Renovation Elise Hees 20 mei 2022

What are incremental costs and why do you want to avoid them?

Do you have plans to renovate? Then finding a contractor can be a daunting task. You don't know anything about renovating, so you believe all those items on the quotation. The total price of a big job is the most important. However, we advise you to keep a close eye on the following item on the quotation: the provisional sum. This item can make the renovation suddenly much more expensive than agreed.

Provisional estimate

Whether you are buying a new kitchen or want to renovate, the quotations often contain provisional sums. An estimate is an amount of which the contractor is not yet entirely sure, a preliminary estimate. Only when the work is carried out, it becomes clear what the exact costs of the work concerned will be.


In practice, an estimate on the offer is not likely to be lower than the budgeted amount. To accept a job with an imputed cost, you immediately have a large financial uncertainty. It can happen just like that that the provisional sums turn out to be much higher. That is why it is advisable to avoid estimate costs in a quotation as much as possible.


A contractor usually works with provisional expenses when certain matters are not entirely clear. How can you avoid working with fixed costs? Suppose you want to extend your house and the offer contains the provisional sum: placing new window frames. Before you sign the quotation, let the contractor know what material the window frames have to be made of and let him adjust his work accordingly. Another example: if there is a lot of installation work to be done for the new kitchen, make sure that the installer specifies his work.


Expenses do not have to be disadvantageous. Suppose you would like a new kitchen, but you still have to find the perfect floor. With an allowance, you have time to choose a floor after the quotation has been signed. However, if you don't want to run any financial risks, but want to have more certainty, then it's a good idea to make an estimate. Then it's a good idea to avoid all the fix-items as much as possible in the offer.


Is it impossible to avoid fixed costs? Then make very good agreements with the contractor. For example, agree on a certain percentage that may be exceeded. In addition, try to specify the fixed costs as much as possible. By making clear agreements, you prevent discussions afterwards and a final invoice that turns out to be much too high.

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