Three Hidden Costs With Budget Bathroom Renovations
When you’re going through any type of renovation, no matter how organized you think you are, things can (and will!) go wrong.
Although getting a low-cost bathroom remodel sounds great on paper, in reality, they can end up more expensive in the long run (as well as being incredibly stressful to deal with).
We’ve been helping homeowners with bathroom renovations for over 40 years – so we’ve seen a thing or two. Here are the three main culprits for blowing out bathroom budgets we’ve seen over the years.
Our number one tip for bathroom renovations? Hire a competent professional to help you. At HomebyNP, we can help you assess an estimated cost for your project, including prudent reserves built-in – designed to soften the blow if an unexpected problem does crop up.
1. Being unprepared
The key to having a successful bathroom renovation is to start organized and stay organized. Not knowing your budget for your project is the kiss of death to a beautiful bathroom. The better informed you are, the better decisions you’ll make.
There are so many options available. You need to have what you want figured out before you even think of ripping up tiles or taking down cabinets.
Here are a few things to consider:
You need to have an idea of what you want
- Design style – do some research, have inspiration pictures ready (hello, Pinterest!)
- Come up with a list of things you love and things you definitely don’t like
- Go tour new homes for ideas
- What are the needs of your family? Your bathroom needs to be functional, as well as stylish
- How long are you planning on living in the house? The longer you’re staying, the more you can spend
You need to have a budget in mind and have a funding source
- Do you have the money saved up, or are you applying for a loan?
- Do you have a ballpark of what you want to spend?
- Do you know how much the bathroom you want actually costs? Go get pricing!
It helps if you have researched appliance and fixture manufacturers
- Go to your local appliance dealer who doesn’t work on commission – they will be full of amazing information and give you the inside info on performance
- Go through manufacturer options: GE, LG, Kitchenaid, Jennair, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, and Samsung, as all of these have low, medium and high-end options
All of this research will help you understand where your budget needs to be allocated and what viable options you have.
Being organized and having a decent understanding of your budget is essential when going through a bathroom renovation. It helps you stay on track and helps you know exactly how much money you need to spend on each part of your renovation.
Making sure you’re prepared before you start your renovation project is incredibly important. If you start your project a bit clueless, then you might get caught out during the early stages. This could cause a sort of domino effect throughout the rest of your project and leave you with a whole lot of unexpected fees and problems.
Get ready for the change of lifestyle. Construction is a complete change of life. It’s loud, dusty, and disruptive. Kids can't take naps if the tile in the bath is being busted up!
If you’re unprepared, you are also at risk of falling behind on your project, which means you’ll end up being held up, and you’ll have to pay for extra call-out fees. If one part of your project has to be done before another, you might have to pay extra for the delay as the renovator will be off schedule and have to wait an extra day or so to start his part of the job.
For example, if you didn’t budget out enough time for the painter to finish their job, then the electrician won’t be able to fit your new lights in the time frame he was given and so on. It all builds up and will cost you a lot more than you bargained for.
Remember that some traders may do a job on an hourly rate, so the longer they’re there, the more you’ll have to pay them.
2. Hidden damage: water, mold remediation, drywall damage, and termites
Preventative maintenance is your friend; lack of maintenance is your worst enemy.
Water damage, whether it’s from the toilet or your bathtub, is no joke and can happen anywhere in your bathroom. If it goes unnoticed, it can do serious damage to your walls, floor, and ceiling.
It’s often the case that damage goes unnoticed until demolition begins, and you’ve started your renovation process. If you’re in the middle of your project, and this happens, there may be a lot of repair work that needs doing before any of the work can continue.
If you have any existing water damage in your bathroom, it can become a major setback to your project. Before you begin your renovation, you should have your bathroom checked, so you can sort any damage out in advance and rectify it before starting your project.
Unfortunately, none of us have a crystal ball – once a wall is opened, many things can be revealed.
Termites have an incredible ability to go unnoticed until you start renovation and take a closer look at the structure of your home. Termites only eat timber frames that can easily go unnoticed for months and months. Although a shocking discovery to homeowners, it’s a common hidden cost for any bathroom renovation.
Termites usually start off in a wet or damp area of a home, so your bathroom is the perfect nesting spot for them.
If there’s substantial termite damage to the structure of your home, you may be faced with a code violation. If you get hit with a code violation, you’ll have to get clearance from the relevant authorities that you can continue with your project, once you’ve eliminated all the termites from your home.
Even though a termite problem may cost you a bit extra on your budget, you can account for the possible time delays and the added cost of termite damage at the beginning of your project.
Everything’s affected by gravity – bathroom fittings included! What goes up must come down, whether we want them to or not.
Here are a few of the most common gravity-affected fittings to check in your bathroom that can affect the cost of your renovation.
- Hanging doors (this includes shower doors) can start to drop
- Nails pop
- Floors can warp
- Joists can begin to bow
- Drywall seams expand/contract and tape pulls away
- Molding pulls away (base and crown)
- Vinyl tiles pop up
All of these elements can add a detour during your bathroom renovation, so be safe and have a look at the current state of your fittings before your project starts.