The cost of materials and labor are costs that every builder and client can see coming a mile away, but not all costs are so obvious. Some costs are a little more sneaky, and can really do a number on the budget if they’re not accounted for in the initial planning stages. These costs can come from both the client and the contractor, so everyone needs to be aware of the contributing factors.

Skeletons in the Closet 

One of the most common expenses that can slip through the cracks is issues hiding in the walls, floors, and ceilings. Obviously, this issue only happens during renovations, not new construction projects. Issues like asbestos in the walls, faulty wiring, and concealed pipes can all lead to budget constraints. 

Not Designing to Code

One quick way to go over budget is to not design the structure to code and be forced to make adjustments after construction has already started. If doors aren’t handicap accessible or minimum bathroom numbers aren’t incorporated, plans will have to go back to the architect and construction might have to be halted to accommodate the changes.

Requested Changes

The person who owns the building is footing the bill and thus, they are certainly entitled to get a final product they’re happy with. However, requesting changes after construction has started can put projects behind schedule and over budget.  

Unrealistic Timelines 

If an unrealistic timeline is set, corners can be cut and the overall quality of the project can suffer. When this happens, these quick fixes will come back to haunt the owner and cost more down the road.

The best way to expect these unexpected costs is to partner with an experienced construction company. At Cowen Construction, we have more than 100 years of experience under our tool belt, so we’ve seen unexpected costs come from some pretty interesting places. These experiences have taught us how to account for the unexpected and set realistic expectations for our clients.