The Iceberg Problem of Home Remodeling


One question that comes up when you are planning a home remodeling project is where to stop. If your home is like most, there is an endless list of projects that, given unlimited time and resources, you would like to have done. Any part of the house that you remodel will be near an area that wasn’t remodel. It is all to easy to decide to increase the scope of your project beyond your initial plans. For most people, this “to do” list has to be weighed out against their remodeling budget. The best way to decide on the scope of your project is to evaluate what makes “sense” to remodel during this project and compare that to your budget. This will allow you to get the best bang for your buck and make sure that you don’t overspend or miss something that really should have been included in your project. Let’s look at some examples. Let’s assume that you are considering a kitchen remodeling project. As part of this project, you plan to remove one kitchen wall and also take down and replace the ceiling. You plan to take the ceiling down because you are including some sophisticated lighting, and taking down the ceiling makes this easier and more cost effective. As a result, you will expose the plumbing for the second floor bathroom that is located above the kitchen. You don’t have any plans to remodel the bathroom, but it hasn’t been remodeled in twenty years and it’s showing its age. The smart thing to do in this case is to evaluate repairing or replacing the second floor bathroom plumbing as part of your kitchen remodel. This make sense for several reasons: Let’s take a second example. Let’s say you are doing the same kitchen project, but you don’t plan to remove the ceiling. In this case, there is no reason to open up the ceiling to address the plumbing. This is an additional cost that you don’t have to take on now, and it won’t be significantly more expensive later. Your contractor can help you decide what makes sense to do now and what makes sense to do later. He will understand the cost impact of any additional scope and if it makes sense to deal with it now.