A Realistic Look at Home Renovation Projects

Posted by on Friday, November 16th, 2012 at 6:53pm.

Most people at some time or another in their lives decide to take on a home renovation project. If it's your first time doing some extensive work on your home you may not know exactly what to expect. You work out a budget, hire a contractor and then what happens? Well in most cases, you’ll need to expect some delays and will have to spend more money than what you budgeted to get a final product that you absolutely love.

Prepare for extra expenses

When you ask for an estimate from a company this is exactly what you can expect - an estimate. It's not a final binding contract between you and the contractor for final expenses. It's not rare to see a project go over the estimated price - in fact you can go so far as to say that it is a common practice.

When you have finally accepted a quote from a contractor and decide to go ahead with the project you should have at least 25% extra to spend of the estimated price.

It's not always the contractor's fault why the expenses end up escalating either. As the project moves along you may change your mind on certain materials and decide to use something that's higher-priced and of better quality.

Sales can spring up from time to time on the materials that you need for your renovations and you may find that spending just a little bit more will get you materials that are longer-lasting. All sorts of things can happen during the process that can change the price considerably. As long as you go into this project prepared for a price change it won't hit you too hard.

Delays, delays and more delays

From this perspective you'll also want to factor in a 25% time delay in getting your renovations completed. Once the contractor starts working he doesn't know what he'll run into. If you're putting in new flooring in the kitchen, for example, he may find that new floorboards absolutely need to be put in once the old tile has been ripped out. He may order new ceramic tiles from a company and expect them in on Tuesday but not receive them until Friday. In the meantime, the renovation project may need to be put on hold since nothing else can be done until the flooring is installed.

These types of things happen all the time. A time estimate is just like a price estimate - it's not absolute.

As long as you are prepared for these things you won't end up with unwanted surprises. In all fairness, most contractors do try to give an honest quote for the price and time expectations. The only problem is that these estimates are given assuming that no changes will be made and that everything will progress smoothly.  

When you're prepared for the unexpected you'll get through the renovation project with a lot less frustration and will be able to thoroughly enjoy the final completion without any worries or regrets.

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