Home Renovation = Unforeseen Costs

Prior to closing I came up with a renovation plan/budget, which categorized repairs by level of importance:

  • Electrical: rewiring, canned lighting (mantel/kitchen)
  • Patch/paint: all rooms
  • Roof repairs
  • Floor restoration
  • Air Conditioning installation: 1st and 2nd floors
  • Washer/Dryer Purchase
  • Kitchen Renovation: wall removal, replace cabinets/counters/appliances, flooring
  • Window replacement: basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor
  • Crown molding/trim: 1st floor
  • Bathroom renovations
  • Etc…etc…etc.

This list could go on forever and will constantly be modified as work is completed and unanticipated costs transpire. Termites are a perfect example. I didn’t even own the property and had to spend $600 for termite treatment. Goodbye money for living room built-ins.

The Money Pit

I learned very quickly from my first house renovation that no matter how much you plan, unforeseen costs will always arise. Given the fact that the house is almost 100 years old, and it was hard to inspect due to the excessive clutter, I was banking on having to adjust my budget. It didn’t take long for that to happen.

The day after closing I found my first major problem. Plumbing. The original plumbing had only been replaced in the basement and first floor. The rest of the pipes were completely corroded. Unless I wanted to carry buckets of water up the stairs to fill the tub, they would need to be replaced.

The Money Pit

The only way to replace the plumbing is by gutting the entire bathroom. As you can see bathroom renovations were low on my list of priorities. Compromises would have to be made.


The kitchen gut did not make the cut. Goodbye stainless steel appliances, breakfast bar, and carrera marble counter tops. I’m stuck with working with what I’ve got. It’s time to get creative and make a major renovation happen on a very minimal budget.



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