Budgeting Beyond The Obvious: Don’t Overlook These Home Reno Expenses

Materials and labor make it to the top of your calculations when budgeting for a home renovation because they represent some of the biggest costs of any household project — from something as simple as a fresh coat of paint to a more complicated kitchen remodel.

But if that’s all your budgeting for, you might have some nasty surprises waiting for you. When it comes to big changes and revamps, many things factor into your renovation costs. Don’t let these less obvious ones catch you off guard.

The Unexpected

A swing of the sledgehammer can reveal underlying issues you don’t anticipate. Fixing unexpected water damage, dealing with pests, and even updating out-of-code building materials will add time and costs to your reno.

That’s why most renovation experts recommend you plan around the unexpected, inflating your original budget by 10% to 15%. If these unexpected repairs cost more than this, you have the option to delay the repairs until you save what you need.

Of course, you can’t press pause on urgent repairs that affect your safety. In unavoidable situations, you can take out a line of credit or installment loan to cover what you need. Applying to borrow cash online using your PC or smartphone at the first sign of financial trouble is easy thanks to convenient virtual applications. These online loans come with flexible repayment terms that let you pay back what you borrow in multiple installments, so you won’t get stuck paying for everything in one lump sum.

Permit Fees

Many municipalities require you to apply for permits that prove your plans follow all local and federal building safety codes. In most cases, these fees are minor compared to the cost of materials or labor. However, even a small sum can be challenging to cover if you don’t plan for it. Check in with your municipality to see what permits you need for your proposed work.


A renovation that tears your home down to studs will totally transform your space. In the meantime, this extensive renovation will make it next to impossible to live in your home while the project is ongoing.

Have you thought about where you’ll sleep or work until it’s safe to return to your house? If loved ones can’t put you up, you might have to rent a motel, hotel, or vacation rental. Luckily, most of these accommodations give discounts for long-term stays.


Extensive renovations can also require removing furniture and belongings from your space. If you can’t move these items to another room or garage, you may have to spring for a self-storage unit. The average person spends $1.63 per square footage on storage — that’s almost $2,000 for the most popular sized unit.

Childcare and/or Pet Sitting

Having small children and pets underfoot while you or contractors work can be dangerous for everyone involved. To keep everyone safe, you need to consider where your tots and four-legged friends will be during the renovations.

Some people don’t have local friends or family who can help. In which case, you’ll have to add childcare and pet sitting into your budget.

Waste Removal

Most contractors factor waste removal in their prices, unless otherwise specified. DIY-ers, on the other hand, have to deal with all the junk wood and materials pulled from a teardown on their own. You have the option of renting a garbage bin that stays in your driveway during the renovation or carting this junk to the dump under your own gas for a fee.

The Takeaway:

The average renovation budget takes more than just materials and labor. To avoid costly surprises, think beyond these basics.

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