Labor. Materials. Pizza?
Some costs do not fit neatly into a renovation project’s line-item budget, but if you ignore hidden costs, you will be left wondering why your wallet has sprung a leak. Prepare for these often unanticipated expenses:
1. Waste disposal. Dumping isn’t free. If you wish to have a dumpster parked on a public street, most municipalities will charge you about $50. Some local governments even require a homeowners’ insurance rider to cover dumpster-related injuries. No proof of insurance, no permit. No permit, no demolition work.
2. Child and pet care. Keep your children at a safe remove from the work zone. If necessary, hire a babysitter. Pets, too, can react badly to construction noise or to the sudden parade of unfamiliar men stomping around in steel-toe boots. Depending on the nature and duration of your project, you may choose to board your pets with a kennel (local rates vary).
3. Meals of convenience. Delivery pizza and takeout Chinese food quickly lose their appeal, but if your kitchen is being renovated, your options at mealtime will be limited—and pricey. Not to mention that if you throw out all of your pantry staples that have passed their expiration date, you might spend $100 or more on restocking spices, baking supplies, and so on.
4. Landscaping. Extensive remodeling almost inevitably results in damage to landscaping: Flying shingles crush shrubs; stacks of lumber kill grass; and toxic spills destroy perennial flowers. Keep a list of the plants you must replace, so you can shop autumn sales at local nurseries.
5. Cleaning. Once work is complete, an industrial-strength deep-clean will be in order, especially if you are upgrading the home in order to sell it. According to Homeadvisor, you should expect to pay about $180 for a maid service, plus another $195 to have your carpets professionally cleaned.
For more on managing construction, consider: