Home improvement can be an expensive endeavor. Whether you’re replacing floors, putting in new cabinets or installing a new kitchen or bathroom, it’s easy to overspend. Many people also choose to hire contractors who have a reputation for being high-pressure salesmen and who jack up the price when they run into unexpected problems. Unless you’re careful, your home renovation project can end up costing more than you expected — and if it’s not paid for in cash, it could even leave you with debt on top of your mortgage and other bills.
The good news is that most homeowners make a concerted effort to stick with their planned budget for home improvements. In fact, 3 in 5 homeowners who took on projects during the coronavirus pandemic told NerdWallet in an August survey that they were able to pay for most of their work without tapping into savings or going into debt.
That’s a welcome change from the previous two years, when only about half of those surveyed reported being able to stick to their plans. Still, most of those who have completed a project say they spent more than they planned on the job. And some of those extra costs could be related to unforeseen issues like a rotten subfloor or water damage from an overflowing tub, according to homeowners who participated in a NerdWallet poll released in September. A licensed contractor should provide a written contract for all home improvement work. This should include the cost of the work, payment terms and any warranties the contractor is willing to provide for materials or workmanship.