Are you thinking about remodeling your home come the new year? If you’re like most, you have a general budget in mind but may not have included some unforeseen expenses. Some of these problems could even greatly affect the total cost of your project. In order to keep everyone in the “remodeling loop”, we want to provide various scenarios that could be potential “hits” to your established budget.
PERMITS AND GAS:
Has all the work in your home that requires permits, been permitted? On a recent project, the city inspector came in and inspected our client’s whole house in its entirety even though our permit was only for the kitchen. During this inspection, he found that the water heaters and bathroom had not yet been permitted. Because of this, he stopped the project and required us to go to the city and pull the appropriate permits. In addition, he also determined that the gas line coming into the house wasn’t big enough for all the appliances that were pulling gas. These two findings from the inspector resulted in a hefty expense that the client had to pay in order to handle their needs for the remodel to resume.
Speaking of problems with gas, on a project for a different client we endured some difficulties. While trying to enlarge from a 30” gas cooktop to a 48” gas range, it was determined that the not only was the current gas line not sufficient enough for the existing appliances, but with the installation of the new range, there was no way the gas line was going to meet the inspectors approval. Some of you may think it’s easy to add a gas cooktop when you already have gas in the house because you just have to “add a line” – right? Wrong…suddenly you could find yourself in the same situation as those clients mentioned above. Unfortunately this isn’t just a couple hundreds of dollars to fix, this is several, and even up to, thousands – depending on each circumstance.
Finally, when a permit is pulled, inspectors are now also looking at the smoke detectors. It is now a requirement that there is one smoke detector in each bedroom and the hallway(s) leading to those bedrooms. In addition, all of the smoke detectors in the house need to be tied together so if one goes off, they all go off. As time goes on, I have a feeling that this is going to get more and more strict. Right now, bringing this up to code would require extensive remodeling – think tearing our sheetrock because of a 2nd story – most times the inspectors won’t require this…but you still have to have them in the proper locations.
Flooring…this should be a no brainer, right? Pull the old floor up and put the new floors down. Well, like walls in a house, there is nothing ever “level”. Homebuilders aren’t remodelers…they’re interested in getting it done and typically don’t oversee projects like a professional remodeler. I can’t even begin to tell you how many projects we’ve been installing flooring and from one corner to the other, the floors are out of level 1,2 3 or more inches. This results in more money to level the floors. If you’re installing carpet (which we hardly even do anymore), it’s not a big deal. However, if you’re installing any type of “hard” surface – wood, cork, and especially tile, the floor MUST be level. This will entail either removing existing flooring or leveling. Again…this typically isn’t just a couple hundred dollars to fix, it’s the “big bucks”.
Want new lights? Again…should be pretty easy – right? Well, if your current light was pretty light in weight and now you want to install a much heavier light fixture AND the box for the electrical isn’t attached to a joist or some type of framing, what is going to hold that light up?! When we are going to remodel, we find out how much the new lights will weigh so we know going in if we’re going to have to add additional framing that will hold that light up. Again, this could be a very inexpensive fix, but it could also result in more. If you have a 2nd story in that location, your only answer is to tear out sheetrock and put in the framing. Well, there is no “patching” a ceiling and making it look like it was NOT patched unless you redo the entire ceiling. Many homes now have continuous ceilings…that could result in painting the whole ceiling. Think about your car…if you’ve had an accident, then don’t just redo that “spot”, they typically have to replace the whole bumper or side panel. This is the same thing with ceilings.
We hope these situations will help open your eyes to some future complications that could happen. It is always important to include some flexibility and leeway in your budget for things like this!