6 things that you never knew could bust your renovation budget

Having a swanky, newly renovated house is a great feeling. Who doesn’t love all the ‘freshness’? But what about all the pain that goes into renovating a house? The endless selections, the omnipresent noise and dust, unending time span, and the money! Of course, renovation demands a truckload of cash. While all this is enough to drive anyone crazy, overshooting your renovation budget can be the last straw! To avoid any unpleasant surprises on the way, you must be well aware of several unexpected expenses that can bust your renovation budget. Read on to know a bit about them.
1. Floor protectors
While you must have considered the cost of drilling and painting, you could have missed out on this one. Floor protection! Yes, you will need a solid protection for your flooring during the renovation process since you don’t want to damage it due to all the serious remodeling. It is only wise to invest in a floor protection sheet to be sure you don’t end up with scratched or broken tiles/floor.
How can you save? 
Shop at Ikea. A 120x100cm PET plastic sheet can cost you around S$50. So, shop here to save some big bucks!
2. Concealed wiring
If you have always hated that your split AC is situated right above your fancy LED TV, putting the latter into extreme risk if there is any sort of leakage, renovation would seem to be the best time to rectify it. However, changing anything electrical comes at a cost, and a huge one. It is really not as simple as it looks. Consider all the wiring that will need to be moved and then concealed. So, make sure you only dig up electrical work that is necessary, keeping this expense to the bare minimum.
How can you save? 
Plan your wiring needs systematically. Design not just for your current family but for any future additions to the family structure that may happen over the next few years (newborns/parents staying over/guests/toddlers turning teenagers). Think medium term, not short-term.
3. Demolition or civil work
Planning to break down a wall to extend your bedroom and make that walk-in wardrobe you have always dream of? While the wardrobe may seem to be the obvious highest expense in this scene, you might just be surprised to know how much the wall demolition would cost you. Any kind of demolition or civil work is expensive. Changing the flooring, bathroom tiles, or making massive structural changes can overshoot your renovation budget. So, think twice before taking any such decision.
How can you save?
Since the cost of bringing down walls is calculated based on the per square foot of area to be removed, it is best to be very cautious in what you want. Make sure that you take the wall down only if you have no other option. You may also think DIY would work to bring costs down but if you don’t have any experience with construction, don’t try it! You could end up damaging the building more than you realise. Make sure you hire professionals to do the hacking and slashing. There is no point in trying it yourself and doing something wrong only to have professionals fix it for you, for which you anyways have to pay. The best way to save on civil work is to get it done right the first time.
4. Matching upholstery and curtains
Who doesn’t love it when everything is in sync in the house? However, it all comes at a cost. If you become experimental and select an off-beat colour for your couch (like fuchsia pink, maybe?), matching everything else with it will be a pain. The safest and the cheapest way to go around this is to buy generic colours that can easily find a match or stand out in contrast.
And no, don’t let that daring attitude die out! You can definitely have a fancy, bright coloured wall (think a deep red!) in the house and decorate it with family photos or a classy mirror.
While curtains themselves seem to be a huge expense, don’t forget the blinders used with them. They come in various qualities and sun blocking categories and can cost a lot.
How can you save?
A generic beige curtain (W:140cm x H:240cm) can cost you around S$27 on FortyTwo or HipVan. Select from a wide variety offered by these online stores. Make sure you use your DBS Live Fresh Visa Card to get 5% cashback on online shopping or when using mobile payment methods.
You can also opt for the best curtains and blinds for the bedrooms and medium quality ones for the living rooms to save cost. Or vice versa. Don’t insist on maintaining the same standards across your home. Also, choose patterns that can be easily replaced or matched with other patterns, in case they need to be replaced or replicated across other rooms later.
5. Site clearing
You will definitely want to heave a sigh of relief when the whole remodeling saga is almost over. However, hold it just for a minute. Don’t forget that clearing all the debris, getting the house deep cleaned, and polishing the furniture is a costly affair. We are not trying to dampen your spirits but just warning you so that you allot some money for this in the renovation budget.
How can you save?
Insist that the quotes you receive from interior decorators or contractors have site clearing costs included. Don’t be blindsided when they walk off after the work is done. Better still, ensure you get multiple quotes and understand clearly what this entails. Some of it might include floor polishing, acid cleaning, etc. If it can be done for cheaper somewhere else, use that service.
6. Being unsure
Ever heard the saying – too many cooks spoil the broth? Having too many people as decision makers during the planning and renovation process can definitely bust the budget. Make sure only one or two people are involved in deciding the scope of work and during the selections. Involving more people will only confuse you and lead to unnecessary rework.
How can you save?
Decide family roles. And agree with each other. Tough, but if you need to save then this is our most recommended tip! Trust us.
When you are deciding the renovation budget, set realistic expectations and consider actual costs. Also, stick to your plan and save on renovation by following these helpful tips. You are sure to be tempted to get more things done in due course but it’s best to resist it. Do not use your emergency fund for renovation since it is only meant for any unexpected, important expense.
Happy remodeling!