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5 Unexpected Costs of Home Renovations

costs of home renovations

As we look towards a new year,  updating and renovating your home may be on your list of goals. Have you considered all of the costs of home renovations? You may be looking towards a coming tax refund with plans to use it to renovate an outdated kitchen or bathroom. If you need to repair or upgrade exterior features of your home, it’s important to realize that there are often surprise expenses in any renovation. These expenses can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. The best way to protect yourself from this added cost is to include a place in your budget for unexpected expenses. Here is a look at some of the most common expenses homeowners are faced with when they begin home renovations.

5 Surprise Costs of Home Renovations You May Not Expect

Meeting Existing Building Codes

Since building codes are often modified or changed, any home renovations require that you meet local guidelines. As a result, you might need to pay for more than just your original changes. This is particularly true if your home is older. Electrical and plumbing codes and regulations are almost certainly different than they were years ago, and there may be modifications you didn’t expect to bring your outdated systems up to modern code. The best way to accurately plan for this type of expense is to get a quote from a qualified professional who understands the requirements of meeting existing building codes.

Fixing Unexpected Problems

You never know what you are going to discover once you begin to tear down a wall or modify existing plumbing or electrical systems. It isn’t uncommon for issues like damaged subfloors, water damage, pest infestation, and electrical issues to be hiding. Obviously, you will need to remedy these issues, and you won’t know ahead of time to plan for them in your remodeling budget. This is why it is important to have extra funds set aside for the unexpected costs of home renovations.

Obtaining Needed Permits

Since you own your home, you might think that you can do whatever you want with it. Unfortunately, local governments typically require permits to complete the work before you begin. Depending on the number and type of changes that you are planning, your permits can add up to thousands of dollars. This is one of the costs of home renovations that people often forget to plan for. Make sure you have these needed expenses accounted for in your renovation budget.

Arranging for Trash Disposal

During the course of renovating your home, debris is sure to accumulate. How do you get rid of it? Even if the contractor agrees to assist you with the removal, local guidelines might require specialized equipment such as an oversized dumpster to do so. If you are undertaking a large renovation that will require a large amount of trash or debris, do yourself a favor and do some homework to plan for the logistics and cost of removing them before you start.

Repairing Shoddy Work

Any reputable contractor is going to tell you that it simply does not make sense to ignore shoddy work when it is discovered. Whether you are getting your floor or roof replaced, it is important to undo poorly implemented construction before you begin. As a result, the electrical repairs made by your uncle might need to be redone by a professional. Sometimes you don’t know the quality of the work that has previously been done, and it’s wise to have funds set aside for these unexpected costs of home renovations.

Whether you are planning a small remodeling project or a large renovation, the project is likely to cost you more than you originally planned. In some cases, the additional expense is minor but in other situations, it could add up to far more than you expected. Either way, to avoid the worry of how you will come up with funds to complete the work, it’s wise to pad your budget and include some additional money just in case the unexpected happens.

Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today.


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