Prevention of Over Budget Home Improvement
Planning home improvement projects takes into very careful consideration the figuring out and setting aside the money needed.
Some people ask contractors on how much are the estimated cost of the planned home improvement. The estimated amount of money mentioned by the contractor at times is eclipsed by the actual cost of the home improvement project.
There are several factors that were not considered during the early planning by the homeowner or the contractor. These are something we consider as hidden cost.
When a contractor is hired or to be hired, that person gives an estimate of how much the cost to have a particular job done including materials and labor. Sometimes, when the job is started, the contractor finds out that there’s more work involved than what was thought.
An example of which is when a roofing contractor started replacing shingles found out that the wood beneath the tile is completely decayed and needs to be replaced. With this, the contractor would ask the owner to change the wood to maintain the integrity of the roofing and make the work more durable. The purchase of the materials needed for this was not included in the estimate.
Or a contractor during the course of the job found out that a new equipment was needed to finish the job and this was not seen before. The rental would be additional cost to the project that will be shouldered by the owner.
Some hidden costs might not be so hidden if you understand the contract.
Sometimes homeowners are directly responsible for unexpected costs. For example, halfway through the task of having your kitchen renovated, the owner suddenly decides to upgrade the sink and plumbing fixtures to more expensive ones. Unless the owner chooses brands or products within the budget, this would not be a problem.
Another factor that can cause over the budget renovation is the continuing fluctuation of construction materials and building supplies. If the job is one that will take a long period of time, or if the owner received the estimate several months before the actual work, there’s a chance that the price of supplies that will be used to complete the project will increase. If this happens, the bill may rise accordingly. If the contractor includes the cost of supplies in the estimate, ask the contractor before you sign the contract whether those costs are subject to change or how many months will the price be good.
The best way to prepare for hidden costs is to ask the contractor upfront which costs is expected to rise.
To prepare mentally, owners can ask the contractor’s references whether the final costs of their projects exceeded the estimates, and by how much. Those references can also tell the owner what the hidden costs were. If a contractor has a history of estimating too low, the owner can either find another contractor, or anticipate and prepare for a higher final price.
Also, the owner should make it clear at the beginning of the project that contractor must let the owner know if the project will cost more than expected so there would be time to get the finances ready.