January 2, 2020
Hidden Costs of Pre-Packaged Renovation

Whether you are getting the keys to a new or resale flat, there will usually be a need to do some renovations.And, no matter how detailed pre-packaged plans are, the total cost of the renovation will usually increase by the end of the project because of unexpected hidden costs that may creep in during the project. Here are some of the most common reasons for the renovation cost to go past your budget:

1. Chemical/Acid Washing/Debris & Haulage Removal

Think of it as paying for specialized cleaning services;

After renovation, your house needs a proper cleaning, to sweep up all the dust and debris produced by hacking.

A house does not become a pristine, blank canvas overnight. Before you can even arrange your furniture, you will need to get all those debris and waste away - and a sweep won't cut it.

Most of us will not think of debris or haulage removal until needed. And it can get costly, due to the manual labour for carrying out heavy rubbish, and lorry rental to transport waste.

Depending on your home's size and the extent of work (like structural changes), removals can go as high as the thousands.

Of course, you could always do it yourself. This can be an extremely labour-intensive process, however, and there might be some stains that might require specialised equipment to remove.

Naturally, your contractor should provide a disposal fee in the quotation. The disposal will normally be carried out by the contractor using their own lorry.

However, in a major renovation, you may need to rent a construction waste bin, and the fees to empty it several times through the duration of the work.

2. Floor Protection

Whether it's drilling, knocking down walls or installing fittings, heavy duty renovation works will put your floors at risk of scratching or damage. Introducing the next hidden expense - floor protection!

Most packages will opt that in your renovation, and the treatment usually entails covering your floor length in protective film, plastic boards or sheets. Depending on the size of your home, this item can cost starting from a few hundred dollars.

3. Door Frame Removal

You might have set aside an amount for getting a brand new set of doors, but do remember to save some money for removing your old ones too. You are charge accordingly for every door frame they have to dismantle, on top of the supply and installation of new doors.

4. Partial Hacking (Half Walls)

Does a half-wall warrant a half-price discount? Hate to break it to you, but partial hackings like these cost around the same or even more than an entire wall hack.

Simply because there is more work to be done in a half-wall; Said wall has to be hacked down completely, then built up again to the desired level. Set aside a sum of $300 - $500 for one wall.

5. Concealed Wires In Walls

Once you have mapped out your home's wiring, those unsightly telephone, electric and LAN cables dangling around need to be organised in place; and that means extra expenses.

Especially if you are going for a clean uncluttered style, a wall concealment for your wires might cost you a pretty penny - ranging in the hundreds.

Why do wall conceals cost almost two times more than the usual trunking or hidden cornice? Due to its more elaborate treatment - walls need to be hacked to insert the cables, then plastered back up again.

6. Electrical Re-wiring

Yes, having enough power sockets is literally a basic necessity in, most homeowners forget that with more power outlets, means more work (and expenses) in pulling and re-wiring cables to supply electricity to those areas.

In general, electric works, including supplying and installing parts like your data cables, lighting and fan points will take up a couple of thousand dollars in a renovation.

As we use more and more devices in our homes, the need for more wall outlets increases drastically — whether it’s to charge or to power devices.

A typical flat may include two outlets in each room and more in the living room; hardly enough as you start to accumulate more digital gadgets.

Of course, you could always use multi-plugs or power strips, but those can really disrupt the aesthetics of your living room — and could pose a fire hazard if you plug too many into one.

The best solution is simply to add power outlets. However, installation of each additional power outlet may cost between $60 to $80, even without taking into account the cost of rewiring cables at the fuse box.

You also have to take into account how you want to conceal the extended electrical wiring: covering it up with PVC trunking is cheaper but less aesthetically pleasing, while concealing it in the walls would require hacking and therefore be substantially more expensive.

Furthermore, while most people account for the price of their air-conditioning units in their budget, it is a common mistake to overlook the cost of their air-conditioning piping.

Depending on the location of your air-conditioning unit, you may need to pay for extended piping to reach the compressor outside the window.

Air-conditioners typically come with trunking to hide the piping. However, if the trunking does not match your interior aesthetic, you will need to conceal it with a false ceiling or an L-box — another additional cost.

Make sure you consult with your contractor whether these costs are included in the initial quote, and if not, how much more they will add to the initial estimate.


You should always get as detailed a contract as possible from your contractors.

If there are miscellaneous costs on your renovation contract, always clarify with your contractor to find out precisely what these are. Hold off on signing the contract if your contractor is reluctant to disclose the specifics — any reliable contractor should have no qualms about discussing costs with their clients.

But at the end of the day, you need to be flexible, too. It is quite normal for any renovation project to exceed the budget by about 10 per cent to account for unexpected costs.

With this in mind, it is important to have agreed upon a clear plan with your contractor and considered how you would react depending on various contingencies. In the end, careful planning can help you avoid thousands of dollars in hidden costs associated with your home renovation.

Asik Thapa

Executive, Contractors Management



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