Even if you’ve planned your renovation budget out to the last detail, you may still experience a few financial surprises along the way. Here are some common expenses that often get overlooked during the budgeting process.

Pet Boarding

Renovation projects are anything but quiet, and some pet owners find that their furry friends don’t take kindly to the chaos. Others find their pets a little too friendly, constantly visiting with members of the work crew and getting underfoot. In either case, boarding the animal during work hours or finding a pet sitter may become necessary.

Higher Utility Bills

Whether you’re doing the job yourself or hiring a professional, you should expect to see a 15 to 20 percent increase in your monthly utility bills. Renovation work requires drills, saws, sanders, and other power tools that run on electricity, and you may notice it when the electric bill comes.

Dining Out

If you’re remodeling your kitchen, dinners out are an obvious part of the package. But other renovations can impact a kitchen’s usefulness as well, such as the gas needing to be shut off or a plumbing surprise that requires your contractor to turn off the water. Other times, you may just need to get out just to escape the construction zone chaos for a few hours.


Snow days and unexpected school closings happen. When they do, you may find yourself suddenly in need of child care. Rounding up young children and keeping them out of the work area can prove to be a daunting task, even if you’re able to stay home with them. All the noise and chaos can also interrupt naptime and leave young children feeling out of sorts. If they can’t stay with grandma for a few days, you may have to pay for childcare.

Dumpster and Parking Fees

Construction projects make lots of debris, and all that stuff has to go somewhere. Renting a large construction dumpster can easily cost $400 or more. Once you’ve deposited the dumpster in your driveway or parking space, you will then need a place to put your car. Hopefully, you can find free parking nearby, but that may not be the case with a city condo or in a neighborhood with limited parking spaces.

Unexpected fees crop up during most remodeling projects, and you can’t always predict every detail of your renovation. The best plan is to pad your budget with a little more than you think you’ll need and to be flexible.