Unexpected Costs You Might Encounter During A Kitchen Renovation

If you are entering a kitchen renovation, you likely already know that even a small reno is going to cost you a pretty penny. The amount you should expect to spend on a kitchen renovation will vary depending on factors like the size of your kitchen space, the cost of your home, and the style you are going for, so you should budget for those. Still, even with these factors considered, there are unexpected costs that you may encounter during the remodel, including small details like adding outlet covers and huge costs like contractor fees.

When planning out your kitchen renovation, you'll need to start with the layout — not properly designing your kitchen layout is a major mistake you want to avoid when remodeling. Beyond that, you want to try and avoid hidden costs where possible. But even the best-laid plans can reveal mishaps and hiccups that weren't expected. Before you start your reno, try to understand some of the unanticipated costs that homeowners embarking on a kitchen makeover often encounter so you can prevent them as best you can.

Big unexpected costs

There are tons of ideas for a kitchen remodel, and if you are already at the planning stage, you probably know that even little details, like the design of the backsplash, can cause the overall cost to quickly skyrocket. But before you can even look at the finer aspects, it's imperative to understand the bigger costs that could arise. If you plan to redo the layout, such as knocking down walls, you may find some unwanted issues, including termites or water damage. Unfortunately, you can't foresee these things before a wall is opened up, and once you do, it is not something you can ignore. Termite treatments will cost you around $10-$20 per linear foot on average while mold and water damage will cost between $1,000 and $3,000, but can cost double, triple, or even more if the problem is on the larger side.

Beyond the things you can't plan for, one of the biggest costs homeowners don't expect is the cost of labor. While it's likely you have included labor in your overall cost projection, it often ends up being more than you expected. When planning, try to budget about 15% of the overall renovation cost for labor and installation.

Small unexpected costs

If you are able to avoid large costs like water damage or pests, you're in luck — but don't take a deep breath quite yet. Often, the things that make our budget explode are the little things adding up, especially the things we didn't expect. If you are doing a large-scale kitchen reno, you likely won't have access to your kitchen for the majority of the project. This means you will need to get your food in other ways, causing most homeowners to spend a good amount of money on eating out. If your project takes weeks or months, you could be looking at an additional thousands of dollars you didn't plan for in your initial budget.

Inside the kitchen, you'll want to budget for things like replacing the outlet covers for outlets that were once hidden and are now visible. If aesthetics is your focus, replacing your original pots and pans and even silverware may become top of mind. Once the project is finished, you will also need to consider the cost of removing any waste you accumulated. While this will only cost a few hundred dollars, adding it to all the other costs can cause you to quickly go over budget. To avoid killing your budget, add a bit of a cushion so you have the funds when unexpected things arise.