What's Inside My Walls?
What’s Inside My Walls?
People talk about additional expenses or unforeseen circumstances during remodeling. It is a very real thing and important to consider while budgeting for a remodel.
When opening walls during a remodeling project, a contractor may find several potential added expenses, including:
Electrical wiring issues: If the wiring in the walls is old or outdated, it may need to be replaced or updated to meet current building codes. This would add to the overall cost of the project.
Plumbing problems: Similarly, if the plumbing in the walls is old or outdated, it may need to be replaced or updated to meet current building codes. This would also add to the overall cost of the project.
Structural issues: Opening walls can reveal structural issues, such as sagging beams or joists, that may need to be reinforced or replaced. This would be a significant added expense and can require additional time and expertise to address. Usually a general contractor would have had the foresight to have a structural engineer look at this before opening a wall, but there are occasions when it isn’t seen until the wall is opened.
Mold or water damage: If there has been water damage or a leak in the walls, mold or mildew may be present, which can pose health risks and require specialized remediation techniques. This would add to the overall cost of the project.
Asbestos or lead paint: If the home was built before the 1980s, there may be asbestos or lead paint present in the walls, which can pose health risks and require specialized removal techniques. This would add to the overall cost of the project and may require additional permits and inspections. Here at TraVek, if we are going to disturb a space that hasn’t been remodeled since before 1977, we are going to request an asbestos test before we start a project. That way the asbestos will have been taken care of, and we will not be held up during the install.
It's important to note that these potential added expenses are often NOT present, but it's important to be prepared for them in case they do arise. A good contractor should be able to anticipate these potential issues and include contingencies in their estimates to help mitigate any unexpected expenses. We always suggest, though, that you lay aside 10% of your budget in the event of needing to address unforeseen circumstances such as these.