Fall is the perfect time of year to start home projects and renovations. For anyone wanting to increase the value of their home through basic updates or for those seeking to create a unique space specific to their individual needs and taste, renovating a home is an exciting endeavor. Undertaking these projects, however large or small, requires foresight and planning.
There are several things to keep in mind when undertaking a remodel or upgrade. On average a home renovation can cost between $18,000 – $76,000, depending on the size and scope of the project. Remodels will cost more than this, often reaching upwards of $100,000 +. These undertakings usually leave the structure of the home intact, possibly moving walls, and in general replacing all drywall, flooring, cabinetry, lighting, appliances, and cosmetic upgrades of the home.
A thorny little issue some home – owners may not be aware of, is the topic of obtaining permits and its subsequent cost. Generally, any renovation project which requires extensive plumbing, or electrical or foundational work, will require work permits. Check with your local municipality to see if your renovations or remodels will require permits. The cost varies, but on average, you can expect to see a price tag of between $400 – $1,800.
Contractors can be worth their weight in gold. An experienced contractor, with WCB insurance, will save you time and money. While they may cost as much as twice the rate of a regular handyman, for specialized jobs, their knowledge enables them to do the job quickly, properly, and safely, saving you money in the end. Be sure to do your own research, getting references for their work in the past and ensuring that they carry adequate WCB insurance for their crew.
Unexpected costs piling onto a renovation are regular occurrences. It may be necessary to pay for the labour costs associated with preparing the site for construction – be it removing landscaping or putting in a retaining wall. This can add anywhere between $1500 – $5,000 to your tab. Addressing foundation cracks, or instability and its repair is a dread often lurking in the minds of homeowners of older homes. It is advised to add an additional 20% to your budget for hidden costs down the road. Older homes are usually the culprit here – they can hide electrical or plumbing systems that may not be up to the current building code.
If you are planning a large remodel involving load bearing walls and the like, take the time and money to invest in a consultation with a structural engineer. Removing a wall can cost as little as $300 and upwards of $10,000. An initial consultation with an engineer could see you at $300 – $700 with a plan review included. Likewise, if you’re planning a complicated reno, using an Architect’s services can help you plan your home with the most up to date style trends, upgrades and forecast the structural needs of your home. They can help you plan your budget more precisely as they will be able to help you estimate the costs for various building materials.
While it may not always be in your best interests to scrimp on some costs for your renovation, some tasks can usually be undertaken by most homeowners. Remember, though, that not everyone is comfortable taking on projects on their own. If in doubt, it is often cheaper to hire a professional rather than using your own time, making mistakes, and then paying someone to correct it in the end.
Plastering, sanding, and painting walls; ripping out old carpets; tearing down walls (be sure they aren’t load bearing) can be some simple ways to save money. Look for sales online; purchase floor models; opt for laminate instead of hardwood flooring. Check out pinterest for fabulous ideas on a budget!
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