More often than not, original budgets are exceeded when completing a home renovation of any kind. After all, I can put together a guest bathroom remodel that can cost $6,000 or I can offer a package with custom cabinetry, upgraded counter tops and plumbing that will come in closer to $10,000. A vast majority of the time the budget increase comes from two things- clients choosing to upgrade certain aspects of the project, or unforeseen issues. It’s a good idea to know what kind of materials, finishes and appliances you are thinking of installing prior to speaking with a contractor so that you receive accurate first bid.
Client upgrades is a very broad term but, in my experience, usually entail one or more of the following-
Cabinetry- As mentioned in my example above cabinetry, and the bells and whistles, can quickly add up in price. There are so many details that can add character, or organization to your project. Glass panel cabinet doors are a beautiful way to showcase your rarely used china, adding crown molding or light rail to the bottom of the cabinets, and including built in silverware dividers, or pull out racks behind doors are all common upgrades that can tack on thousands of dollars. Ask your contractor or designer if there are aftermarket options for organization options that could be less expensive.
Appliances- Appliances are very important! They are a fixture and are used daily in your home, and can be very costly depending on what you’re looking for. I always check my calendar for the next holiday, or three-day weekend because that is when you can typically find the best deal on appliances. Some clients are unsure of where the additional money can go the furthest in their renovation, I personally think this is where it counts! For example- the additional $400.00 to upgrade to a slide in stove, or the jump from a standard depth refrigerator to a counter depth makes a big difference in your completed space and how much more updated it will feel. Keep in mind, if you currently have an electric range and are wanting a gas stove the stove itself is costlier, as well as the additional labor that this switch entails. The same goes for bathroom fixtures; You can upgrade from a standard shower head to a rain shower head, with a handheld fixture and in a specialty finish to increase the project cost.
Counter-tops- Depending on the last time you purchased counter-tops you could be in for a bit of a sticker shock. Laminate counter-tops were once all the rage, and they were very affordable but the times have changed! Quartz and Granite are the new “it” counter-tops. You can expect to pay almost triple per square foot what you paid for your original counter-tops. ($50-80 sq ft)
Unforeseen, and unavoidable issues- Trust me when I say that your contractor dislikes approaching you with the bad news just as much as you dislike hearing about it! Recently on one of our jobs the painter came in to start prepping the walls for paint. When he started to sand the walls, he realized there was a problem- the original owners of the home painted with oil based paint directly on the drywall compound without priming. This meant that in order to prep the walls for paint they had to peel the existing paint off, and it was coming off in 2’’ pieces! Needless to say, this added on plenty of additional time and he had to readjust his bid for the paint! Other issues can be structural, like a previous incorrect install or termites.
Change orders- Changing your mind is A-OK, in most cases you will be presented with a “change order” that should describe the change as well as give a price for the additional work. Keep in mind that often when you change the scope of work, the budget and construction time are both increased. In some instances, change orders can be a bit trickier and costly. For example, if you have selected and ordered an under-mount kitchen sink, and at the arrival of the sink you decide you’d prefer a farmhouse sink you may be charged a restocking fee in addition to the change order.