You don’t have to be experienced with home remodeling to know that it is an expensive ordeal. A lot of time and energy goes into the process, and several hands are involved in completing all the steps that lead to a successful finished product. This is particularly true if you’re working with a design-build firm, in which case there is a large team of professionals working to create your dream space. Unfortunately, even if you choose cheaper materials, fixtures and appliances, the price is not always a significantly less. Sometimes, there are “hidden expenses” that sneak into the total cost of your remodel. While Medford Remodeling provides a detailed Scope of Work document to break down the budget and expose these hidden costs, other contractors may not be so courteous!
There are also added expenses that may stem from your remodeling project which you may not have thought of ahead of time, such as paying for a temporary off-site storage space or frequently purchasing fast food while your kitchen is under construction. Many homeowners do not take these extra expenses into consideration when budgeting for their renovation, and end up surprised when the total cost comes in at 20-30% more than what they were prepared for. It’s a good idea to sit down and make a list of everything you can think of that will contribute to your bottom line before getting started on the project.
Here is a list of hidden expenses and additional fees to be aware of when preparing for your home remodeling project:
- Child and pet care. Keeping your little ones safe is always a priority. It may be necessary to hire a nanny or babysitter to stay onsite, or invest in a temporary daycare to keep your children away from work areas during the day. Pets may need to be boarded at a local kennel during the renovation to ensure they are kept safe and comfortable, and away from workers, loud noises and potentially toxic fumes.
- Slightly higher electric bills. While there shouldn’t be a huge increase in your electric or utility bills throughout your remodel, you must consider that workers will be at your home for up to 8 hours a day, using electricity that is usually not used during those hours while you are typically away at work. It’s a good idea to budget a $10 – $50 increase on your utility bills.
- Unexpected damage. Unforeseen issues sometimes arise once construction begins and the walls are opened up. This could include wood rot, termite damage, leaking pipes, or electrical errors that must be corrected before proceeding. These issues can easily require additional time, materials, and expense that you didn’t initially plan for. It’s a safe bet to have some money set aside for these unexpected surprises.
- Waste disposal. With most home renovation projects, some level of demolition is required. Unfortunately, dumping isn’t free. At Medford Remodeling, we include the hauling off and discarding of debris as a part of the project, as specified in your project proposal. However, not all contractors will offer this service, and those that do may not detail an additional disposal fee up front. It’s important to discuss this with your contractor and determine if you will need to pay extra or make arrangements to have a dumpster parked onsite.
- The cost of food. As mentioned, you will most likely be ordering take-out or frequently stopping at drive-thrus during your renovation (particularly if it’s a kitchen remodel!). Doing so might be a shock to your bank account if you usually prepare your own meals at home. You might also need to replenish your pantry of expired goods once your renovation is complete. Be sure to factor these costs into your remodeling budget.
- Offsite living and storage. Depending on the extent of your remodel, you might find it necessary to temporarily move offsite or stay with a friend or relative while your home is under construction. We have had several clients take trips, go out of town, or even stay at a hotel while the bulk of their renovation was being completed. You might also consider if a storage unit is necessary to keep your belongings safe and out of the way during your home remodel.
- Permit fees. Permits are not always necessary, but in most cases, the city will require a permit before construction begins – especially if you are making structural changes or need to modify electrical or plumbing lines. This is another service that Medford Remodeling handles as specified on your project proposal, but other contractors may or may not do so. It’s wise to discuss this with your contractor to see if you will be responsible for getting the permit and whether or not the cost is included in your total.
- Landscape repair. This is not true for every remodel, but in some instances, extensive remodeling could damage your existing landscape. You’ll want to talk with your contractor to determine if any materials–such as stacks of lumber or boxes of materials – will be sitting on your grass for a long length of time. It’s also possible that your property may be dug up for plumbing modifications or foundation work, which could require some landscaping to be done afterwards. Yet another expense that should be calculated into your total cost!
- Professional cleaning. Some homeowners don’t mind cleaning their home once all construction is complete. However, sometimes hiring a professional is the best option and really gives the whole project a sense of completion once everything is spic and span! The cost of professional cleaning varies, and will also set you back a little more if you’re interested in more extensive options, like sanitizing carpets.
As with any big investment, a lot of research and preparation should be done before starting your home remodel to make sure your budget is where it needs to be. We suggest making a thorough list of all the expenses involved – including the ones listed here that you may not have considered. Keep in mind it’s also a good idea to have some extra money set aside to cover any unexpected expenses or emergencies!
If you have any additional questions, or would like more information about getting started with your home remodeling project, please don’t hesitate to contact Medford Remodeling!
The Medford Remodeling Team