Experienced contractors like me see more facets of a project than the typical homeowner. While a homeowner’s thoughts may be focused on tile choices, paint color and curtains, a good contractor has a wide-angle view of the entire project. We think about scheduling project tasks, inspections, structural elements and materials, and of course, the same tile choices and paint colors the homeowner is thinking about. A few costs are often overlooked by many homeowners, and even experienced contractors may forget to relay some of these. Here are some often-overlooked expenses that you should figure in to your renovation budget:
Even simple painting projects generate some amount of trash. While it is possible to sneak a few empty paint cans into your regular domestic trash, that old sunroom that is being demolished to make room for the in-law suite is going to require a bit more planning.
In my neighborhood, a “roll off” 15-yard dumpster runs about $500. In more urban areas, you can often find a wide range of services ranging from small fold-up bags to the roll off size that I often use. Some communities also have programs in place for “de-construction” remodels. In these situations, a lot of the materials are broken down into recyclable components, reducing the quantity that is destined for the landfill.
Starting a project before a trash plan is in place can often lead to extra work. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to only have to carry the trash out once!
These may be an absolute necessity if the only other option is out of commission for a single bath home remodel. Some home owners are OK with the crew coming in to use the facilities, but others are a bit more private and would rather not have to clean up after a large construction crew. Temporary restrooms can run about $150 – $200 a month. Not having one onsite can lead to the crew taking more “breaks” to visit the local restaurant down the road.
A simple tiling job usually does not require a permit, but a 2-bedroom addition will. These costs are often paid before any work is actually started, and can be picked up by the builder or by the homeowner. Discussing who is paying for what during the planning stage will get you off on the right foot. Depending on the scope of the project, the permit is often rolled into the “package price.” For instance, with re-roofing, when the roofer pulls the permits, I simply wrote out a single check to the roofer and never had to worry about getting all of the paper work sorted out. It is absolutely imperative that you discuss permits with your contractor before starting the process – do not assume that the permit is included in his quote.
This area is the most responsible for hidden remodeling costs. A simple “bath floor tile” project can mushroom in to a “replace the sub-floor and re-plumb the bath” project. This type of hidden cost is unpleasant but often unavoidable. Older homes are more susceptible to this syndrome, and even newer homes are not entirely immune.
Having a plan and a little padding in your budget should smooth things over. The more often you complete a task, the more familiar it becomes. This experience is often worth the price of bringing in a pro. Find a qualified remodeler in your area.