10 Expensive Problems That Can Show Up During Home Renovation



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Homes sold in April 2022 for an average price of nearly $425,000, up 15.6% year over year, according to Redfin. With the cost soaring, you may have decided that it is better for you to stay in your home and repair it than to buy a new one.

Learn: 10 kitchen renovations that will damage the value of your home
Find: 8 Things About Your Home That Might Be More Than You Think

No matter how big or small the home renovation you’re doing, plan to outpace costs. You may encounter a variety of problems during your remodel that will lose your budget. Here are 10 expensive problems to be prepared for.

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Permit / Planning Fee

Building permits are required by your local government any time you undertake a home project that will build something new or remodel an existing building on your property. The permits are intended to ensure that you comply with the laws; Depending on the scope of the project, the building inspector may visit the site to sign the work.

Poll: Have you skipped any of these basic expenses because of the price hike?

Before you begin any work, or before the contractor hammers the first nail, check with your city or town to determine if a permit is required. Not having one can cause problems for you down the road, and you want to make sure you allocate the right budget for it. The Family Handyman website estimates that a building permit can cost $50 for a very small project or up to $2,000 for a large project.

reduce the budget

The National Association of Home Builders said the price of supplies used in residential construction rose 4.9% in the first four months of 2022, 19.2% year over year, and 35.6% since the start of the pandemic. Even if you’re completing what you think is a simple DIY project, you don’t want to underestimate the cost. If you do, you could end up with interior walls only two-thirds painted or a hardwood floor of three-quarters and a quarter of vinyl dinged.

Trying to create a job for professionals

Have you ever heard the phrase “cheap comes out expensive”? This is exactly what can happen when attempting a DIY project meant for professionals, and it can do more harm than good. The handyman in the household said that trying to fix the furnace, remove asbestos, fix the roof, do some plumbing or electrical repairs, clear trees, or do some carpentry were among the jobs that would be best done by a professional. A DIY approach can lead to bigger problems that are more expensive to solve than the original problem, and worse, potentially dangerous.

debris disposal

If your project involves demolition – tearing down the kitchen wall and all of its cabinets, for example – don’t forget to include the price for getting rid of the debris. HomeAdvisor estimates that renting a trash can costs between $200 and $800 per week or $1,000 to $3,000 per month. The fee depends on the size of the litter and your location.

change your mind

The cost of changing your mind about your project depends on how aware you are of boo-boo. If you paint your bedroom Cotton Candy Pink and decide you’re better suited to Boring Beige, the price will be a few gallons of paint. If you regret your choice of granite countertops and decide they have to go—even if you pay $3,000 for them—consider that you’ll have to pay at least that amount to replace them.

Structural and other “hidden” surprises

You’ve no doubt seen home renovation shows where project schedule and budget take a huge hit when problems are revealed when carpets appear or walls fall off. Problems you may encounter include water damage, cracks or damage to the foundation, lead and asbestos paint, or old wiring or pipes. The costs can be significant, depending on what you or your contractor finds out. Better Homes & Gardens notes that your budget should include 10% of the total project cost as contingency for project overruns and contingencies.


U.S. News & World Report said that supply chain delays and labor shortages, in addition to the time it takes to obtain a building permit, are delaying the project into 2022. For this reason, it’s best to wait to start your project until every flooring and backsplash have been provided. And every door to make sure you can complete it. While you’ve been waiting for your supplies for weeks, inflation is driving up costs as well, according to the report, which notes that you need “vision, patience and budget” if you’re going to replenish today.

Bad contractor ratings

Renovating your home is expensive, so don’t pay more than you have to by working with a contractor who will offer you a price that exceeds the value of the job. HomeGuide recommends inviting at least three contractors to bid on the job by visiting your home and discussing the scope of work. Get recommendations from family and friends, read reviews and check contractor history with the Better Business Bureau. Ask for a detailed estimate in writing, and set a payment schedule when certain project criteria are reached.

Material cost

As we know, material costs go up, but you can save money by shopping and comparing prices. HGTV recommends cutting costs in certain areas and showing off in areas that are your top priority. One area that goes the budget route in remodeling your kitchen, for example: the floor. Instead of natural stone, choose tiles that look like porcelain tiles. HGTV says porcelain costs less, and because it’s resistant to cracking and chipping, it will last longer.

Another area to save? Cabinet door pulls and knobs. A single 4-inch door pull decorated with Swarovski crystals on each side costs approximately $46 at Wayfair. 10-Pack Rhinestone and Crystal Glass Cabinet Knobs are about $25 on Amazon.

Eating out / hotels / pet accommodation

Depending on how often you renovate, you and your family may need to vacate your home during construction. Or, if your kitchen has been out of service for a while, you’ll live abroad. Ask your contractor a realistic estimate of how many days your home will be in a construction area, and check local hotels to see if they have discount rates for long-term stays. You will need to add the costs of housing, meals, and pet accommodations to your building budget.

The end product of your home renovation should be fun. Heading there? not much. The key is to create a budget that gives you plenty of wiggle room to withstand the financial surprises that may arise.

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About the author

Jamie Farkas has a degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton, and has worked as a reporter or editor for dailies across the United States. She brought GOBankingRates experience as a sports editor, business editor, religious editor, digital editor – and more. Passionate about real estate, she passed her state’s real estate licensing exam and is still considering whether to indulge in home selling – or just write about selling homes.

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