of sales and searching for coupon codes to collect quality items before you need them offers the best of both worlds, as you’ll be able to get at least some of the products you need at a discount.
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