12 Hidden Renovation Costs That Can Sink Your Budget

Dated: 02/12/2017

Views: 51


You knew this renovation would be expensive. But you were smart. You accounted for everything in your budget.

Or, you thought you did.

Two weeks into your kitchen makeover and your wallet is weeping. 

Surprises happen. Shelling out cash on unexpected renovation costs isn’t completely avoidable — but there are plenty of hidden renovation costs you can prepare for. Here are some of the surprising things that can set your wallet on fire during your next big project.

#1 Extra Muscle: $500

Even if you’re just clearing out the renovation space by moving boxes downstairs, you still might find yourself in need of a few strong hands.

You could move as much as you can beforehand, but the movers still cost about $500.

#2 Anxious Pups: $125 Per Week

Some pets have nerves of steel. Others cower at any unexpected noise or strangers. And construction zones are full of noisy strangers: dropping wrenches, hammering, or stomping through your home in metal-toed boots.

 Doggie daycare can be stressful for the dogs and the budget. But planning your work during your sitter’s down season can save you some cash.

#3 Dinners Out: $80 Per Week

Cooking without a kitchen challenges the best chefs — there’s a reason it’s a stalwart Top Chef challenge. Even if your kitchen remains intact during the reno, putting together a meal in a home filled with dust is no fun at all.

Instead of single-handedly funding your favorite restaurant’s expansion, its recommended to store pre-prepped, microwaveable meals in a chest freezer. Or setting up a makeshift kitchen.

#4 Dumpster Fees: $400

Construction junk has to go somewhere. If you’re DIYing the remodel, dumpster fees might come as a surprise.

Expect to spend about $400 on your trash-mobile, but contractors can provide localized, ballpark dumpster estimates.

Once it’s in your driveway, save some extra cash by using the dumpster to ditch unwanted stuff accumulating around your house. Say goodbye, without paying extra disposal fees. Just leave room for the construction junk.

#5 Hotel Stays: $500

You’re determined to live at home during the renovation, but if a contractor accidentally smashes through your bedroom wall or the noise gets too unbearable, you might find yourself packing up for a short stay in a nearby hotel.

You don’t need to book your hotel beforehand, but budgeting enough cash for a few days’ away will make the decision to abandon ship a bit less stressful. Or ask to stay with some friends.

#6 Childcare: $175 Per Week

Checking your calendar, you realize demo day coincides with the kids school. You can’t have the adorable little rascals stomping through the dust — so off to the sitters they go. Another $100 down the drain.

Try to pre-arrange playdates for their days off to keep your wallet in check. Or bring over Aunt Margie to keep the kids entertained in a spare bedroom.

#7 Labor Costs: $50 Per Hour

Delays, schedule changes, and unexpected surprises don’t just add time to the renovation — they mean paying more to the workers.

Know each contractor’s hourly cost so when disaster strikes, you can budget appropriately.

#8 Professional Cleaning: $150

Your new kitchen features sparkling, brand-new marble and stunning oak cabinetry — but you can’t ignore the fine layer of sawdust covering everything.

You can try cleaning it yourself but if the mess is too daunting, consider hiring a service as a post-renovation treat. Even if they’re just handling the hard-to-reach spots, a little help will be more than welcome. Now all you have to do is go home and relax.

#9 Office Space: $195 Per Month

At home workers have their own renovation challenges. How can you take a phone call with clients when a drill is whirring overhead?

But privacy doesn’t come cheap: A “flexible desk” at a co-working space can cost $195 per month — and more if you need a closed door.

Instead, try working at coffee shops or a library as often as possible.

#10 Higher Utility Bills: 15%-20% Extra

Doors opening. Fans whirring. So many power tools. Is there anything in construction that doesn’t suck up energy?

Don’t feel bad if you’re a bit of a nag for windows being closed or lights staying on. Unless the breeze is necessary (drying paint and new hardwood floors require ventilation), pop upstairs every evening to close the windows.

#11 Lawn Landscaping: $1,500

Did they really need to put their equipment on your beautiful Kentucky bluegrass? For some reason, renovating the interior can mean your lawn takes a beating that only a professional landscaper can repair.

Ask contractors beforehand if they plan on using your yard for staging, and place down tarps to protect the foliage. Or find alternative spots, like the attached garage or gravel driveway.

#12 Permits: $1,000

Before the first sledgehammer swings, sit down with your contractor for a detailed discussion of exactly what permits you need.

But make sure you know early on if they don’t, otherwise you’re in for a surprise. They can run up to $1,000 or more.

Blog author image

Kim Hancock

A lot of agents specialize in a particular area or market place; I DON’T! - I SPECIALIZE IN CLIENTS. I work all over, exposing myself to numerous markets and numerous market strategies.....

Want to Advertise on this Site?

Latest Blog Posts

Townhouse Starts Indicate Sturdy Market

Townhouse Starts Indicate Sturdy Market DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2018 Townhouse construction continues to post gains. Over 2017, townhome starts totaled 104,000, a 7 percent

Read More

IRS HELOCs Still Deductible For Renovations

IRS: HELOCs Still Deductible for Renovations DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2018 Taxpayers can continue to deduct the interest they pay on home equity loans when the funds are

Read More

Homeowners Are Using Rental Income Earned Through Airbnb To Refinance Their Mortgages

Homeowners are using rental income earned through Airbnb to refinance their mortgages Fannie Mae allows borrowers to use the rental income as part of the income qualification to refinance

Read More

Rising Mortgage Rates

Mortgage Rates on FIRE! Home Prices Up in Smoke? Mortgage interest rates have already risen by over a quarter of a percentage point in 2018. Many are projecting that rates

Read More