Expect the unexpected: Five unexpected reno costs that can blow your budget

By: Mike Doman

When it comes to giving your house a refresh, there’s a lot of small costs that can add up. The Latitude team find the ones you need to factor in to avoid a headache.

If you’ve ever sat on the couch (ironically engrossed in the latest reno show) only to realise that the last time your kitchen saw some love was during the 1970s “Brown Lino Revolution”, it may be time to think about a reno.

Any renovation expert will tell you that it’s important to go in with your eyes open: know what it’ll cost, know where you can compromise and stick to it. Yet, as with any big project, there are plenty of things that go on behind the scenes that can turn your quest for a revitalised kitchen into a financial headache.

Get a room

If you’re planning on redoing your floors or pulling up some carpet, it’s more than likely you’re not going to be able to do it with a day’s work – but you’ve still got to sleep somewhere. If the bedroom’s getting a makeover and it’ll take a few days, make sure you’re factoring in the cost for a place to stay. Even if it’s with a family member, it’s a nice gesture to get them a meal for their hospitality.

Done like a dinner

That week-long kitchen reno (that could well spill into two or three weeks…) is going to wipe out your ability to cook for a week. That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. At an average of $40 for takeout food for four, you’re looking at $120 a day in food costs, or $600 a week. You can cut this down with pre-packaged foods, but you’re likely to experience an upswing in the food budget while cooking.

The right tools for the job

At the start of a job, you may be committed to doing everything with the tools you have in your own house now. Yet there may be a point where you’re willing to shell out $50 to cut a job down from a day to an hour out of sheer frustration. It’s a good idea to factor in a small budget for unexpected tool costs to make sure you’re coming in below budget.

The little things

Paintbrushes, screws, washers, tape, stationary… it all adds up after a while. Many people cost up the big-ticket items and forget about all the small ones. A drop sheet, a couple of paintbrushes, masking tape, roller kit and some silicone – you’re looking at around $45 from Bunnings. Among the more expensive items, this can seem cheap, but every roll of masking tape you use will set you back around $10.

Beware of your own ambition

As with any project, it’s important that you don’t get carried away and start to go overboard. With the right budgetary preparation and a little bit of discipline, you’ll be on the way towards a reinvigorated room without the headache of paying it off forever.

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