Remodeling and the Budget: Tips for Avoiding Trouble

home contractor measures 2x12 before cuttingMost homeowners rely on a contractor to give them an estimate before ever attempting to budget a project, and I suspect you are going to do the same. After all, you are not an experienced contractor, and you cannot be expected to know the cost to demo and dispose of your old kitchen cabinets or what it will cost to replace them. In addition to that you would also have to estimate the cost of replacing old plumbing, as well as under counter lighting, counter tops, flooring and a host of other things.

When To Create Your Budget:

So, when do you create your budget? And the answer is – after you have read my next two posts. Then, you will know how to collect estimates so that you can prioritize your wish list. Doing so will help tweak your list, eliminating or adding items to get the most for your money. Bear in mind that no one contractor can anticipate unforeseen problem encountered on a project. I have often found active termite damage while widening a doorway, which can be almost impossible to detect during an initial assessment of the property.

On one occasion I had just completed a large remodeling project for a customer and was about to be paid. Mrs. A. was standing barefoot in her tiled entryway holding my check. Suddenly she glanced at her feet and asked, “Why am I standing in water?” My son-in-law had just installed the last finished piece of baseboard in her entry and apparently shot a copper water line in the wall with a brad nail. Now, what are the odds of that happening?

Unexpected Expenses:

The last thing any contractor wants is for you to be stressed about over-spending. Typically, you should set aside at least 10 to 15 percent over and above the total estimate for the project. Not allowing for unexpected expenses may compromise your design choices.  In my next post, I’ll talk about picking a contractor that you can trust.

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