You know the drill: You want to remodel your kitchen, so you come up with a budget that you think will fit.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to anticipate some of the hidden costs associated with kitchen remodels. From unexpected delays to making serious changes to the structure of your home, kitchen remodels deserve a little wiggle room when it comes to the budget. By adding a little “give” to your budget, you can be sure that delays and added expenses don’t threaten to derail your entire project. Here are some of the biggest offenders to watch out for.
While you may think your sink makes more sense on the other side of the kitchen, what doesn’t make sense is undergoing costly changes without giving thought to your budget. With major changes, such as those that require alterations to plumbing and electric work, there’s bound to be extra costs involved. While a general contractor can take over most jobs in a kitchen remodel, he may need to call in a licensed plumber and electrician to help if you decide to make big changes. Either add money in the budget for those changes or choose a less extensive remodel.
Hoping to knock down a wall and finally snag the open concept kitchen you’ve always wanted? Don’t forget to factor in the extra costs of having your remodel engineered. While a facelift remodel (paint, new cabinetry, and other cosmetic fixes) won’t need extra engineering, as soon as you begin removing walls and altering your original floor plan, you’ll incur costs with a planner and an engineer.
When subcontractors bid jobs, it’s usually in their best interest to submit bids that are lower than those of their competition. It’s one way that a contractor gets your business, even if the job can’t realistically be completed for that estimated price. Make sure that you always get bids from several contractors for every component of your kitchen remodel. Choosing someone based on lowest price alone could net you a subpar sub, but also extra costs when the actual costs are much greater than the estimate. Instead, choose the best person for the job based on pricing, reputation, and reviews.
If you need to have your kitchen remodeled ASAP (for the holidays, for instance) you’ll probably have to pay a premium to get contractors and subcontractors to move your job to the top of the list. Any time you specify a certain tight time limit on everything from cabinets to countertops, expect to pay a little more for rush orders.
With your kitchen out of commission, you might rack up some other expenses that you probably haven’t budgeted for. If you’re having to eat out at restaurants more often because you have no kitchen in which to cook, you’ll need to tally up those expenses. If the renovation is so extensive that you can’t live in the house during the construction, you may need to budget to stay in a hotel for a few weeks. And all of those coffee runs for the crew can add up too, which is why a contingency cushion in your budget makes good financial sense and can help with the planning process.
While renovations can run the gamut from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, it’s up to you to decide where that budget will go. It’s tempting to tighten your belt and choose the cheaper route, but remember that various options, changes, and costs can really add up over time. Plan for the unexpected and you can avoid going totally over budget.
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