The Hidden Costs in Your Home Renovation Budget

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Things you might not have considered when making your home renovation budget 1

Things you might not have considered when making your home renovation budget

Seeing your ideas come to life can be exciting when you’re planning a home renovation. And even though budgeting for the project can be overwhelming, it’s important to be aware of the common costs that can surprise you during the construction (and after). With nearly twenty years of experience, we’ve seen it all and now we’re sharing our insights with you. Here are some costs that you might not have factored in your renovation budget:

Increase in Energy Bills

Between power tools, electric heaters, and fans, you could be in for a shock when your next utility bill arrives. The increase will depend on how long the project takes and the additional tools that are used. Whether you choose to pay for the incurred expenses or pass it onto your builder, make sure it’s built into your budget.


Temporary Accommodations

If the extent of your renovation is major, you and your family may need to relocate for a period of time. Even if your project is relatively small, budget for unexpected surprises that may force you out of the house. Things like cuts to the electrical, turning the water off, or airborne dust may pop up during construction, so it’s best to set aside some of your budget in case you need to stay in a hotel.


Takeout Meals

If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, you’ve probably accounted for eating meals out of the home. But sometimes projects on other areas of the house may lead to temporary power outages or water suspensions, making it difficult to prepare meals. Budget for ordering takeout or dining at restaurants just in case.


Building Code Requirements

The dream renovation you have in mind may not be feasible and require redesigning as a potentially more expensive layout. Make sure your builder researches the appropriate building codes during the proposal process, rather than after the fact.



Asbestos is a naturally occurring group of minerals that can have extremely serious health risks if you’re exposed to it. If it’s found during the renovation project, your builder will need to call in professionals to safely remove it, which incurs more costs. Even the most unsuspecting homes can be plagued with asbestos behind the walls, ceilings, siding, roofing, and floors. If your home was built prior to 1975, chances are it has some asbestos. Talk to your builders about their protocol for addressing asbestos issues while you’re gathering quotes.


Old Wiring

Most of your wiring is concealed behind walls which makes it easy to overlook when planning a remodel. Sometimes the only way to find out is half way through the project when the wall is opened up or taken down! It can present problems with construction and also slow down the project.


Weather Delays

Your builder should give you an approximate timeline for your project but less-than-ideal weather may cause some setbacks. Remodels that require outdoor work will be subject to weather but could also present travel problems in the winter. If your builder is not local, a bad snow storm may mean they cannot travel. Rain can also halt concrete projects. So while you might be scratching your head wondering how weather will affect your budget, remember that time is money! A longer construction window can incur additional costs.


Clean Up

Renovations are notoriously messy undertakings no matter how tidy your builders try to be. For major projects, most builders will bring in a dumpster and clean up debris and build these costs into their contract. However, inexperienced builders may not include clean up. Be sure to budget for the post-clean up and determine whether your builder will take care of this or you.

Doing your research while creating your home renovation budget will help you ensure you account for these types of costs. Ultimately, the builder you choose to partner with should have experience in handling these issues and price accordingly. If they aren’t including these types of “surprise” costs, it may be time to keep searching for a partner.

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Ken Jaquith Director Of Client Experience
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