From Engineering on May 29, 2008 in Bathroom Remodel
As many of us who have ever tackled a remodeling project know, any room that has plumbing has the potential for hidden problems. Bathrooms are definitely one of the biggest culprits, and you better plan ahead for some extra expense in a renovation project.
Dry rot, mold, and mildew damage are some of the biggest problems you can expect to encounter. In many cases, portions of the walls may need replacing, leaking pipes fixed, and old fixtures replaced.
Faulty wiring is another potential problem area. Many older homes were wired before modern safety measures were in place for electrical lines. Over time, moisture can also corrode the wiring, causing fire danger. Plan for the possibility of replacing the old wiring along with new outlets, breakers, and fixtures. This may even entail running wiring long distances to reach the electrical panel. Modern codes require GFI outlets in bathrooms, which can be quite a bit more expensive than standard outlets.
Hidden costs can arise out of the little things as well. Maybe the floor is uneven, requiring extra backing under the new flooring. Or, the window is only single paned. Maybe there is old wallpaper that requires stripping, or lead or asbestos in the existing surfaces. Removal of such materials can become pricy and labor intensive.
There is no need to be concerned; just adequately plan ahead for the unexpected. Avoid hiring a contractor only for time and materials, and only accept estimates from professional contractors who should be experienced at estimating for the unknown. It doesnt hurt to set aside an additional 10-15% in your budget to cover any such instances.