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Thread: Baby Gate--Any Suggestions?

  1. #1

    Default Baby Gate--Any Suggestions?

    Our seven and a half month old son has in the last six days begun to crawl. We have a staircase going down to our basement that desperately needs a baby gate now that the little guy is mobile.

    I don't want to just pick up a Walmart el-cheapo model. I'd like a nice, sturdy, custom gate that is hinged and has a proper latch. Our finishing is natural maple so of course that's the way I want to go. The staircase is drywalled so the mounting, etc. would have to attach to the studs.

    My questions are (a) what is the best way to locate someone to do this (we built here in Winterpeg 18 months ago and I'm not sure our finishing carpenter would still be available on short notice), (b) what the best method for doing this is (I have an idea of my own but know nothing about woodworking so won't embarass myself by sharing it), and (c) what you think the cost might be, not that it's a big deal but just for comparison purposes.

    Thanks for any suggestions anyone can provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Victoria, bc
    Posts
    137

    Default Baby Gate

    I was going to build a couple of gates myself, but when I started looking into it I decided against it. I wanted it to be as strong as possible and I could not see wood holding up as well as steel. The wife and I agree that these were well worth it at $60.00 each. They are not as pretty as maple would be, but they hold her weight at 2 now when she stands on them (we donít let her of course, but she tries).
    http://www.safety1st.com/product/detail.asp?ID=879


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    67

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    I have four of these wooden Evenflow gates http://www.amazon.com/Evenflo-Top-of.../dp/B00004YMZE, and I purchased another four for the grandparents. The gates I purchased all appear to be made of maple--one of them is actually curly maple! I’ve been more than happy with mine. Read some of the reviews.

  4. #4

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    I'll second the nomination of the wooden Evenflo gate. It is very sturdy and held up to all the abuse twin boys could throw at it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Ottawa
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    3,116

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I have four of these wooden Evenflow gates http://www.amazon.com/Evenflo-Top-of.../dp/B00004YMZE, and I purchased another four for the grandparents. The gates I purchased all appear to be made of maple--one of them is actually curly maple! Iíve been more than happy with mine. Read some of the reviews.
    This is what we used also. It does not look like much but it's rock solid. This is not the type of item you want to build on your own. There is so much testing and regulations for these things you want a proven item.
    Paul

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    759

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    I have four of these wooden Evenflow gates http://www.amazon.com/Evenflo-Top-of.../dp/B00004YMZE, and I purchased another four for the grandparents. The gates I purchased all appear to be made of maple--one of them is actually curly maple! Iíve been more than happy with mine. Read some of the reviews.
    Yep, we have a pair of them too, they work great. Ours are mounted to the studs at the top and bottom of the stairs. They come in a number of different sizes.

    A buddy of mine mounted the latches to a 1x3, then used zip-ties to attach it to the newel post on the one side of the stairs so he wouldn't have to drill into it. The hinge side was mounted into the studs in the drywall on the other side.

    If these are really built out of maple, a bunch of sanding and some oil finish will make them look much better.

    John

  7. #7

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    In our first house, a circa 1950ish house in Edmonton, the top of the basement stairs had a doorway with the door removed by the previous owner. I took the old door, cut it in half, capped it, and installed it in the opening, and it served us well until we moved.

    In our next house we had a carpet-covered set of stairs that ran up from the entry way to the upstairs - railings, but no door or doorway. Our son was by this point 18 months old, and he quickly taught himself to slide down the stairs (backwards) on his stomach, using his hands to slow himself down.

    When his brother came along, he taught him. And so on with #3 and #4, and so maybe we're just blessed, but we've managed to never need a baby gate. In fact, I've probably had the worst fall of the entire family when I slipped once on the carpet about halfway down.

    not advising anything, just telling my story...

    ...art

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    2,517

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    This empty nester has outgrown baby gate but the grandkids have a habbit of showing up almost daily, One almost 4 and another a little over 1 so for the past 3-4 years I have had this gate... With the older grandkids I used the compression /expandable gate that most have used. Hated it because of the inconvenience and it usually failed or fell down or marred the surface or was ugle or all of the above. So.... with the newer offspring I decided to build a better gate. I used the jam where a door had previously hung (going to the finished basement we took down the door years ago) I made the gate if 1 1/4 material that would span between the bottom and middle hinges (using the previous mortises for the door hinges) Of course I made the gate open in construction keeping it almost impossible for a child to climb over and still look attractive. I also incorperated a detail that fit with my wife's obsession with Pineapples. A simple screendoor hook fastens and has served well to deter crawlers, tottlers, and old dogs.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Bill "Hickory" Simpson

  9. #9

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    Thanks very much for your thoughts and advice everybody. Much appreciated!

  10. #10

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    Bill has a very nice looking and sturdy looking unit. The hook leaves something to be desired because children are fast learners and/or someone might forget to use it. I would be surprised if a reputable contractor would build a gate considering the possible liability, CSA and child safety regulations.
    Those children (I personally really hate the word "kids") are extremely valuable so forget the decor image and be absolutely sure that gate fully protects your treasure. Sturdy, self closing and self latching door, no areas for catching clothing etc. if they try to climb it. Check with your local authorities , and your insurance company , and find a web site for consumer reports.

    Hope this has not appeared offensive to anyone. I have seen bad decisions in this area and it ain't pretty.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Northern Kentucky, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phred View Post
    Bill has a very nice looking and sturdy looking unit. The hook leaves something to be desired because children are fast learners and/or someone might forget to use it. I would be surprised if a reputable contractor would build a gate considering the possible liability, CSA and child safety regulations.
    Those children (I personally really hate the word "kids") are extremely valuable so forget the decor image and be absolutely sure that gate fully protects your treasure. Sturdy, self closing and self latching door, no areas for catching clothing etc. if they try to climb it. Check with your local authorities , and your insurance company , and find a web site for consumer reports.

    Hope this has not appeared offensive to anyone. I have seen bad decisions in this area and it ain't pretty.

    Thanks for the compliment but the hook is very effective, the "Children" try reaching through the slats but can't reach the hook, the (almost) four year old is old enough to learn to get a stool and reach over but she can't open because the stool is in the way and by the time she gets the stool out of the way, etc. She is careful to re hook the gate to "Protect Lexie" she says. She is old enough to go up and down stairs un attended. As for the other tykes, Remember it is the responsibility of the adults in the house to monitor the children, the gate is just there to slow down their escape.

    BTW I raised a pair of nice Kids and taught thousands of kids ranging from 13 to 20 and have worked for kids as my boss, and along side kids I had in class years before. I have been accused of being and old age kid. I kid around a lot and the fellow next door to my daughter's place has a lot full of goats and expects to have a load of kids in the spring. I, however, don't plan to teach them, nor raise them, but my grandkids are great and I don't mind teaching or raising them, kids will be kids and it is the resposibility of the parents to know where their kids are at all times and monitor the movement of toddlers, carpet crawlers, and curtain climbers. What is wrong with kids? Kicks are for Kids! I used to have to wear Keds, when I was a Kid, I hated them, I always wanted Converse but couldn't afford them. But then I come from a family where we don't put a Value on our kids as they are considered Priceless! Children are offspring of those families who never know where they are because they are hanging out in the basement with my kids and being kids together. There is nothing wrong with being a kid or calling a kid a kid. Who has not worked in a place where the older workers referred to you as a kid, the kid, hey kid! Now they call me Pop or Dad but not one calls me Old Man because I am an OLD KID, Billy the Kid!!!! ; )
    Bill "Hickory" Simpson

  12. #12

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    Bill, I obviously touched a sensitive place and for that I apologize. I have always considered a kid to be a young goat and refering to the kid on the job was/is an attempt to lessen his/her importance and make the speaker feel superior.
    Anyway, look after those younguns. It would be dreadful to read on a cold granite stone that someone thought the hook was fine for this kid.

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