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Hidden Costs of Home Renovation

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Hidden Costs of Home Renovation

Any home renovation can be a major undertaking that comes with a considerable price tag.  If you’re planning a home renovation, let me stress the importance of planning.  Whether your project is something seemingly simple like a new fence or something more serious like a new kitchen, there are many considerations you need to make.  Maybe you’ve already started contacting contractors, designers, and architects or you’re thinking about your end-of-project goals and which materials and finishing elements you’d like, but you should also be aware of some hidden costs of home renovation.

Permits and Building Codes

Most home renovation projects require building permits and regular inspections to ensure the project is up-to-code.  If you’re working with a contractor who is telling you that permits aren’t necessary, proceed with caution.  Even if you’re doing interior work on your home, permits are a must!  Permits are essentially designed to outline building codes that must be met for any project while also protecting homeowners from unsafe construction.  Even decks and fencing will likely require permits and there will be a cost associated.  You’ll also have to factor in the cost of regular inspections.  Contact your municipality for more information about permits and their associated costs.

Living Costs

Sometimes, home renovations add to living costs in unexpected ways.  For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, there is likely to be an extended period of time when you can’t cook in it.  Whether you’re barbecuing all your meals or eating out more often, you’re likely to see increased food costs.  Other major home renovations may prevent you from living in your home.  You might have to stay in a hotel or find alternative living arrangements.  Work closely with your contractor to limit the impact of your project on your living costs.

Changes or Surprises

If you’re the fickle type and you make changes to your renovation project after it has started, you should expect increased renovation costs.  Wherever possible, you need to plan your project in advance and then stick to that plan.  Still, sometimes, surprises make it necessary to deviate from your original plan.  Perhaps your contractor discovers asbestos or that your electrical wiring requires significant upgrading to meet code.  Whatever the change or surprise, it’s important to factor in the unexpected and include contingencies in your overall renovation budget.  In the end, if everything goes to plan, you might have a bit of unexpected money left over!

Home renovations aren’t always predictable but with adequate planning and good communication with your contractor you can usually finish on time and on budget.  Always get quotes from various contractors and review the quote carefully to see what costs they expect.  You might find that some contractors are more thorough in their quotes, and though they might be more expensive, they’re probably more accurate.

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