From Anna on April 29th, 2008 in Kitchen Remodel
Throughout the course of my own recent kitchen remodel, “hidden costs” seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Normally just little things, but after a while, they really began to add up. Such as an extra $300 to bull-nose a section of countertopping that they missed in the original bid; or an extra $50 for replacing the electrical outlets. So how do you avoid falling victim to the hidden costs of kitchen remodeling?
All too often, extra expense comes in the repair of troublesome areas like water damage or where additional work is required to make the space structurally sound. Much of these unforeseen problems can be diagnosed ahead of time by giving your kitchen a careful examination. You don’t have to have any professional knowledge, just look behind sinks, and under the flooring near any water sources to detect any leaks or dry rot.
When planning your layout, take into consideration where plumbing, electrical, and gas lines will need to be moved, and discuss everything ahead of time with your contractor. It may require a little belly-crawling, but take a look in the attic and under the house. Evaluate the structural stability of your sub-floor along with identifying weight-bearing walls. Take notes of areas that may need possible reinforcement or replacement so you can point them out to your contractor. Don’t forget that with most remodels, the potential always exists to find some “surprises” when you tear everything out; and I don’t mean valuable magazines that you can sell on E-Bay. Just expect to have to fork out a little extra for some repainting, wall patching, or new plumbing and wiring.
Another area that can possibly cause some problems is design mistakes. Sometimes, no matter how many times you rearrange your layout, something still ends up out of place such as a cabinet drawer blocking the stove door. Unless you just want to live with a frustrating scenario, you more than likely will opt to replace the cabinet or move the stove.
Even if we’re not that handy with a hammer, most of us can handle basic demolition work. Many of us choose to tackle that portion to save a few bucks. Be careful. A costly mistake such as breaking a water-pipe can definitely incur unforeseen costs; both in repair and clean-up.
Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you budget and prepare ahead of time, hidden costs are bound to make an appearance. Perhaps the best way to prepare is simply to allow yourself a buffer zone. That is, set aside an additional 10-15% to cover extra expenses. Who knows, maybe you’ll even have a little money leftover. Do your prep-work, and then request free-estimates from professional kitchen remodeling contractors and get your project started.