Hidden expenses on your kitchen revamp

The one thing you can be sure of when budgeting for any renovation project is that you’ve probably under-budgeted on at least one expense.

This according to regional director and chief executive of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, who explains how many projects have ground to a halt when unexpected expenses blow homeowners’ carefully planned budgets out of the water.

To help prevent drowning in unexpected expenses when holes in the budget begin to show, Goslett lists some of the most commonly overlooked expenses in kitchen remodels:

Replacing flooring – if you don’t have any spare tiles or floor boards stored somewhere, you might not be able to keep the original flooring, especially if you are planning on replacing the cupboards. Often, after having removed the cupboards, you will find that there is no flooring underneath or that the flooring is damaged and needs to be replaced. If you are buying a home, be sure to check whether the sellers have any spare tiles or floorboards left over from the original flooring and ask if they could leave these behind when they move.

If you are getting new appliances delivered, or are newly moving into the space, it is advisable to keep all appliances – old and new – out of the kitchen until all construction work is over – unless you’re looking for an excuse to replace something. While throwing a plastic sheet over a stove or fridge might protect these appliances against the dust that results from a construction zone, it by no means protects them against accidents.

One of the most overlooked expenses is the call-out fees for plumbers and electricians during these renovations. If you are planning on shifting appliances or want to move the kitchen sink, you will need to make sure you have enough money set aside to pay for this. These professionals easily charge a R500 hourly service fee, so be sure you fully understand how long these jobs will take before committing to this expense.

What might start as a minor update can easily escalate into a full-blown remodel. Homeowners often don’t realise how outdated certain features of their kitchen are until they start replacing things and the shortcomings of these features are highlighted against the newness of the updated features. Before you know it, this can spread to other rooms in your home that you once thought perfectly acceptable until set against a remodelled kitchen.

As a final piece of advice, Goslett suggests that homeowners speak to an estate agent for advice.

“It is likely that your estate agent has helped other homeowners with kitchen renovations before. She could use this experience to advise you on reputable local contractors and provide guidance on what kinds of other hidden costs you might expect on a renovation like the one you are planning to undertake,” he concludes.