A home renovation can be exciting, especially once you finalize plans and see your vision come to life. While your project should come out exactly as you envision, the final price may not be what you expect. There are many common expenses that can come up during a renovation. If you don’t plan for them, you may find yourself way over-budget and forced to dip into your savings.

Here are 10 hidden costs we often see in British Columbia home remodeling projects.

#1. Pest Damage

Pests like termites can make your home their own and cause damage that isn’t noticed for years. Once the walls come down, your contractors may see evidence of termite damage that needs to be corrected before the project can continue.

#2. Boarding Pets

Do you have plans for where your pets will stay during the renovation? It’s best to have your pets away from the home for their own safety. This also makes it easier for your contractors to finish your project on time. Just don’t forget to consider the cost of boarding your animals for weeks.

#3. Bringing the Home up to Code

Building codes are updated frequently to protect public safety. Most homes have at least some code violations, but they aren’t usually a problem until you’re doing renovations. When serious code violations are discovered, especially involving the plumbing or electrical systems, your budget can skyrocket.

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#4. Correcting Insufficient Work

At Alair Homes Kelowna, we sometimes discover previous contractors working on the home did an insufficient job. When these problems are discovered, they must be corrected before your project can continue.

#5. Unplanned Structural Changes

Changing the structure of your home can account for a large share of your budget. Sometimes these changes aren’t planned in advance. Sometimes support beams are found with dry rot or damage that requires replacement. You may even decide that an open floor plan would be better for your space. We recommend British Columbia homeowners pad their budget by 10-15% to plan for these unexpected changes.

#6. Higher Food Costs

If you are planning a kitchen remodel, expect your food budget to go up. You will probably eat out or get takeout food often while the kitchen is being rebuilt. You can try to reduce unexpected food expenses by using a slow cooker or microwave in another area of the home or planning no-cook meals.

#7. Storage Costs

It’s essential that you give contractors space to work efficiently and safely. This probably means finding a temporary home for some of your belongings. Storing your belongings during a home renovation also protects them from damage during construction. If you rent storage, make sure you consider the cost based on a unit large enough to hold everything.

#8. Temporary Living Arrangements

You may find it easier to move out of your home while renovations are being complete, especially for larger projects. Many homeowners do not consider this until they find themselves checking into a hotel or short-term rental.

#9. Errors

Mistakes can happen in many ways during a renovation. The biggest mistakes are made before work even begins. Make sure you choose contractors who are licensed and experienced. Find out if any approval or permits are required and don’t let a contractor tell you otherwise. You should also avoid overimproving for your neighborhood, which can dramatically reduce your return on investment.

#10. Changing Your Mind

One of the biggest reasons we find for higher renovation costs is homeowners changing their minds. If you change the materials or the scope of the work on your home, it will raise the cost more than you think. This is especially true if you chose custom cabinetry or anything else made specifically for you.