Renovation surprises

Q. Before we decide to start renovating, are there any surprises we should look out for that could affect our budget? 

A. Reality shows may make the whole renovating process seem glamorous, even when they show contestant exhaustion and frustration, because the end product, with beautiful decor and furniture, makes it all worth it. So before you start to renovate your home or investment property, here are some other costs to consider.

No matter how much preparation you do, unfortunately there is a chance you will come across an unexpected surprise. For example, your builder may find wiring that needs to be replaced or wood that is decaying and will required a specialist to come in. All of these extra things will cost extra money and could cause a blow to your budget. The best thing to do when saving for the renovation is to set aside an extra 10 - 15% in order to cover these unexpected issues if they come up. 

The safest thing to do when renovating is to prepare for the worst. Your builder may get their wires crossed and knock down the wrong wall or you may make a measurement error resulting in benches or cupboards not being able to fit. Renovating can cause a lot of stress, which means there is a higher chance of mistakes happening. 

Before you sign the contract with your builder, you need to make sure you have a clear understanding about what is and isn’t covered in the contract. They may include things in the contract that they don’t explain to you beforehand (such as extra costs for tools or materials) and it could end up costing you extra later on.