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4 Unexpected Expenses Of DIY Home Renovation

Budgeting is the first step in DIY home renovation. After all, you need to know that you can afford the supplies and tools necessary for the project. Make sure to account for these four unexpected expenses when preparing your home renovation budget to avoid spending more than you have set aside for the task at hand.

1.  Permitting fees – Many homeowners don't think about licensing and permitting fees when it comes to DIY home renovation. As a result, they often overlook the expense of paying for the appropriate permit.

Permits are often required when you are expanding your home's physical footprint, doing electrical work, or performing plumbing work. If you are adding a back deck or redoing the master bath, you may need a permit.

Failing to get a building permit can result in a fine from the city or town. Accordingly, it's vital to take a few minutes during the planning phase to check whether you need a permit and if to, to obtain one.

2. Equipment rental fees – Renting the right piece of equipment can help you work faster and easier, saving you time and effort. Renting allows you to use specialized equipment at a fraction of the cost of purchasing it outright. However, failing to anticipate all rental fees can leave you with sticker shock.

Most rental stores offer per-day or per-week rentals. Estimate the time it will take to do the job, and then determine what equipment time frame works for you.  Call local equipment rental companies to ask whether there are any late fees, pickup or delivery fees, or other fees associated with renting the equipment you need. Ask for a full estimate, and then add this into your budget to ensure you can pay for rentals.

3. Waste disposal – When you renovate, you produce a lot of construction waste. Depending on your local laws, you may be responsible for disposing of this waste yourself. For example, Calgary laws limit municipal trash collection to black garbage bins and bagged trash. The city does not offer junk removal, so residents with oversized junk must haul this to city landfills.

If you're trying to get rid of large-ticket items, such as household appliances, you may need to invest in a bin rental, or rent a truck to take items to the landfill. With a major DIY renovation, these trips can add up in fuel and rental fees.

It can be cheaper and more convenient to investigate short-term bin rental. You'll pay to rent a bin, but you won't have to haul away the trash yourself and you'll save time.

4. Mistakes – Mistakes in home improvement are part of the learning curve for DIYers. It's unrealistic to think that you won't make a mistake when fixing your home, especially if you're trying something that's new to you.  

In a worst-case scenario, you could make a mistake that necessitates more repairs. For example, you could break a pipe while fixing the bathroom, and need to clean up water damage.  Then, you'd need to replace the broken pipe yourself or spring for an emergency plumber.

As a general rule, add 20 percent to your budget to cover the cost of mistakes and other surprises. This way, you have capital set aside should you need it. If you don't end up dipping into that money, you have an instant slush fund for your next renovation project.

These tips will help you ensure that your anticipated project budget actually covers your needs. Remodeling your home can approve its appearance and its value, and doesn't need to put you in the red when you budget properly.