Ask any home remodeling contractor, and they will tell you that remodeling a kitchen in an older home will almost always come with some nasty surprises. Maybe there's a wall that has mold growing on it from a leaky pipe. Perhaps termites have chewed the floor joists below the range. Or in some of the worst cases, lead paint or asbestos is found and requires expensive professional remediation.
Since not-so-fun surprises and remodeling old houses predictably go together, it's important to plan for potential added costs when budgeting for a renovation. A good rule of thumb is that the older your home, the more extra time and costs a kitchen renovation will require.
The positive news is that you are aware of the likelihood of unforeseen problems and can plan for them in your budget. The industry standard is to set aside a certain percentage of your overall budget as a slush fund to be used to cover unknown costs. When it comes to remodeling older kitchens, you must set aside a larger percentage of the budget for this category.
Ultimately, it is crucial to remember that whatever problems exist must be repaired. You can't very well tear out a floor and then just put it back after finding rotted joists. Once your kitchen is torn apart, you will be responsible for paying whatever the necessary costs are to put it back together again.
Thankfully most found problems are relatively minor and won't completely blow your kitchen remodeling budget. But if you don't plan for them, anything that comes along will blow your budget and you will spend most of the project frustrated and wishing that you hadn't started.
Don't Forget to Budget for Extra Building Materials
In addition to unforeseen damage, you should also plan to purchase some extra building materials. For example, you should purchase extra:
- backsplash tile
- cabinet hardware
Not only may you need some excess materials during the initial installation, but having the necessary matching materials to fix repairs is essential.
For example, if your dishwasher floods and ruins a section of flooring, or your teenager accidentally slams a cast iron frying pan into the new tile backsplash, you want to be able to fix these things without having to replace all the flooring or tile. While it costs more upfront, your future self will thank you for setting aside the perfectly matching materials!
To learn more about home remodeling, reach out to a contractor near you.