This is a collaborative post.
A lot of people embark on their home renovation journey with a pretty clear expectation of what the costs will be. You work out what you want to do, get a few quotes, and then expect that things will all go to plan.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case – unexpected costs associated can pop up, and they invariably will do so. With a little bit of research, you can start to understand what you can expect – here, we take a look at what could go wrong, so you can hopefully begin to expect the unexpected.
A common unexpected cost, particularly with homes built throughout the 20th century up until the 1980s, is the removal and disposal of hazardous materials.
Building materials such as asbestos need to be dealt with in a very careful manner, in order to ensure that none of the substance enters the air and is accidentally inhaled. You generally need to use a specialist removal service in order to take care of this, to make sure that the materials are removed in a safe and legally compliant manner.
Projects that often seem relatively simple and aesthetic in scope often run into issues of a more serious, structural nature.
Either you unearth or create a weakness that definitely needs dealing with, or you find that to make the changes you want to make, you need to implement other more intensive alterations as well.
Structural work can often be far more expensive than ‘simple’ aesthetic work. You may need to engage an architect for example, in addition to structural engineers and other specialists in their respective fields.
While delays can be annoying, they can also end up costing you more money. For example, if you have some items in storage, delays can mean that you end up spending more on storage costs – likewise with any tools that you’ve rented to carry out the project.
You can often do a lot to minimise the risk of delays, but you can’t totally eliminate them. Make sure that you’ve got all your materials and labour sourced before you start the job, with a backup plan in place as well.
Save some additional cash
The chances are so high that you’ll end up going over budget that you should always budget those extra costs into your original plan as well.
Put a little money aside, and expect that you’ll probably have to spend it. If you don’t, that’s great – you can use it for something else. Just make sure that it’s there, ready to be used to sort out unexpected issues when they inevitably do crop up.
Perhaps unexpected costs should be renamed as expected additional costs, at least in the context of renovation projects. While you can minimise them in many cases, due to the nature of most renovation projects, it’s pretty much a certainty that something will go wrong. By preparing for those costs in advance, you can minimise the impact of the disruption it causes, both to your bank account and to your peace of mind.