10 expensive problems that can arise during house renovations

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Homes in April 2022 were sold for a median price of almost $ 425,000, an increase of 15.6% year over year, according to Redfin. With the rising costs, you may have decided that it is better to stay and fix your home than to buy a new one.

Read more about: 10 kitchen renovations that will damage the value of your home
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No matter how small or large renovations you carry out, plan for cost overruns. You may encounter a variety of issues during your remodel that will throw out your budget. Here are 10 potentially expensive problems to prepare for.

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Permits / Planning fees

A building permit is required by your local government every time you carry out a home project that will build something new or renovate a building that already exists on your property. The permits are intended to ensure that you comply with the laws; Depending on the scope of the project, a building inspector can pay an on-site visit to sign off on the work.

Vote: Have you skipped any of these significant expenses due to rising prices?

Before starting any work, or before a contractor strikes the first nail, check with your city or town to determine if a permit is required. Not having one can cause problems for you along the way, and you want to make sure you budget properly for it. The Family Handyman website estimates that a building permit can cost $ 50 for a very small project or as much as $ 2,000 for a larger one.

Underestimates the budget

The National Association of Home Builders said the price of supplies used in housing construction rose by 4.9% in the first four months of 2022, 19.2% year-on-year and 35.6% since the pandemic began. Even if you complete what you otherwise think may be a simple do-it-yourself project, you do not want to underestimate the cost. If you do, you can end up with interior walls that are only two-thirds painted or a floor that is three-quarters of hardwood and a quarter of twisted vinyl.

Trying to do a job for professionals

Have you ever heard the phrase “the cheap comes out expensive”? This is exactly what can happen when you try to do a DIY project for professionals, and you can do more harm than good. Trying to repair an oven, remove asbestos, fix a roof, perform some plumbing or electrical repairs, remove trees or do some carpentry work are among the jobs that a professional would be better off doing, Family Handyman said. Using the DIY method can create bigger problems that are more expensive to fix than the original problem and, even worse, can prove dangerous.

Waste management of rubbish

If your project involves demolition – taking down a kitchen wall and all its cabinets, for example – do not forget to include the price of waste management. HomeAdvisor estimates that renting a trash can costs between $ 200 and $ 800 a week or $ 1,000 to $ 3,000 a month. The fee depends on the size of the rubbish bin and your location.

Change your mind

The cost of changing your project depends on the extent of your perceived bu-boo. If you painted your bedroom Cotton Candy Pink and decided that you are really better suited for Boring Beige, the price will be a few liters of paint. If you regret your choice of granite countertops and decide that they have to go – even if you paid $ 3,000 for them – then keep in mind that you have to pay at least that amount to replace them.

Structural and other “hidden” surprises

You have no doubt seen house renovation shows where the project’s timeline and budget get huge blows when problems are discovered when carpets come up or walls fall. The problems you may encounter include water damage, cracks or damage to the foundation, lead paint and asbestos or old pipes or pipes. The costs can be significant, depending on what you or your contractor discovers. Better Homes & Gardens noted that your budget should include 10% of the total project cost as a prerequisite for project overruns and emergencies.


Delays in the supply chain and lack of manpower, as well as the time it takes to get a building permit, lead to project delays in 2022, says US News and World Report. Because of this, it’s best to wait to start your project until every floorboard, backsplash tile, and door is in stock to ensure you can complete it. While you wait weeks for your necessities, inflation also causes costs to skyrocket, according to the report, which says you need “vision, patience and budget” if you are going to renovate today.

Poor entrepreneurial estimates

Renovating your home is expensive, so do not pay more than you have to by working with a contractor who sets a price that exceeds the value of the job. HomeGuide recommends that you invite at least three contractors to bid on the job by visiting your home and discussing the scope of the work. Get recommendations from family and friends, read reviews and check the contractor’s resume with the Better Business Bureau. Request a detailed estimate in writing and make a payment schedule when certain project benchmarks are met.

Material cost

As we know, material costs increase, but you can save money by shopping around and comparing prices. HGTV recommends that you cut costs in certain areas and pay out those that are your highest priority. An area to go the budget route in your kitchen renovation, for example: the floor. Instead of natural stone tole, choose a porcelain tile lookalike. Porcelain costs less and because it is resistant to cracks and chips, it will last longer, says HGTV.

Another area to save? Cabinet door pulls and handles. A 4-inch doormat adorned with a Swarovski crystal on each side costs almost $ 46 at Wayfair. A 10-pack of crystal glass rhinestone cabinet handles is about $ 25 on Amazon.

Dining out / hotel / pet boarding

Depending on the extent of your renovation, you and your family may need to vacate your home during construction. Or, if your kitchen is out of order for a while, you will live on takeaway food. Ask your contractor for a realistic estimate of how many days your house will be a construction zone, and check around local hotels to see if they have discounted rates for longer stays. You must add costs for accommodation, meals and pet pension to your construction budget.

The finished product of your home renovation should be delightful. Coming there? Not so much. The key is to create a budget that gives you room to move to withstand the financial surprises that may arise.

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About the author

Jami Farkas holds a degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton, and has worked as a reporter or editor for newspapers in all four corners of the United States. She adds GOBankingRate’s experience as a sports editor, business editor, religion editor, digital editor – and more. With a passion for real estate, she passed the real estate license test in her state and is still considering whether to take the step to sell homes – or just write about selling homes.

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