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The Hidden Costs of Your Next Home Improvement Project

Aug 1, 2016 2:06:44 PM / by FLHomeSupply


Though many home owners and DIYers are very diligent in planning out a budget for their home improvement projects, many of these same planners miss all of the additional hidden costs that come with the process, especially if they’re tackling a certain type of installation or replacement for the first time. In fact, in a Forbes article about home improvement projects on the rise, a Houzz survey showed that 41 percent of people did, in fact, go over their original remodel budget. Plain and simple—it’s just very easy to do.

But there are ways to plan for this. And knowing the fees and added expenses that are typically associated with certain projects is a start.

Here are some of the most common hidden costs that may be associated with your next home improvement project:

  • Permit Fees
    Permit fees are very commonly overlooked—not because people don’t care about being up to code with their projects, but rather because many just aren’t aware that they need to get certain permits until they’re already fully invested in the project. If your project either changes or adds to your existing property (such as replacing a door or adding on an extra room), it’s likely a building permit is required—especially if you live in Florida, as there are many codes that the state requires you to comply with.
    But even after your plan is approved by your county’s building department, the permit itself can be several hundreds of dollars, depending on the type of project. There may also be application fees associated with obtaining these permits, so it’s important to plan ahead for those added costs, as well.
    An easy way to access information about these permits for Florida residents is to visit MyFloridaPermits.com for downloadable construction or building permit documents required by your particular city, as well as instructions about how to actually obtain them for yourself.


  • Survey Costs
    For homeowners wanting to build additions to their homes, they may need to have a survey done first. For instance, if a couple in South Lake County is planning to add a 650 square-foot addition to their home, they will first need to complete a $200 survey in order to go through the county’s zoning and approval process. This is also a common expense that’s overlooked and many aren’t aware that it is a requirement for many different counties in Florida.

  • Increased Supply Costs
    When calculating a budget for the materials and supplies needed to complete your project, keep in mind that their prices may change if you don’t purchase them at the same time. Depending on the time of year, you may be looking at highly discounted prices offered for a blowout sale, and then the next week the prices go skyrocketing up back to their usual rates. While the prices may not be too different from week to week in your particular circumstance, if you’re doing multiple projects at once (or if you’ve encountered many other hidden fees along the way), this can certainly deepen the hole in your pocket during the process.

  • Inspection Fees
    Some home improvement projects not only require permits and surveys to be completed, but also inspections. For instance, if a home owner wants to create an addition to their house, but their property has a well or a septic tank, the health department must come and inspect the area and test the soil where the addition is intended to be. This inspection usually costs about $350, and it’s likely that the health department will require the septic tank to be drained and inspected for cracks, which may cost a few more hundred dollars.

  • Special Tools, Materials or Equipment Needed Due to Unexpected Surprises
    Perhaps you’re planning to replace your home’s roof. Even if you’ve prepared for all the hidden costs listed above, it’s likely that you haven’t thought about the unexpected “surprises” that tend to pop up in the middle of a project. Surprises that you don’t know exist until you’ve already started construction. Things like rot, decaying wood, mold, old wiring, disintegrated foam insulation, etc.—all things that make your simple project a bit more complex.
    If you have an older home, or if you think your home may have been exposed to these issues, it’s important to include extra money in your budget to allow for them.


  • Accidental Damages During the Renovation Process
    As with the point above, there are many unexpected surprises that can come up during a project, including accidental damages. Maybe you accidentally dropped the brand-new window you were trying to install, tore down the wrong wall or cut too much of your trim and molding while renovating. The truth is, this happens a lot more often than you might think, and it could happen to you, too.

Be as financially prepared as possible for your upcoming home improvement project by referring to these common hidden costs before getting started. Plus, find out even more ways to best prepare for your upcoming project by contacting FL Home Supply at 352-787-4545 today.


Topics: home improvement, projects, contractor, construction materials

Written by FLHomeSupply