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Published on May 03, 2024

 Embarking on a home remodel is an exciting yet daunting task. It’s a journey filled with dreams of transformed spaces and improved functionality. However, as any seasoned contractor will tell you, the road to a beautifully remodeled home is often paved with unexpected challenges. At Coons Construction in Lynnwood, WA, we emphasize the importance of planning for surprises to ensure your remodel stays on track, both in terms of budget and timeline.

Embrace the Unexpected: Why All Projects Go Over Budget

One of the most candid pieces of advice I've heard on a trade-related podcast is, "All projects go over budget." This philosophy isn’t meant to discourage potential clients but to set realistic expectations. Remodels, by their very nature, are unpredictable. From hidden water damage to unexpected structural challenges, surprises are almost inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic has further compounded these uncertainties, making it crucial to have a robust plan in place.

The Usual Suspects: Common Budget Busters

Water Damage

Living in the Pacific Northwest means dealing with a fair share of rain. Water damage is a common issue that often goes unnoticed until demolition begins. Crawl space flooding during heavy rains or hidden water damage from roof leaks can quickly derail a remodel’s budget. These issues must be addressed immediately to proceed with the project, often adding unexpected costs and delays.

Demolition Discoveries

Even the best-planned remodels can face hiccups once demolition starts. For instance, in one project, we discovered two layers of drywall with plaster underneath. What was estimated to take one day ended up taking five. Additionally, finding a four-inch cast iron pipe right where a new door was planned added both time and expense. Such discoveries are par for the course and should be anticipated.

Fluctuating Material Costs

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented volatility to material costs. In 2021, prices for materials like lumber doubled or tripled in a matter of weeks. Contractors faced challenges with suppliers who couldn't provide stable quotes due to rapid price increases. This volatility can wreak havoc on a remodel budget, especially if the project was estimated months in advance.

Homeowner-Requested Changes

As the remodel progresses, homeowners often see new opportunities to enhance their spaces further. While these changes can significantly improve the final result, they also come with additional costs. Each new request typically requires a Change Order, detailing the changes and associated expenses. It’s important to be prepared for these costs and incorporate flexibility into your budget.

Planning for Surprises: Your Best Defense

Planning for surprises doesn’t mean expecting the worst; it means being prepared for the unexpected. Here are some strategies to help you stay ahead:

  • Create a Contingency Budget: Allocate a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses. This cushion can help absorb the impact of unforeseen issues without derailing the entire project.
  • Detailed Planning and Communication: Work closely with your contractor to develop a comprehensive plan. Regular communication ensures that you’re aware of potential issues as they arise and can make informed decisions quickly.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Be open to adjustments. Whether it’s changing materials or modifying the scope of work, flexibility can help keep the project moving forward.

Conclusion: Partnering with the Right Contractor

At Coons Construction, we pride ourselves on being more than just builders. We are your partners in navigating the complexities of home remodeling. Our extensive experience and commitment to client-focused service ensure that even when surprises arise, we manage them efficiently and transparently.

Planning a remodel in Lynnwood, WA? Contact Coons Construction today. Let us help you create a beautiful, functional space while navigating the unexpected with confidence and ease.

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