Hidden Renovation Costs You Wouldn’t Expect

A renovation is expensive. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But have you considered the hidden renovation costs that you may have left out in your budget plan?

The average home remodeling cost for the most common type of property in Singapore is $55,000. Yet that cost can quickly climb due to unexpected developments. When you’re juggling so much, it’s easy to overlook the details.

To help you take stock, we have listed down the top hidden renovation costs that you would least expect.

It’s in the Walls

You may think you know the condition of your home, but there’s a secret story behind your walls. This is a common dilemma when you’re purchasing a resale unit vs a brand new one.

The previous owner may not have been all-transparent about the issues in the house during negotiation. Once the keys are handed over, only will you find unpleasant surprises hidden under that fresh coat of paint or dainty wallpaper.

Faults in plumbing or wiring can make up a huge portion of your house renovation cost. Leaks may have caused significant behind-the-scenes water damage that requires fixing before the renovation work can start. Runaway mould might be living rent-free in your premises.

Resolving these issues could all add up to a hefty additional bill – and one you didn’t see coming.

A Change of Plans

Humans aren’t the most decisive creatures, and what looks good on paper may fall flat in reality. And sometimes, life simply intervenes to slash your budget.

Plan Renovation to avoid unexpected costs

Changing your plans midway through the process can incur new expenses as you pay for the cost of reversing work. You’ll also face a completely new quote for the revision.

Try to be as thorough as possible during the planning phases, and ensure you only renovate when you know you’re in a financial place to see it through. The last thing you want happening is to abandon your renovations halfway through.

Missing the Minute Details

Getting caught up in the big picture of renovation is easy to do. But it could cost you your budget. If you haven’t taken the time to itemise every little cost of your renovation, you could soon find those small details add up to one large figure. Windows, kitchen fittings, even doors could cause significant alternations to your bill.

Give yourself plenty of time to make a complete list of everything you’ll be paying for. Before any work starts, ask your contractor for exact details of what your quote covers.

When you find yourself nodding to every fancy suggestion your contractor makes, stop right there and check if it was part of the agreed quotation. Refer to your list and stick to it unless it is a pivotal item.

Permission to Build

If you’re undertaking a significant remodel to your building, then you need to put time into researching permits.

Failing to secure a permit in advance could mean you’re forced to reverse your renovations. Worse, you’ll need to pay the extra to do it. Avoid the possibility of getting your permits sorted in advance.

Information on permits in Singapore is easy to find as they are publicly available on HDB’s website (for the majority of us who are staying in public housing). But we’re still surprised that many people forget to factor in these costs when budgeting for their renovations.

Since we’re in Singapore, just assume that you will need a permit for just about everything you do to your home – from replacing floor tiles to replacing windows to installing grills. Furthermore, do not forget that these permits have time limits.

A Load of Rubbish

You won’t believe the amount of junk a renovation generates until you’re in the thick of it.

clear renovation rubbish costly

That makes it easy to underestimate your costs for debris removal. It’s manual, and you may need to rent a lorry or disposal truck so it can get pretty expensive. It’s also an area in which sneaky contractors can inflate the bill. So keep a close eye on what you’re spending.

If any of your debris is likely to include hazardous substances, be sure to account for them in advance.

Removing the Door Frame

So, you’ve picked out a brand new door and are excited to fit that in. But how about your old door frame? Did you know that you’ll have to pay for its removal as well? There’s quite a bit of work involved in removing door frames so it can get expensive fast.

door frame removal costs

When the Kitchen Sink Doesn’t Fit

If you have recently purchased the latest iPhones, you will understand that there are complementary products that need to be purchased before you enjoy the full experience. Newer phone models these days omit the plug and earphones.

Similarly, when you are requesting a certain model of a kitchen sink, you may not have thought about your faucet, countertop, and cabinetry structure. Things like the weight, size, and type of kitchen sink will determine the fit and support it requires. If you are renovating parts of your kitchen while retaining your favourite features such as the countertop and cabinets, you may be in for a surprise.

Heavier sinks may require a more solid countertop and cabinet structure to hold them up. Are your countertop and cabinet structure strong enough to withhold the weight of the sink? If not, you may need to change those as well.

Also, if you intend to replace your drop-in sink with a farmhouse sink, you will need to get your countertop and cabinet modified to fit the new sink feature. While this may still work, replacing an existing farmhouse sink with a classic undermount sink may require replacing the entire countertop. The farmhouse sink derives its aesthetics by revealing an exposed front portion of the bowl. Whereas the classic sink bowl is kept hidden.

However, none of these are concerns if you’re replacing everything from scratch.

Consultation Fees and Professional Quotations

Did you know that some professionals such as interior designers charge fees for consultation and quotation? This is before even engaging their services. There are pros and cons of hiring an interior designer, and this is one of them.

Before a quotation is produced, highly skilled professionals require time to put up a solid plan that works into their quotation. The effort put in may come to waste if clients were just merely window shopping without any serious intentions. Hence, there is normally a nominal charge for quotations given, which usually are reversed if you decide to engage their service.

Hiring an interior designer is a luxury. Before settling for the right interior designer, it is recommended to shop around first. Hence, you’ll need to keep tabs on this additional cost when engaging one.

Keep Renovation Costs Under Control

These are a few examples of the renovation costs that can spiral out of control. By planning for them in advance, you can limit surprises and focus on building your dream home. We suggest keeping tabs of the cost in an Excel file and learn savvy renovation hacks to save money.

Looking for more advice on building a better home? Be sure to follow Aurastone’s blog.

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