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Your Home Renovation Budget is Too Low

October 14, 2015

Talking about renovation budgets (or even thinking about them) can be very painful to most of us. However they become even more painful when your home renovation is complete and you’ve gone 50% over the original estimate. You started with the best intentions but the construction bills are coming in and now you may have to eat mac and cheese for the unforeseeable future.  So what can you do? Well lets start from the beginning before the renovation even starts.

You are a smart person and did a lot of home renovation research. You’ve got quotes from all your construction trades and suppliers and proudly put it in a excel spreadsheet. What could go wrong?

Here are a few things you may have missed in your calculations. They may seem like small costs but all together can add 20% to the final total.

  • Delivery of materials – Sorry the Civic won’t be helpful transporting the new tub or a bail of 2 x 4s. Ask your suppliers what the estimated delivery charges will be or have them to include it in their price.
  • Garbage – There is a lot of garbage created in renovations. Allow for a garbage bin, disposal and recycling charges.
  • Permits – Both Building and trade
  • Floor levelling or subfloor replacement – The old shag carpet comes up and guess what? The carpet covered the wavy floor. Chances are you’ll need floor levelling before you put down hardwood, laminate or tile
  • Temporary Light and Heat rental. Your place is down to the bones, electricity and heating is off. You’ll need light so trades can do their work and heat to help dry the drywall mud and tape.
  • Protection – poly, drop clothes, ram board, etc. All good things to help protect the new finishes and floors while the construction is carrying on.
  • Cleanup – Construction is a very messy business. You’ll need cleaning services both on going and final. Probably should get your furnace ducts done too.
  • Hazardous materials – Older homes (more then 25 years old) can have lead or asbestos in the materials you are about to demo. For you and your family’s safety, Hazardous Materials should be removed by professionals

Over and above these considerations, allow 10 to 20% contingency for renovation unknowns. The
higher percentage for single family homes and lower percentage for condos. I’ll write about renovation unknowns in a future post.

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Kevin Parenteau

Kevin Parenteau

Co Owner and Team Builder of reVISON Custom Home Renovations. Many Years in Construction industry. Active in the Entrepreneurs' Organization serving as the Vancouver Chapter President and Lead Forum Director for the Global Forum Committee. Dog and Yoga Lover. Expert BBQ chef ;)
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