5 Key Strategies to Avoid Unexpected Costs From Your Next Remodeling Project

When it comes to major home improvement projects, it makes sense that a larger financial commitment is necessary. If you want more, you’ll have to pay for it!

However, the major stressor typically comes from unforeseen expenses, which can be the result of a wide variety of factors. In order to assist you in sticking to your budget and reducing the amount of stress you experience while the renovation process is underway, this article will explore strategies for dealing with, or better yet, avoiding, unexpected costs during your remodel.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego Counties with reliable contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about how to avoid unexpected costs that can derail their renovation project – here are 5 strategies to keep your project on track.

1. Plan and stick to the plan to avoid unexpected costs

When it comes to large-scale remodeling projects, you simply have to have a plan. This plan will keep you sane and ensure everything goes smoothly and without much hassle. There should always be room for unexpected events, but the better the plan the easier to solve them.

This part is especially important when it comes to budget. You have to plan your budget for the project. It does not have to be the exact amount you want to spend, but the closer you can plan your expenses, the better. 

plan and stick to your plan

The idea is to do research and roughly estimate the costs of every single part of your remodeling project, the materials you will be needing, and the payments for workers. So this basically means you should make a strategy and that might require some time but we promise it will be much helpful.

Being aware of the amount you are willing to spend and keeping that in mind will help you not to stray if you start getting a rush of new ideas when the project is already in motion. Of course, there should be an emergency stash for really problematic situations that you could not predict, but act if that money does not exist, and count on it only if there is a problem with the project.

Related: 2023 Los Angeles Home Remodel Cost Guide

2. DIY what you can

This tip is better for smaller remodeling projects, but it can be applied to some larger ones as well. DIY whatever you can if you are certain about your abilities. If you have a professional background in any of the areas that are needed for the project, think about doing that part yourself.


If you have enough experience you might want to save some money by taking care of the electric sockets and cables by yourself, or plumbing, insulation, or even painting jobs. Depending on your experience and expertise, if you are positive that you will do solid work, we encourage you to do it.

Disclaimer: DIY things only if you are certain you can do them properly. In addition to the fact that you might double your cost if you do something wrong, there is a chance you might get yourself and other tenants in danger with your work, so please be careful about avoiding unexpected costs by DIY’ing your home.

3. Recycle stuff you already have

This is especially good for furniture. If you have some older pieces that have little to no damage, there is no reason to throw them away. You can give your older couch a new life by revamping it a bit. The same goes for wooden furniture. Sand, paint, polish, and it is as good as new. 

These smaller projects can be really fun for you to do, and they can get your mind off the stress. Besides that, the obvious reason is saving some money by not buying everything to furnish your home. This saved money can get straight back to your emergency fund, and if you do not spend it, you will have it at your disposal for whatever you want later. 

Related: 8 Full Remodel Tips That Every Homeowner Needs


If you are certain about not wanting some pieces of older furniture, you can always resale it and save money as well. And the last thing you can do if you are okay with getting rid of that furniture for good and you do not care about the money is to donate it. 

Someone will be very humbled and thankful for your old couch or coffee table that you want to get rid of because its length or width does not work for you anymore. The bonus thing is that you will feel great for helping others in need.

4. Double-check the cost of deck installation

Deck installation is one of the most frequent larger-scale projects that can make a problem for your budget. You should be extra careful when planning these expenses because it is easy to overlook something. 

deck installation

According to research, deck installation is a big project that can cost you a good chunk, but it has a strong payoff, plus it is a pretty popular request on the market if you are willing to sell after remodeling. 

If you do not have much experience with this, do not dwell on it too much, get the help you need, book a consultant, research, and leave some extra time to plan it. You can find useful articles online about the true cost of deck installation that will give you a great starting point. 

Do not hesitate to compare costs between different contractors but also keep quality as your biggest priority. 

5. Keep your mind in check

The rush of thinking about so many things and doing a lot of creative work can be exhausting and it also can make your mind burst with ideas. If you want to have your expenses in check, stick to the original plans.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by these new ideas that will eventually come up during the project, and you can end up with more unplanned things to buy, decorate and remodel. That can heavily impact your budget and get you in an awkward position.

That is why planning is essential. Get out all of your creative ideas during that part of the process to avoid having second thoughts after. This will keep you and your expenses in check. 

keep mind in check

Bonus tip: Do not forget to press pause and rest! Home remodeling can be very stressful so you need to remind yourself to take a break and move away from it to rest and recharge your energy.

We hope these tips will come in handy when the time for the big project comes. We wish you good luck and safe remodeling.

When it comes to remodeling on a budget and avoiding unexpected costs, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your renovation experience.


GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next remodel project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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