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Article Teaser: You’ve browsed all the magazines, planned and saved and calculated how much your kitchen remodeling ideas will cost. You’ve gotten estimates and bids, picked a contractor and now you are ready to get started. However, renovations are rarely without unexpected complications and these hidden costs might have you spending more than you thought.

Keep reading below...

Don't Get Burned! The Hidden Costs of Kitchen Remodeling

Copyright (c) 2008-2017

You’ve browsed all the magazines, planned and saved and calculated how much your kitchen remodeling ideas will cost. You’ve gotten estimates and bids, picked a contractor and now you are ready to get started. However, renovations are rarely without unexpected complications and these hidden costs might have you spending more than you thought.

Hidden costs can come from a variety of places, but the main areas are: Contractor problems, zoning or permit issues, contract issues, scheduling issues, surprises during construction and any changes you or the contractor make during the process.

Problems With the Contractor

Sometimes your contractor takes on more jobs than he can handle. While you are screening contractors, ask how many jobs he does at a time and if he builds extra time into his schedule for delays. Ask what has happened to surprise him during other projects and how he solved it and how long it took.

If you do your homework while you are in the interviewing process, you’ll have fewer problems later. This homework includes getting and checking references, seeing one of his jobs in progress and making sure you are comfortable in communicating with him.

Your partnership with your contractor will be the key to the success or failure of your project, so maintain a productive work environment by keeping the lines of communication open.

Zoning or Permit Issues

The main idea here is to make sure your contractor knows the codes in your area. It’s easier and cheaper to fix a problem in the design stage rather than in mid-construction. Any permits the job requires should be in place before the work starts and your contractor should work with the building inspector and not around him.

Contracts

Know what’s included and what’s excluded in any contract you sign. Sometimes certain tools and building materials might be excluded and you’ll have to pay for them separately. The cost of the products or appliances you want might not be included either. Make sure there’s a payment schedule in the contract and don’t pay ahead for work that’s not completed. Never pay more than 30 percent of the total job cost initially. That should be enough for the contractor to cover paying for your startup materials.

Scheduling Delays

You should have a solid renovation schedule and it should have a few days built into it for delays. Your supplies should be ordered and scheduled to be delivered before you need them. Checking with your contractor on a regular basis to get a progress report will keep you in the loop and aware of potential costly delays.

Surprises and Delays During the Construction Process

While tearing down the old cabinets and sink, you may find water damage that will have to be fixed before work gets underway. You may accidently cut into wires or plumbing or find that some previous work that was done wasn’t done correctly and will have to be replaced. You may also find that since you have gotten your estimates, the cost of the building supplies has risen.

There are things you just can’t plan for, but you can set 10-15% of your budget aside for these unexpected surprises. Make it clear to your contractor at the beginning of the project that you want him to let you know the minute he knows the project will cost more than expected so you can decide how to handle the situation.

Upgrades and Changes

Sometimes the homeowner is responsible for added costs to the budget because they change their mind about designs or products. Just as you want to know the minute the contractor thinks there may be an unexpected cost, you should keep the contractor informed on any changes you might be thinking of making. Sometimes the contractor will recommend a change based on his knowledge of the job to date. Sometimes a change is required because of an unexpected surprise, like water damage.

However they are made, all changes to the renovation should be in writing and signed by you and the contractor. The change order should include any added time and budget amounts that affect the overall remodeling costs.

Remember, estimates are only estimates. Things can happen to inflate your costs and the best way to keep costs down is to plan everything out as much as you can and be prepared for the unexpected. Whatever your budget, make sure you include labor costs, which could be almost a third of your budget and at least a 10-15% contingency for those unexpected expenses. And, have a plan to keep track of all the costs - maybe a spreadsheet - so you can compare your actual costs to your budgeted amounts. It is also important to get and keep all the receipts for all the work done, as they are your proof of payment.

A kitchen renovation can be one of the most rewarding investments you can make, but be sure you take the proper steps to avoid it becoming a money pit.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Aaron J. Munk is the founder of SeeItYourWay, a home-design technology company at the crossroads of technology and design. SeeItYourWay is a premier kitchen design website, providing users with the ability to view multiple home décor selections in a photo-realistic setting, bringing out the unique designer in each and every one of us. To learn more, visit http://www.seeityourway.com or call 800-733-0155.

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Internal ID: #6440
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Word Count: 831

Total Views: 2983

Article Rating: 3.83 of 5
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2008-12-15 11:36:00






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