If you’ve ever completed a home-building project or talked to someone who has, you’ll know the project often end up costing far more money than you think before you start. Small details, delays, and unforeseen costs may rise unexpectedly—and once you start a new home addition project, you have to see it through to the end.
There are a lot of reasons that extra costs arise during big construction projects—but research, preparation, and a little help from a cost estimator tool can help you be as prepared as possible. Here are a few commonly forgotten sources of unexpected costs to look out for:
- Small but necessary items. Such items as lightbulbs, drapes, and the like, are easily and often forgotten when planning something as large as a home addition or a brand-new house. Tools needed for decoration, such nails, screws, and painters tape are also easy to forget about until you need them. All these small details add up—and can eventually drive up your cost estimate significantly if you don’t plan for them properly.
- Delays. Whether due to poor communication and coordination with different workers and companies, or because you don’t have all the tools and appliances you need, delays are fairly common in big projects. Delays don’t just cost you time, they can cost you more money than you bargained for, for many reasons—taking up workers’ time or needing to order a tool on rush, just to name a few.
- Appliances. The cost of washers, dryers, refrigerators, and even small appliances are easy to forget when budgetting a project with a large scope. But they not only cost money that you’ll want to prepare for, they also take up room in the blueprints as well. Failure to plan accordingly for the exact appliances—such as that second dishwasher you’ve always dreamed of!—can lead to less space in your new addition or long delays in in order to accommodate the design that was not properly thought-out.
- Decorative touches. Though construction and interior decorating seem like separate projects altogether, you’ll want to make sure to prepare for both in your budget.
- Necessary materials. Flooring, tile, and paint are all areas that homeowners don’t usually forget about when calculating the cost of a new project. But because most materials come with a range of pricing—based on quality, type, color, brand etc.—it’s easy to miscalculate how much they’re really going to cost. Make sure you do research ahead of time and figure out how much your preferred materials cost, even if you’re not going to buy them right away.
- Labor and contractors. Though it’s common practice to get an estimate from contractors and crews, those estimates aren’t always correct. Make sure you know exactly what estimates are covering, rather than making your decision based solely on the bottom line. And if you have friends or family who have experience with home-addition projects, ask for recommendations on people and companies they trust.
So, how can you plan for every cost and detail of your new home addition?
Of course, you should always leave room in your budget for setbacks and unexpected costs—but good planning can keep that to a minimum. Make sure to talk to experts and research extensively about everything you want to have and build in your new addition. And if you want to make sure you are as prepared and thoroughly budgeted as possible—easily—use a home-building cost-estimator tool to help you think through the details and come up with an accurate budget, before you start your project.