Modular Kitchen - Baner:  Kitchen by DECOR DREAMS

What extra costs should you plan for when remodelling your home?

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally

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Whether you are doing it with the intention of increasing the value of your home or want to give your house a makeover, a remodelling project is a considerable investment. Although you start out with a budget and try to stick within it, several factors can add to the costs. While some of these are unavoidable, others can be controlled by being aware of decisions that increase the renovation or remodelling expenses.

In today’s ideabook, we highlight the factors that influence the cost of your remodelling project so that you can make better decisions and plan for potential increases in the expenses.

1. Making changes after placing orders

Modular Kitchen - Baner:  Kitchen by DECOR DREAMS

Modular Kitchen—Baner


As a homeowner, you should get the result that you expect. It’s not uncommon to change your mind after placing an order. This could be a minor change such as the height of a kitchen cabinet or a more significant one such as a change in the material you want to use for them. Although this might seem like a tiny detail to you, it can cause a steep rise in costs, especially if the cabinet is in the process of being built, as it would require starting afresh. Besides, the material and the labour costs involved in the process so far cannot be written off. Therefore, before you make a hasty decision, it’s advisable to check whether the work has already started, and if so, to get an estimate of the increase in costs that you can expect. Based on this, you can take a call on whether it’s a change you can’t live without.

Get inspired by these pictures of 5 renovated homes.

2. Unforeseen changes

Farm house (Part 2):  Corridor & hallway by SPACCE INTERIORS

Farm house (Part 2)


Often, you plan for something, but might have to make unexpected changes. This could be due to a variety of factors such as weak structures, a better vision for the project or unforeseen damage, among other things. Structural defects might be detected during the process of demolition of partition walls to create an open-plan design, causing an escalation in costs to repair and strengthen the existing structure.

Sometimes, it might be an unexpected design change. For instance, once a wall is broken down in an area, you might get a new idea of how the space can be organized. Before you begin the project, you should get your interior architect to assess the condition of the structure and account for any potential increase in the budget.

3.  Sub-standard quality of construction

Although you might have lived in your house for years without facing any problems, often it’s during the process of demolition or remodelling that existing faults in the construction are noticed. For example, the low quality of materials used to construct the walls might be discovered only once a part of it is broken down. This will mean having to reinforce all the existing walls to strengthen them and prevent them from collapsing a few years down the line.

4. Damage due to pests or rot

Many Indian homes use wood, for the flooring, rafters and windows. If the wood was not treated before use, it can attract termites, borers and other pests that damage the wood. Often, the extent of damage is not discovered until the remodelling project commences. Similarly, seepage and leaks can cause flooring or walls to get damaged in bathrooms and kitchens. If rot exists, then you will need to spend an additional amount to repair the damage before it gets worse.

5. Cost of alternate living arrangements

Residential:  Bedroom by Designism



With the dust, noise and debris, it’s impossible to live in your home while it is being remodelled, so you will need to rent another apartment or house for a few months until the work is completed. Although this is not a cost associated with construction, it can add to your expenses, so it’s best to be aware of it so that you can include it in your budget.

Even if you plan to live in your house through the remodelling, you need to account for unexpected events that might require you to spend a few days away from home. A classic example of this is if you face a power outage during the process of rewiring the electrical lines, requiring you to spend a few nights at a hotel or serviced apartment until the faulty wiring is repaired and replaced. Similarly, a pipe burst during the process of breaking down a wall might cause flooding in your bedroom and bathroom, requiring you to evacuate the premises until it is brought under control and repaired.

If you have pets, remember that you will have to board them during the remodelling project, not only for the sake of their health, but also to prevent accidents or damages that you might have to pay in case they attack any of the workers. Therefore, pet boarding costs should be included in your budget.

6. Relocation costs

If you are moving to another home until the remodelling project concludes, then don’t forget that you will have to account for the costs involved in packing and transporting your furniture and belongings to the temporary accommodation. Additionally, you will have to repeat the process when it’s time to move back to your newly remodelled home.

7. Meals

When you are remodelling your kitchen, you still need to feed yourself and your family. Whether it’s getting your meals delivered or eating out at restaurants, depending upon the number of days that your kitchen is closed, the overall costs can escalate. Setting aside a budget for it will prevent you from spending more than you need to on each meal as it adds up to the overall expenses.

8. Electricity and water charges

With the heavy-duty power drills and the additional water used in the process of construction, you can expect your monthly utility charges to inflate considerably. Remember to budget for it, so that it doesn’t come as an unpleasant surprise.

9. Storage costs

Whether it’s your furniture or belongings, often the size of your temporary accommodation might not have the space for everything you own. In such a situation, you will have to arrange for your items to be stored in a safe location until you can move them back to your remodelled house. Therefore, when you are making a budget, don’t forget to plan for storage costs.

Find storage solutions for small Indian apartments.

10. Bringing your house up to the new building codes

Over the years, the local authorities might come up with new regulations regarding construction, so you need to be aware of this and include it in the design at the initial stage of remodelling to ensure that you don’t have to demolish and rebuild any part of your house afterwards owing to it not complying with the prescribed standards. The process might involve getting plans approved by the authorities, which can involve application fees and inspection charges. It’s advisable to ask your interior architect about this so that you are prepared for it.

It’s very rarely that a remodelling project is completed within the estimated budget. A 5%-10% increase in expenses is expected, and most professionals will mention this to you at the time of presenting you with the plan for remodelling. However, to prepare yourself for the possible surge in costs due to unforeseen circumstances, we recommend that you discuss the above points with your architect or designer and budget for them so that it doesn’t come as a rude shock that takes away the joy of seeing your beautifully remodelled house.

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