Watch out for hidden remodeling costs

Portapotty3When penciling out costs for a remodel, factoring in flooring, tile, cabinets and other big-ticket items is a no-brainer.

But the hidden, not-so-glamorous costs can make your budget jump.

I asked SoCal contractor Matt Plaskoff, CEO and founder of Plaskoff Construction and One Week Bath, to compile a list of items that get included in a contractor’s bid but that often get left off a DIY-er’s initial budget. Here’s what he came up with:

• Trash: With on-site dumpsters averaging $330 per week, that’s a good case for staying on top of completion dates. With a bathroom remodel averaging four to six weeks, your budget could be trashed up to $2,000 by the time you are soaking in your new tub.

• Portable toilet: You may not really mind if the crews are in and out of your boudoir once or twice a day, but if not, and you opt for a portable toilet (a.k.a. port-a-potty), it will cost about $160 a month.

• Permits: These can range from $400 to $1,000, depending on your city or county and whether your contractor (if you use one) charges to procure one. Want to skip this process? I wouldn’t recommend it. If you do, cross your fingers and pray that your contractor doesn’t get caught working on your job or anyone else’s. Not only will you be fined several hundred to several thousand dollars, but you can kiss your completion date good-bye until every issue is resolved.

• Incidentals: So you purchased your tile, but did it come with grout, thin-set mortar and backer board? You bought your toilet, but did it come with a supply line? You got your light fixtures, but did they come with bulbs? Make certain you account for everything from nails to tape when figuring out what your project will cost. These items can add up to hundreds of dollars.

See more from Matt:

Popcorn is gone from ceiling, now what?
Do I really need a bathroom fan?

1 Comment on Watch out for hidden remodeling costs

  1. Gingold

    I’ve found that a lot of contractors inflate their prices for various reasons as listed. I made sure I wasn’t getting ripped off by going to It helped with finding out how much things would really cost, and not what a contractor wanted.