Consumer Reports’ Daniel DiClerico writes on the demolition phase of his home remodeling project. While DiClerico hoped that no surprises were in store for him, he quickly found out he was no exception to unforseen surprises that often face homeowners.

DiClerico writes,

Going into it, like many homeowners before me, I’d been holding out hope that my project would be different—that those statistics about hidden surprises applied to other people and that our brownstone had somehow escaped the long, steady tug of gravity, not to mention the butchered framing and accrual of injuries that bear witness to the sins and shortcuts of past renovations.

But as the dust on the demolition phase settled, allowing our structural engineer to carry out his inspection, it soon became clear that our home would not be an exception.

Fortunately, the engineer’s report didn't turn up anything catastrophic, but there are definitely issues we didn’t account for—in either the timeline or the budget.

Consumer Reports recently surveyed general contractors asking one question, “What are the main issues that can lead to cost or time overruns on a residential project?” 42% of those surveyed said the biggest culprit was existing structural damages.

Here are the four surprises that DiClerico encountered during the demolition work on his home. He suggests remodelers and consumers watch out for similar problems with their projects:

  1. Four floor joists need to be reinforced from below with a reinforced from below with load-bearing studs and then doubled up with new supporting joists
  2. Added labor and materials will add to cost when it comes to installing a longer steel support beam
  3. A crack in the header that needs replacing will require, again, doubled up supporting joints
  4. Water leaks often threaten the infrastructure of a home and can go unnoticed

To read DiClerico’s full story, click below.

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