3 Unexpected Budget-Busters To Expect During A Bathroom Renovation

Many people take on bathroom remodeling projects with a set budget and time frame in mind. However, according to Consumer Reports, 17% of homeowners ran into unexpected water damage that cost more than they budgeted for both in time and money. Unfortunately, water damage is not the only unexpected problem you may run into. Before you (or your contractor) start renovating your bathroom, it's important to know what expenses to expect so you can be prepared. The more prepared you are, the better your chances will be for getting your bathroom in working condition quickly, which is particularly important if you need to rent a portable potty for your family to use during the renovation. Here are a few budget-busters you may discover.


If your bathroom renovation includes removing walls and ceilings or replacing windows, flooring and insulation, you may find asbestos. Before the 1980s, these types of building materials typically contained asbestos. However, it was found to cause cancer and lung diseases and was taken off of the market. If your home was built before 1980, it's safe to assume that your building materials contain asbestos.

You'll need to hire an asbestos abatement crew to safety remove the asbestos. This is not a job you can do yourself because it's too dangerous. In fact, the crew will be covered from head-to-toe with protective clothing. They will wear a breathing apparatus as well. Also, nobody else will be allowed to be in your house while the asbestos is being removed, which could cause delays in your schedule.

Pest Problems

When you start removing everything to gut your bathroom, you may find evidence of mice. You may find droppings or worse—dead mice. Unfortunately, the mice may have done a lot of damage to your electrical wiring, insulation and the structure of your walls, flooring and ceiling. The mice may have chewed the protective coating of the electrical wiring leaving the wires exposed, which can cause a fire. While your bathroom is gutted, you'll be able to easily plug up the tiny holes and cracks the mice used. If you find evidence of mice, you'll need to hire a pest control service and, more importantly, an electrician to inspect the electrical wiring.

Water Damage

Water damage, as you learned earlier, is something that many people encounter during a bathroom renovation. Water may have leaked from bad plumbing and caused water damage behind the bathtub or underneath the cabinet. Or, perhaps the toilet had overflowed and sewage seeped into flooring and subflooring.

While you'll probably be removing the cabinetry and flooring during your renovation anyhow, you may find structural problems caused by water damage to the subflooring and/or walls. This can cause wood rot, which means the lumber turned to mush. Of course, wood in this condition is no longer strong enough to be structurally sound. If you find water damage and wood rot, hire a structural engineer to determine if you need to replace wall studs and/or subflooring. You will also need to hire a plumber to fix or replace the damaged pipes, as well as any defective fixtures, such as the tub or toilet. For more information about possible plumbing problems and solutions, visit a plumber's website, such as http://www.dhamerplumbing.com.

Knowing what unexpected things to expect before you start your bathroom renovation project can help you be prepared for them. That way, you will be able to set aside more money and adjust your schedule in case your bathroom renovation takes longer than expected. There's nothing worse than not being able to finish a bathroom renovation project, especially when it's due to running out of money and time.