The Unforeseen Costs of A Home Renovation or Addition
It has come to my attention that there are certain costs of a home renovation or addition that people may overlook before they get things started. I am here to explain what BVM Contracting feels are the bigger costs that people might not see at first glance of wanting a project completed.
1. Getting Drawings for your Project
Obtaining drawings and plans before a renovation is not only essential, but it is also mandatory. That is why if you have ever inquired about doing a renovation or addition, the person you asked will usually ask if you have the permit drawings, which are the city-approved drawings for your project. Preliminary drawings will also have to be completed by an architect or interior designer depending on the scope of work, which means that you will have to spend money on the design before the first wall can be knocked down in your home.
Obtaining the permits is another cost, which varies depending on the size and type of renovation. For a minor renovation (like an interior home renovation) the process of obtaining a permit can be fast-tracked and usually takes 2 weeks to complete. Major renovations (like home additions) can take several months to be approoved though, and will cost more for the city to approve of the drawings than a minor renovation. You cannot start work until you obtain the permit drawings so this means that the preliminary drawings are not significant until they are passed by the city. This part of the process is the most stressful and tedious part, so make sure you are prepared to wait.
2. Living Accommodations During the Project
Another cost that will be incurred if you undertake a major renovation is living accommodations for the entirety of the project. Unless the project is isolated in your home (i.e. a bathroom renovation or basement) you will have to find another place to stay. This is both for safety reasons, as well as to ensure that you are not suffering from poor air quality. In the past we have had clients stay at their relative’s homes, or rent another house or condo. It is up to you to have a plan in place when it comes time to do your project, so do not be thrown off-guard when it comes time to find a place.
If your home builder is good then you will not have to deal with hidden costs because everything should have been put into the contract. One thing that is unavoidable though is when the project scope changes due to unforeseen problems with the home (take for example knob and tube wiring), or you decide to make changes during the project (which happens a lot). It would be wise to allocate an extra 10% contingency to your overall project budget in order to have the funds for if or when the scope changes.
It is important to be knowledgeable when making a large investment in your home, and BVM Contracting is here to help. Read some of our other blogs in the General Home Advice category to learn more about the industry.
About the Author
Business Development, BVM Contracting
A graduate of chemical engineering from Queen's University, Ryan has spent many summers working with BVM Contracting in various roles and projects. This experience has provided him with a unique view on the residential construction industry which he loves sharing with you!