Remodeling Surprises That Cost You More Than You Budgeted


Remodeling your home is an expensive deal, and it’s one that you cannot ignore once you get started. When my husband and I bought our dream house a year and-a-half ago, we put aside a lot of money to help us remodel the house a bit. It didn’t need much work, really, but what it did need was not cheap. The previous owners took everything with them – including the toilets – and that left us with cheap, low-end items that the bank put in the house to help it sell. They had no choice, because the house is in a high-end neighborhood and they were not about to sell it with nothing in it. They really cheaped out, though, and we had to make some fixes.

In a big house in a very upscale neighborhood, the bank put in plastic countertops. They replaced all the missing cabinets with decent cabinets, but the person who put them in stained them with one coat in some places and two or three it others. They put in the cheapest white carpet throughout, and they painted the entire house (more than 3,600-square-feet of indoor space) with a flat matte paint that stains immediately if you touch it or get anything on it. Additionally, they covered up a few flaws on the exterior of the house on the hardy board siding – with four or five different shades of paint. Finally, the builder never cleared the lot, which is well over an acre on a corner lot. There were hundreds of trees that had to come down as the house was not visible from either road. We set aside a lot of money, and we set aside more knowing that some of these projects might cost more.

We were fortunate in that we ended up with two costly mistakes – on the contractor’s behalf. The first is the granite we chose for the kitchen and the two downstairs bathrooms. We needed more than 144-square feet of it. We went to the granite place and chose three we really liked. One was an A and it was more than $6,000 for the granite. The other two were C grades, and they were both a little over $10,000. However, the granite company accidentally wrote in one of the C granites with the A price, and didn’t catch their mistake. We chose that one thinking we were getting a heck of a deal. They eventually confessed that they made a mistake, but that they would honor the price. Savings – $3,500.

The other costly mistake was the land clearing company. We had two quotes for the property and one was nearly double the other. Naturally, we chose the cheaper option. We paid $4,100, and he admitted that he mistook the amount of loads, the amount of time and the number of trees they had to clear and we should have been charged more than $8,500 for the job. We saved $4,400 on that one. However, we also found some costly issues that did not work in our favor; and I thought I’d share those with you so that you could see for yourself why it’s so important to budget around 20% more for surprise issues.


We needed a lot of electrical run from the upstairs rooms to the downstairs rooms. We needed cables run to the lanai from inside so we could mount a television there. We needed cables run through walls into other walls for televisions and other things. We spent $1,000 more on this than we originally thought since we needed more work than we thought. If you need professional electrical services like the Xpert Electric service
for your remodeling project, visit their website to know how you can contact them. You can also look for MZ Electric and other similar services for further assistance.

Small issues

When the granite company came to install the granite, they informed us that we needed to have our outlets on the back wall of the granite replaced since they had no anchors and did not actually push into the granite. That was an additional $800 because we needed all new outlet covers and interior pieces, and we have so many of them.


We had our countertops replaced, and we also had new sinks and faucets installed in both downstairs bathrooms and the kitchen. The granite company told us the day of installation we’d need a plumber to come out the following day to hook up our sinks. We didn’t know that; and we bought nice, complicated items. That was another $540. Visit sites like if you need plumbing services to help you complete your remodeling project. Remodeling your bathroom may also lead to other plumbing maintenance tasks such as septic tank pumping if you have your own septic system.

We were very fortunate that nothing else went wrong, but we are also well aware of how much we saved thanks to the mistakes of others. When remodeling, always budget more so that you can account for those mistakes and not feel stressed that there could be additional costs that might not be in the plan.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply