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Hidden Renovation Costs That Can Sink Your Budget

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Beginning a renovation project is a process. The best place to start? Establishing a budget. It’s obvious that things like paint, building materials, and tile, need to be included in the budget. However, there are many overlooked costs that don’t always make it into the original planning. Here are a few hidden renovation costs that can chip away at your budget. Avoiding them will help you save yourself from unexpected costs down the road.

Obtaining Permits

Inform your governing municipality’s planning office about the project you’re thinking about and ask them what your options are, including if you need a permit. Think about bringing an aerial photograph of your property and sketches of your existing house. If your project is feasible, ask about the process. They will likely tell you either no permit is needed or that a building permit is required and possibly planning permits such as a zoning clearance, design review, minor use or conditional use permits.

Keep in mind that permits are usually required for alterations to the home’s footprint, fences, other structural changes. For smaller projects like window or siding replacement, check with your municipality’s planning office.

Completing construction without going through the permitting process can result in financial consequences. If your municipality discovers unpermitted work, you may have to pay fines for the illegal remodel. The permitting department can also require you to undo your alterations if you are unable to prove they were added to code. This is why it is important to plan ahead and secure the exact permits you need ahead of time.

Staying up to Code

If you purchased a home that has not been renovated for some time, it will be necessary to look into the most recent building codes. It is possible the codes have changed since the last renovation and your scope of work could increase in order to keep up with current-day building requirements. Additionally, it is important to identify any workarounds previous owners may have done. For example, if the previous homeowner completed any DIY work, their work may not be up to code. Needing to repairing the prior owner’s mistakes can easily bust your budget.

Disposing of Debris

Depending on the extent of your renovation, this cost will vary. It is important to understand that not all neighborhoods will allow all debris to be taken away with usual curbside trash removal. If your renovation involves heavy construction, you may have too look at outside resources for removal. Some options to consider include renting a company to take debris away, a truck or trailer to transport materials, or a bin or dumpster. By completing your planning to the end of your project, you will not be surprised by costs as your budget is spent.

Finishing Touches

One of the best ways to put your personal touch on your new home is through finishing touches. With any renovation it is wise to save a portion of your budget for things like paint, flooring and lighting. These finishing touches can help showcase all of your hard work and pull a renovation design together.

Buying a new house and turning it into your dream home is an experience of a lifetime. I am here to help you through every step of the way. If you’re looking to buy and renovate a new home, or get your existing one ready to sell, We @ would love to hear from you!

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