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It’s the fear that most people have when embarking on a renovation:  “What will we find when we start demo?”

“Is there more hiding beneath the surface?”

“Will this project balloon into something much, much bigger?”

With renovations, there can be many what I like to call “domino effects.” Some of these are predictable and some are not, but none are enjoyable for the client or contractor! These can definitely be categorized under the frustrating part of remodels; and, as contractors, it’s never fun presenting them to your client either. Trust me; I would ALSO rather stick with your original budget. 🙂

Below are some domino effects to think about when moving forward with a remodel. The list is not intended to discourage you to move forward, but rather to serve as a list of things that could be found so that you can feel prepared about possible pitfalls along the way.  Knowing this now may lessen the blow when/if these problems are found in your renovation. Just know you are not alone; many people are experiencing these budget busters! A good tip is to always keep additional miscellaneous money set aside for these “not fun” items. Remember, a well-estimated renovation proposal (that includes miscellaneous expenditures for potential pitfalls) is often better than just looking at the cheapest renovation number that comes in.

Potential Pitfalls to consider when estimating your budget:

  • Floor Removal -> another layer of tile -> rotted subfloor -> cracks in the subfloor -> leveling out all the flooring
  • Knocking down walls -> load relocation -> beam vs. post ($$ vs. more $$)
  • Drywall removal -> rotted framing -> termites (ugh) -> improperly installed posts or beams
  • Cabinetry removal -> improperly installed electrical or plumbing -> may result in a new electrical panel for safety
  • Countertop removal -> cabinetry or backsplash damage

I think you get the gist! The list could go on, but I will stop it there for now. One final thought:  a good contractor will present you not only with the problem but also with a workable solution. There are always multiple solutions, and usually a variety of price points, so don’t you worry! Just keep the big picture in mind as you deal with these unexpected snags along the way.  In the end, it is better to do a quality, safe renovation that will last for years to come than to patch up a problem temporarily. Ignoring problems now in order to stay on budget may be much more hazardous to both your safety and your finances in the long run.