When you plan a major home renovation project, you don’t have a crystal ball to foresee additional expenses that may arise.  However early investigation before you finalize your budget can prevent a lot of heartache.


Your home is only as strong as the foundation it is built on.  Houses settle over time and a little movement is to be expected but more serious problems could indicate that your home is shifting.

Warning signs to watch out for include:

  • Cracks in walls, particularly around doors and windows
  • Cracks in tiles laid on a concrete floor
  • Sloping floors
  • Doors and windows that used to open easily that suddenly start sticking
  • Walls that are leaning
  • Bulges or curves in a poured concrete wall
  • Puddles or signs of moisture in the crawl space typical of poor drainage
  • Crooked posts or support beams in the basement

These issues require major repairs and a big cash outlay. There is no point even thinking of a house renovation until they have been rectified. You may have to consult a structural engineer to determine whether warning signs point to normal settling or structural damage. Ka-ching!


Drip. Drip. Drip. It may not seem like much but if water gets into your flooring and starts rotting the wood, then forget about just laying your new hardwood on the sub floor. Flooring has to be solid to provide proper support and rot is a problem that cannot be ignored.  Ka-ching!


Maybe you had a minor flood in your home and the area did not dry out properly; maybe you have a leaky window seal; maybe you have a defective water pipe. Mold thrives in places that are warm and damp. Mold spores in the air can pose serious health threats and cause allergic reactions. Leaks have to be fixed, the mold has to be removed and any mold-infected material such as drywall, carpets or wood has to be replaced. Ka-ching!


It is not easy to determine the age of the wiring in your home. Your wiring may be undersized, inadequate or unsafe and have to be upgraded before renovations begin. Have an electrician check your electrical circuits to make sure they can handle any new appliances, lighting needs or extra electrical outlets.  Ka-ching!


You don’t want to hear those words – You seem to have a termite problem! Localized treatment and wood replacement may be enough, or the house may have to be tented and fumigated. And what is that scurrying noise you hear in the attic? Any unwanted guests, whether birds, vermin or insects, will have to be dealt with by pest control. Ka-ching!