Many renovations fall off the rails due to oversights of unplanned expenses. Do you think you have a firm understanding of all of the costs associated with your renow? They may go well beyond the cost of labour and materials for the job itself. Have you considered:
Hidden secrets. Few people know what secrets are hidden within their walls. Demolition could reveal a host of issues that could affect your estimated cost of renovation – mold, creepy crawly colonies, faulty plumbing or wiring, even structural issues! You will want to make sure you have a contingency fund for the what-if’s.
Building code requirements. Depending on where you live, you may face requirements to upgrade your renovated space to current codes. Some examples are wiring upgrades, smoke alarm systems and even energy and seismic upgrades. A bit of research before committing to a remodelling job is recommended.
Offsite storage. Tradespeople are not contortionists. In order for them to work effectively, you’ll need to store stuff that could be in the way. If you don’t have garage space, a basement, a willing friend with extra space (how many of those exist?!) you may have to rent a storage unit for the duration of the project. You’ll need to pad the timeframe a bit as well… Few renovations happen on schedule.
Utility expenses. Table saws, nail guns, paint sprayers and floor sanders all require power and that will add to your utility bills. Heavy traffic will mean frequent door-opening and that will increase your heating and cooling costs, especially during hot or cold weather.
Eating out. Particularly if your project includes a kitchen remodel, you will need to budget to eat out or by pre-prepared foods. When you are in the midst of construction clutter, it is often just a sanity-saver to eat out but these expenses add up quickly!
Creature comforts. Unless your contractor includes a pet-whisperer on staff, you may need to kennel pets during the most intensive phase of construction. This is a far better option than trying to find an escaped pet or deal with a new-found neurosis!
Dumpsters and port-a-potties. These are common expenses that are overlooked. Construction refuse has to be disposed of and this is rarely free. Likewise, unless you want your powder room to suffer some industrial traffic, a portable loo will ensure less disruption to your home.
Always think of your renovation as if Murphy’s Law is poised and ready and you will not find yourself stopping a project before completion just because things did not go perfectly and the budget ran out.
Finally, don’t forget that the expenses don’t stop when the job is complete. Major additions or updates can increase your home’s assessed value, filtering through to your tax bill. Assessment departments have ready access to building permit departments and that can lead to an increase in your assessed value. Of course you don’t want to do an unpermitted renovation to avoid your potential tax increase.