My husband and I bought our current home just prior to having kids, and we knew going into it that we'd inevitably need to make some changes once we introduced children into the mix. Fast forward a number of years, and we've definitely made our share of updates -- and not necessarily ones we wanted -- to create an environment that's kid-friendly and safe. Here are a few home updates you might need to make once you have little ones underfoot.
1. Carpet flooring instead of wood
There's nothing like the classic look of hardwood to enhance a home. But once you have kids, be prepared to say goodbye to some of it. If your children tend to run and bounce around a lot, you may want to install carpet in their bedrooms, as well as in common areas or playrooms. That way, they're less likely to get injured if they happen to fall head-first onto the floor.
Along these lines, it pays to install carpet or a runner on your staircase if you have more than one level in your home. Even when kids aren't horsing around, they're still prone to stumbles, and since carpet is harder to slip on, it's a safer bet for stairs on the whole.
2. A more secure banister
Putting in a runner isn't the only change you might need to make to your staircase. You may need to upgrade to a more sturdy, secure banister once your kids are old enough to walk independently. There's a good chance they'll tug on that banister constantly, so if it's flimsy, you could find yourself with damage or, worse yet, an injury.
3. A fence around your pool -- or your entire backyard
If your property has a swimming pool, putting a fence around it is practically a must once kids come into the picture. And even if you don't have a pool, it could still pay to put up a fence, especially if you have a larger yard. That way, you'll be able to breathe more easily when you're playing outside and your kids go off running in different directions.
4. A finished basement
One thing I've realized since having children is that they come with a lot of stuff. I prefer to not have that stuff in my living room, dining room, and all over my house, so for that reason, my husband and I opted to finish our basement and convert part of it to a large play space for our kids. If you have children, you may eventually feel compelled to do the same, and while it is a potentially large expense, having that finished space could come in very handy down the line -- like if you decide to take in a tenant after your kids grow up and move out.
It's no secret that kids are expensive -- they cost you money in food, clothing, medical bills, and daycare, just to name a few things. But as a homeowner, you should prepare for the possibility that they might cost you money in renovations or updates, too. And if you plan on some or all of these projects in advance, you can be less stressed and better prepared when the time comes to actually pay for them.