Home & GardenRemodeling, Maintenance & Decor

How To Budget For The Unexpected When Planning Your Kitchen Renovation

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By Randy

Paul Ryan‘s practical advice on DIY’s Kitchen Renovations show is great stuff.

So when I asked Paul what problems he comes across most often, the advice he gave me about what to expect in regards to kitchen renovation costs during our interview was, quite literally, a big surprise.


What advice about kitchen renovations could possibly be considered a surprise?

Paul readily admits that surprises are almost always likely to occur in kitchen renovation projects — so be smart and plan on it.

Then, if you end up having no surprises, it’s almost like free money!

Following is an excerpt from my interview with Paul Ryan recently…

Randy:  What kind of problems have you come across most often in kitchen renovations?
Paul:  Um…I think surprises. You know, I always tell people to budget 15% extra of the project for surprises.

One of the things that we’ve found is that when we open up a wall, we never know what we’re gonna find. It might be mold. It might be carpenter ants. It might just be some old wood that needs replacing.

I think that’s one of the biggest things that I tell people, too, is when you take on a project don’t expect everything to go perfect. Because if you do you’re gonna be disappointed.

Randy:  So Paul…you haven’t found a bag of money in a wall yet?

Paul:  No, but we found some really cool, old newspapers. We found a newspaper from 1937. And we found a weather map from 1937. Now this weather map, it was a map of the United States with just a whole bunch of numbers written on it and a bunch of places…you know…where people put these bars on there. It’s just amazing! We found some pretty cool stuff.

Randy:  What kind of house was that in?

Paul:  It was built in 1930. It’s just an old house in Minneapolis. You know… that’s the one that we found carpenter ants in, and so as we were pulling down the wall, that’s when we discovered they had actually used the newspaper for insulation. Yeah… and so we pulled it out and found all these strange weather maps, other maps from the 1930’s. You know, it’s crazy.

In summary, Paul’s professional advice is to always budget 15% of your total kitchen renovation budget to handle unforseen surprises. Don’t count on finding a bag of money in the walls of your old house to pay for your kitchen renovation project. I know I don’t have that kind of luck!



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