How to Survive a Major Remodel

Managing Money During a Major Remodel

Perhaps your quiche-making skills have reached the point that it only makes sense to install a gourmet kitchen. Or maybe you've inherited an eyesore created by a former homeowner, like an ill-fitting second floor bathroom's sewer and water pipes that hang from the living room ceiling like a strange chandelier [source: CNN].

Regardless of the reason for your major remodel, a self-led financial boot camp should be at the top of your to-do list. You'll need to plan for the extra expenses that come with remodeling -- and they often have nothing to do with new flooring, drywall or light fixtures.

Your cost of living will almost certainly increase, especially if you're paying for a hotel room or rental while making your mortgage payments. Plus, you'll probably spend more on food, even if there's a kitchenette in your temporary digs. The average fast casual meal is $10 to $12 -- multiply that by the number of your family members and it can add up quickly [source: Bilsky]. And being holed up in a hotel may cause to you spend more on entertainment, such as movie tickets.

If your interim abode isn't near your place of employment, you'll need to budget more for transportation, too. Remember to factor in frequent trips home to check on the progress of work crews. And if the renovation project will linger through a change of seasons, you'll want to make sure you have easy access to seasonal items -- like shorts or sports equipment. If they're tucked in boxes at the back of a storage unit, you'll probably just end up buying replacements.

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