Homeowners all over the world love renovating. Renovation helps make your home more liveable, comfortable and sellable. And while you will likely pay a lot of money, there are also hidden costs of renovation that no one bothers to tell you about. They mainly relate to the burden of having to move out of your home. But there are also smaller ones that add up to a lot.

Hidden Costs of Renovation

Adding the Finishing Touches

One of the best parts of completing a renovation project is the finishing touches. This is when you can add your personal flair and desired style to a completed project. Mood lighting, houseplants and mirrors are great additions to your final look. However, they are also additional costs that you may not factor into your budget. It’s also possible to run out of money right at the end, and you may have to wait for your next paycheck. But there are reputable lenders that offer payday loans for bad credit or customers in need of quick cash that could help finish the project.

Your Energy Usage Adds Up

A renovation project can go on for quite some time. For example, a kitchen alone can take around four weeks from start to finish. And the contractors in and out of your home need electricity for their power tools, lighting and dust extractors. While some might bring an energy generator with them, more often than not, they will simply use your plugs. With constant work for long periods, these are likely to add a substantial amount to your energy bill for that month. So either add some extra credit to your metre or budget additional funds into your next statement.

Hidden Costs of Renovation Includes Disposal

Most home projects come with a certain amount of rubbish. But a home renovation project is like no other. Bricks, plaster and tiles are commonly found en masse as they get ripped out. However, there are also hazardous materials that must be disposed of. And this isn’t free. Some contractors factor it into their costs, but not often. Many are happy to use their transport for disposing of materials, but they will charge you because they will be charged by the dumps where they take debris. Additional fees may also apply to hazardous waste like asbestos.

Correction of Previous Botched Jobs

It’s not uncommon to find severe errors throughout a renovation. Previous homeowners can sometimes fancy themselves as an electrician or plumber and make terrible mistakes. Or they might have hired cowboy builders in the past. Either way, a good contractor will not, in good conscience, leave a botched job. The previous job could pose a severe health risk to their employees and your family. Additionally, some jobs can take precedence over your renovation if they are dangerous. But remedial work won’t be free, so assume you may need extra funds.

Hiring Pest Control and Exterminators

Like botched jobs, a project can uncover hidden pests in your home. These can range from black mould and ants to rats or nesting bats. Either way, these will cost you more money to rectify. Additionally, like dangerous working conditions and botched jobs, a contractor might refuse to continue until the issues are gone since they could pose a health risk to their employees. You should also be aware that some wildlife is protected by law. For example, all bird nests in the UK are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act of 1981.

Finding Suitable Accommodation

As mentioned, renovation can take a long time. A kitchen alone can take a month. Yet if you are having more than one room worked on or having an extension built, it could be longer. You can choose to stay in your home if you wish. But it isn’t advised. Therefore, you must find alternative accommodation such as a hotel. Budget hotel chains offer excellent value. But even using some of the cheapest will add up to a considerable cost. Staying with relatives is also an option. However, it’s polite to offer some money to help with additional fees and contribute to food.

Modernisation of Existing Features

Depending on the age of your home, it might be necessary to upgrade some features. You can modernise some parts of your home either for safety reasons, efficiency or aesthetics. There are many features you can replace, but some of the most common include the following:

  • Changing existing lighting fittings to LEDs over outdated incandescents.
  • Installing a new boiler and insulation systems for better efficiency. 
  • Replacing the cabling for any fixed electricals like Wi-Fi and entertainment.
  • Addressing water issues such as rusting pipes, leaks and plumbing rerouting.
  • Changing outdated features to meet legally required modern building codes.

These may not be necessary updates to your home. However, it’s much easier to have professionals see to these while the opportunity presents itself. Otherwise, it could be more expensive to go poking around inside the walls and electricals later down the line.

Childcare and Pet Relocation

You can choose to stay at your home while work is going on. However, a building site is no place for a child or pets. The hazards of an active renovation are too many to even mention here. But at a glance, there’s dangerous machinery, wires and cabling, and excessive dust. And all of these are the kinds of things that pets and kids alike love to get their paws on. Therefore it’s necessary to relocate both to somewhere more secure. Of course, you can take the kids with you if you stay in a hotel or with relatives. But you will probably have to pay for pet care.

Food and Drink Expenses

If you choose to move out of your home during a renovation or not, there is an increase in food and drink expenses. Staying in your home means facilities like the kitchen might not be available. So you will probably be eating out or ordering takeaway food. Additionally, the water might be off, and buying bottles of water becomes expensive pretty quickly. A hotel is a better choice since you will have running water. But ordering room service quickly adds up given the exorbitant markup costs. So plan ahead with extra funds if you are to stay in accommodation.

Fixing Unforeseen Problems

No renovation project goes without hitting some bumps along the way. Common issues include discovering hazardous materials, obsolete systems like electrics and plumbing and rotted wood. Any of these are extremely dangerous, and contractors might not be able to legally continue working until you hire a professional to take care of the problem. Of course, this is going to be another expense. And depending on the severity of the issues, they could cost relatively little and take a few hours. Or they can run into thousands over the course of several days.

Red Tape Adds to the Hidden Costs of Renovation

Some people don’t realise the headaches that come with a renovation project. Some of the biggest headaches and hidden costs of renovation come from the red tape and bureaucracy. For instance, you might need planning permission, define property lines and require multiple inspections. Your contractor can usually sort all of this for you as part of the service since they have the contacts. And some can do some of these themselves. However, they often aren’t a part of the service and require extra funds to get done quickly and efficiently by an expert.

Post-Renovation Redecoration

People are in and out of your home during a project, and most of the time, it’s builders with bulky boots, sharp tools and heavy equipment. Because of this, other parts of your home, such as high-traffic areas, will get damaged. For example, the hallway carpets are likely to suffer scuffs and discolouration. Therefore, it’s possible you might have to redecorate certain areas of the home after your project is finished. This usually won’t cost too much. However, if you feel the damage is excessive, you can speak with your contractor for a discount or remedial work.

Cleaning Up the Home After the Job

Your home will likely be severely affected by a renovation project. Contractors will often clean the renovated room before leaving, so it looks great. But that’s typically as far as they go. Unless previously agreed upon, they have no obligation to spruce up any other part of your home. But a renovation can leave a lot of damage in its wake. Not least an ungodly amount of dust that settles all over everything. And then there’s carpet dirt and wall scuffs. Fortunately, household cleaning products should be enough, but it’s an extra cost you need to be aware of.


The hidden costs of renovation can add a substantial amount to your overall bill. So before you even agree to a project, it’s helpful to make sure you can afford the associated costs associated with the renovations. Some typical extra prices include the final finishing touches at the end, temporary accommodation relocation and the costs of cleaning up after the project.

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