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  • 15 Hidden Costs of Remodeling

    So you've decided to do a remodeling project. many people do this and end up upside down before they are halfway through the project. There are several things that need to be considered but are frequently overlooked, so we will discuss the top 15 things you should think about before starting your project. 

    1. Meals.

     If your remodeling project includes the kitchen or anywhere around it, you will likely lose use of the kitchen for at least part of the project and need to find other ways to feed yourself. This could be delivery take out or eating at restaurants, however this is one expense that is usually not accounted for when budgeting for the remodeling project. 

    1. Child and or Pet Care.

     A construction site is no place for a child to play and to be honest the construction workers typically do not pay attention to your fluffy kitty or your puppy unless it's bothering them while they're doing their work. In order to make sure that your kids and pets stay safe, ultra mint plans should be made to take care of your loved ones during the project. 

    1. Waste and Disposal.

     Waste and disposal or something that frequently catch homeowners off-guard as They are not aware of the hidden cost in this area. If you have a popcorn ceiling that was installed before 1978 and you're having that popcorn removed it likely contains asbestos, this increases the personal protection needed by the workers and is considered a hazardous waste so it must be disposed of differently. Many municipalities regulate what can be disposed of bike curbside means however hazardous waste still needs to be handled differently. It's not unusual for municipalities to refuse to pick up construction debris. there may be additional debris that was not known about as well, and example of this would be roof shingles. if you're having a new roof installed it's possible that it was installed over a previous set of shingles. This is allowed but you're never allowed to have more than two layers of shingles therefore if you're having the third roof installed the first two would need to be removed and that's twice as much waste therefore costing twice as much. 

    1. Hiring a Professional.

     Many people consider using handymen to do the work that needs to be done or doing it themselves however in the long run this frequently ends up costing more as they are not following codes or are not knowledgeable about the proper way to do things. I see tile shower enclosures installed on a regular basis that leak because someone used a handyman or a floor tile contractor to install the shower tile and the pan underneath the tile was not installed properly. Hiring a contractor May cost more upfront but will likely save you hundreds if not thousands down the road. 

    1. Fixing Previous Work Arounds.

     As I mentioned before, frequently people hire a handyman to do work and it's not done properly. I've had clients who when we started the work discovered that there were numerous electrical splices performed in the ceilings and in the walls that needed to be repaired and eventually some of the circuits need to do but just be completely rerun. Because the previous homeowner did not hire licensed contractors to do the work properly this resulted in additional cost to our client. 

    1. Landscaping.

     If you're doing any work on the exterior of the home, it is likely that some of the landscaping will be damaged and need to be replaced. Even some of the best contractors run into snags in this area as water may need to be turned off to the landscaping to do repairs in other areas that may damage plants, or debris from the roof maybe dropped down onto the landscaping below damaging it. You should always have a budget to repair landscaping if any work is being done on the exterior of the home. 

    1. Property Line Survey.

     We are sometimes asked to install new driveways or fences, or perhaps a building in the backyard to be used as a shop or guest house, all of these should require the property line to be verified before any work is constructed as there are specific rules about how close you can build to a property line. You do not want to install a new driveway and then find out that one foot of it is on your neighbor's property and needs to be removed. 

    1. Permits.

     This brings up another issue, frequently work requires permits and some contractors will try to do the work without permits in order to save their clients some money, however this typically ends up costing two or three times as much in the long run as when you go to sell the house and unpermitted work is found by a home inspector the cost for retroactive permits jumps significantly. 

    1. Bringing the Home you to Code.

     There are several remodeling activities that may require you to bring certain aspects of your home up to current building codes. For example current codes require smoke detectors to be installed in each bedroom and within 15 ft of each bedroom as well as each level of the building. The smoke detectors are all required to be interconnected to each other so that when one goes off they all go off. If you have an older home, but does not have this type of system installed and you have access to the attic, it is likely that the local municipality will require you to update to the more recent codes. If you are replacing the electrical panel, it is also likely that they will make the new panel meet the new electrical codes which can significantly increase the cost of the breakers and labor. 

    1. Updating Home Features.

     If you're planning on updating anything including wi-fi boosters, speaker systems, lighting or anything else, you should discuss all of this before the project begins with your contractor. Making changes during the project could not only increase the cost but delay the project. 

    1. Fixing Water Issues.

     Frequently when we are doing remodeling work we find damage that is caused by water issues. The damage may be underneath thanks however it may also be around windows, doors, or at the foundation caused by improper grading and drainage on the outside of the home. Correcting these water issues can significantly increase the cost of the job if it's not discussed initially. If you have ideas, knowledge, or concerns about this, make sure you discuss it with your contractor before work begins. 

    1. Pest Damage Remediation.

     It's not uncommon to open up a wall or ceiling and find evidence of termites, or rodent damage. replacing the damaged areas can increase the cost significantly as there's no way to detail how much is damaged until you start uncovering these areas. I have seen other contractors over the years improperly repair trusses that had significant damage which prevented homes from selling without significant expense incurred by the seller for new engineering and repairs on the trusses. If you're repairing pet pest damage, make sure that your contractor does not cut corners in order to save a few pennies or it could cost you a lot of money down the road. 

    1. Final Clean Up.

     One of the things rarely considered during a remodeling project is the cost to clean after the work is done. It's not unusual for us to pay $200 to the cleaning crew to come in and professionally clean the home after the work is done and then another $200 to have the carpets professionally cleaned it may not seem like much but that $400 also should be budgeted in order to prevent an unhappy experience at the end of the project. 

    1. Adding the Finishing Touches.

     When the work by the contractor is all done, it's not unusual for the homeowner to want to do some finishing touches. These may include new carpets, shelving, plants, or other interior furnishings that they did not own before the construction began. This can quickly increase the cost of the remodeling project beyond what was budgeted. 

    1. Change Orders.

     One of the most expensive sentences you can mention during a remodel is "While you're here could you do?"  Contractors don't like changes after the start of a project, they also don't like you asking their employees or sub contractors to do additional work for free or on the side. There are lots of things to consider when making a change, an example could be is the wiring we just installed the right size to accommodate the change, do I need to have the drywall repaired as a result of this change? It may seem like a minor repair for you but it could mean someone making two or three more trips to the property to do the job right. While they may only be there for 10 minutes each time, their drive time needs to be considered as well.

     Do everything possible to avoid change orders. I have had clients make changes in the middle of commercial projects that delayed work for two months and cost them thousands.  

    I hope you find that these 15 tips on how to avoid unexpected expenses during remodeling project to be helpful. If you would like help with your remodeling project please feel free to contact agape construction.