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Avoiding Surprise Remodel Costs

Save time and money with these considerations


Not everyone likes surprises. No one likes surprises that cost them money and/or time. There are four main types of surprise costs during a remodel:


Forgotten details

If you are planning a kitchen remodel, did you factor meals out into your budget? If you are planning to live off-site while doing a home remodel, is staying in a rental included in your costs? Where are you storing furniture? Will it cost money? How much will a long remodel process affect your utility bills? Do you need to board your pets? These are the little details that are often overlooked when planning remodel costs.


Significant material price increases

The construction material market has been in a near-constant state of flux since March of 2020. Depending on the material availability and demand, suppliers can only guarantee prices for a limited amount of time. Talk to your contractor to get a good understanding of how they accommodate for material price increases from their suppliers. 


Unanticipated conditions

On any project where there is plumbing or the potential for rainwater intrusions, there is a possibility your contractor will discover rot during demolition. Occasionally there are times when an unforeseen issue pops up on a remodeling project that needs to be addressed. These items could range from finding rot where a previous plumbing leak or water intrusion occurred, all the way to needing a support beam where existing framing was insufficient. Unfortunately, these issues are nearly impossible to know prior to opening up walls and removing fixtures. We recommend setting aside approximately 5% of your total project budget specifically for these unforeseen problems.


Bad communication/expectations

You don’t want to get halfway through your remodel, only to discover your contractor wasn’t planning to do some of the work you thought was part of your agreement. Avoid these unexpected costs by having a very detailed scope of work and set of expectations with your contractor. Before you sign a construction agreement, you should know everything that is included down to the paint colors and the number of cabinet knobs being installed. Your agreement should detail out exactly what you can expect of your contractor and what your contractor expects of you. 


It is important to take your time and not rush the remodel design process. A slow, detailed, thorough process is the best way to avoid any surprise costs during your remodel. If this sounds like what you are looking for, learn more about our design-build process.

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