When you first look for a house to buy, refurb and sell, you’re bound to spend a lot of time scouring the property market to find something that ticks all of your boxes. You’ll likely be looking for a set number of rooms, a house in a particular location, a property that suits your budget and one that you’re confident you can refurb.

hidden costs when renovating a property

Eventually, you will find something that you’re happy to put an offer in for and get planning on the refurbishments needed. There are a number of problems that can arise during the refurbishment that will increase the costs, but you’ve most likely done your homework on common issues such as subsidence and cracks in the walls or a leaky roof. You’re likely to have already looked at these issues as part of a full site survey.

When planning your renovations, it’s absolutely essential that you keep within a budget. This is why it’s good to be aware of some of the most common hidden house renovation costs that you may not have accounted for in your initial refurbishment budget. These costs can eat away at your profits when you sell, so it’s important to factor these costs in. For now, let’s focus on scaffolding, hiring a tip, building regulation inspections and rewiring.

Hiring Scaffolding

When you’re planning major renovations or renovations to the exterior of your property, you may find that scaffolding isn’t included in the original outlined cost. But scaffolding is often an essential that cannot be forsaken. It’s often necessary for the sake of keeping workers safe, providing them with a secure way to access hard-to-reach areas of your property without requiring the use of a potentially risky ladder. Of course, the amount that you will find yourself forking out on scaffolding will be highly dependent on several individual factors. Some could include:

  • The size and height of scaffolding required
  • Whether a scaffolding roof cover is required
  • Whether one level of scaffolding is required, or multiple
  • Where your property is situated geographically
  • Whether your property will have access issues (such as blocking paths or roads)
  • Whether scaffolding has to bridge home features (such as a drive or conservatory)

It’s always best to ask for a quote or to arrange scaffolding costs with an alternative contractor before committing to any work on your home. For example, use comparison sites like this one when trying to work out your scaffolding costs per day.

Hiring a Tip

When contractors work on your property, they’re bound to produce a lot of waste that cannot simply be disposed of with your usual household waste. There may be bricks, debris and more. To dispose of these properly, you’ll require a tip – sometimes also referred to as a skip. Factors that will affect the cost of your tip hire will include:

  • The size of the tip required
  • Where your property is situated geographically (prices differ between areas)
  • Whether you need a tip permit or licence

Generally speaking, the price of a tip will cover rental for around two weeks, which should be long enough for most home renovations. For major renovations, you may have to have the skip collected, emptied and returned for further waste disposal.

Building Regulation Inspections

When you make any major changes to a property, you are likely to have to request planning permission (which comes at a set fee). This will ensure that you don’t face trouble with complaints further down the line, which could result in you having to revert the property to its original state and losing a lot of money in the process. Once work is completed, you may also have to pay for building regulation inspections which ensure that the work that has been carried out on your property is up to scratch.


When you make changes to your property, you may find that you need to have rewiring carried out. This basically ensures that all areas of your home have a working power supply. You may have to have rewiring carried out to ensure loft conversions, extensions and other additions to your living space have electricity. Rewiring will also ensure that your electrics are up to date with current regulations. The cost will depend on the extent of the project, so always ask for a quote before getting started.

These are just 4 Hidden home renovation costs that many property developers find themselves facing unexpectedly. It’s always better to have a good idea of the full cost of your renovation before committing to it. Hopefully, the above information has alerted you to a few potential further outgoings!

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