By: Libby MacCarthy
Consider these expenses before you start swinging the sledgehammer.
Whether you're restoring an older home or finally giving your kitchen the upgrade it deserves, renovations mark an exciting period in every homeowner's life. That said, embarking on a home reno project isn't always smooth sailing. The reality of the matter (and don't let it discourage you!) is that remodels can be messy and don't exactly score high on the convenience scale.
Staying on budget is something we all strive for, but more often than not, unexpected expenses send your bottom line into the red. Being realistic and communicating constantly with your contractor (if you've hired one) are critical in order to avoid hidden costs. Here, we're sharing a few hidden remodeling costs to help you save some cash and pull-out-your-hair frustration.
Bringing Your Home Up to Code
If you've purchased an older home, no matter how well-built it may be, there's a chance you'll come across a few details that aren't up to code (shoddy wiring or plumbing, asbestos, etc ). It's an added expense, but one that you'll have no choice but to shell out for. Ultimately, it will make your home safer and prevent bigger problems down the line. Go into the renovation knowing this sort of thing might pop up and you may need to reprioritize your list of to-dos. Note which renovations are non-negotiables and those you're willing to save for later down the line if necessary.
Damage Caused by Pests and Rot
While some types of damage are obvious, others won't reveal themselves until after you've pulled up the flooring or opened up the walls. Pests, like termites, and rot or water damage caused by leaking pipes or roofs can do a serious number on your home and add money to your remodel fast.
Surprise Structural Changes
According to Consumer Reports, unplanned structural changes resulting from a beam's lack of structural integrity or discovering that a wall can, indeed, be removed have the potential to increase your budget by 10 to 15 percent—not exactly ideal if you're trying to save some cash. Instead of leaving everything to chance, explore different options with your contractor before work begins to get a clear idea of potential costs.
If you're remodeling your kitchen, making your own meals during the renovation period might be out of the question, especially if you aren't able to plug your appliances in elsewhere. If your contractor or remodeler isn't able to create a temporary kitchen for you for the duration of the remodel, you'll need to increase your budget to cover the cost of ordering food or going out to eat. If you have access to a mini fridge, toaster oven, crockpot or hot plates, you may be able to cut down on the amount of money you spend eating out by making more simple meals.
During the remodel your furry friends might need to fly the coop. Boarding pets or asking a friend or family member to dog or cat sit during the process will keep pets safe and allow your work crew to get the job done without having to worry about whether or not your cat crawled into the wall.
Tools, Supplies and Rental Fees
If you decided to tackle the remodel yourself, we give you many props. While this can certainly save you some money, you should consider the cost of tools (the contents of your trusty tool box just aren't going to cut it), supplies, a dumpster, gas and truck rentals before saying sayonara to the idea of hiring a contractor. While you'll pay for labor and your contractor's know-how, you won't need to dish out more money to haul things around or for supplies you may not need later. If you're going at it alone, budget an extra $1,500 to cover these costs.
If you can't stay in your home during the renovation or need to store your belongings to room for your contractor and his crew, you'll need to consider costs for moving and storing. Budget to spend a few nights in a hotel if the unexpected makes your home uninhabitable (your contractor finds asbestos or accidentally hits an electrical line), as well as storage facilities to house your things until your reno is complete.