David Thompson
By David Thompson

The Treasures Hiding Behind Your Walls

Planning

Houses harbor hidden treasures buried in basements, concealed behind walls and up in ceilings, until their discovery many years later by a new homeowner’s remodeling project. Imagine finding a box of gold coins, stacks of cash, or even a famous painting by Van Gogh, which was hiding behind a wall, worth over $ 30 million dollars.  You should be so lucky! What’s behind your walls? 

 

Before you begin tearing up your house looking for the loot, we would love to tell you, when you start your home remodel, that you will find a pot of gold. If the truth be known, what is more likely hiding behind your walls might not be as glamorous. 

 

More often than not we uncover a variety of things such as improperly cut beams or a rat’s nest of DIY electrical connections. We have found undersized plumbing or even a light switch the previous homeowner left hidden in the wall…still connected. (True story.) 

 

If that doesn’t raise the hair on the back of your neck, nothing will. With your next kitchen or bathroom remodel, be prepared for your remodeling contractor to discover things a previous owner might have done on their own, which is probably not up to building codes. You might even discover that the original builder may have scrimped in a couple areas to save some money and covered it up with drywall. 

 

Anything your remodeling contractor uncovers must be repaired properly and be brought up to compliance with current building codes to ensure your safety and the overall integrity of your new remodeling project. 

 

You should allocate 10% of your total budget to cover the unforeseen costs associated with what might be uncovered behind your walls during the deconstruction phase of your project. If your contractor uncovers nothing, which is often the case, you’ll have an additional 10% to either put back into the bank or upgrade to that higher level of granite countertop, you really wanted. 

 

Regardless of what you find, be sure your remodeling contractor you select for your next project has an excellent reputation, is fully licensed and insured, and guarantees their work. 

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