How Much? UK Grandparents face £300 million bill repairing damage caused by their grandchildren

It’s common knowledge that grandparents enjoy treating their grandchildren, but new research commissioned by developer David Wilson Homes highlights the hidden costs grandparents face when babysitting their grandchildren: paying for damaged property caused by their offspring’s tiny tearaways.

Based on 1,001 responses from grandparents across the UK who care for children aged between one and nine years old, it was discovered that the annual cost of repairing and replacing broken property amounts to a staggering £301,260,016!

Spilt food, drawn on walls and broken ornaments

It will come as no surprise that the most common form of damage was spilt food and drink on carpets and soft furnishings (65.49%), followed by drawing and painting on walls (14.64%) and broken ornaments (6.63%).

And although uncommon occurrences, there were instances of far more severe damages that will amount to a hefty bill! Notably ten cases of smashed television screens, eight cases of broken windows, six cases of broken beds and one case of a murdered pet fish!

Living rooms hit hardest

In terms of where the damage takes place, the living room suffers the most with 30.20% of reported incidents, followed by the garden in second (16.84%) and the kitchen in third (11.99%).

While cases of damages caused in garages were rare (1.37%), this was the location for the highest average cost of damages, coming in at an eye-watering £175.38! Taken as a whole, per grandchild, grandparents face average repair costs of £85.23 per room due to the amount of damage caused.

The table below highlights the top five rooms where damage is caused:

Room Damage Average cost of damage
Living Room 30.20% £65.01
Garden 16.84% £43.51
Kitchen 11.99% £74.61
Bathroom 10.62% £66.54
Dining Room 8.80% £72.05


It’s true – Boisterous Boys cause more damage than Girls

With regards to which gender causes the most damage, boisterous boys cost almost 20% more than girls, with the average repair cost per room for the former totaling £78.11 compared to £62.46 for the latter.

The worst age group for damage and expense is four to six years of age.

Age Group Damage Average cost of damage
1-3 31.11% £60.68
4-6 42.82% £87.86
7-9 27.64% £62.32


Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Barratt Homes said:

“The research was just a bit of fun but does highlight the hidden cost to grandparents from looking after their grandchildren. Parents are well used to crayons being scrawled on walls and windows being broken with balls, but as grandparents increasingly help out with childcare so their homes are taking a knock once again.”

For more information on this survey and to view the full set of results, please visit:

%d bloggers like this: