A report published by CIBC earlier this year revealed that nearly half of Canadian homeowners plan to renovate their homes this year – a great way to add value to their existing homes while creating jobs in the industry and boosting our economy.
The poll showed that 42 per cent of Canadians are planning home renovations, and plans to spend an average of $17,000 on sprucing up their homes with some basic maintenance like painting, flooring, general repairs and replacing appliances.
Kitchen and bathroom renovations are still a popular renovation focus, lagging only behind outdoor landscaping this year, and not by much.
These results come as no surprise to some industry professionals, who cite low interest rates and rising house prices as two major factors in the renovation demand. The average price of a low-rise home in the GTA currently exceeds $775,000 while the price of a new condo averages just below $450,000. This leaves many homeowners turning to renovations to get the feeling of a brand new home but with a lighter price tag.
Before you embark on your renovation, be sure to plan ahead. A lot of major renovations require you to obtain the proper permit, particularly in big cities like Toronto. Failure to do so may result in you being asked to restore your home to its original state if the renovation doesn’t conform to the municipality’s bylaws – an expensive process you don’t want to experience.
Please make sure that there is adequate time allotted to getting your permit. BILD is working with our government partners to hasten the approvals process, but in the meantime, waiting times can often take a while.
Make sure you’re working closely with your renovator to ensure that all the paperwork is in order before starting any work. If your contractor pressures you to act otherwise, proceed with caution. A professional renovator will know to play by the rules.
Working with a professional renovator is of utmost importance because you want to be confident that you’re trusting your home to someone with the right knowledge and experience to do the job and do it right. If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you see how much it cost to hire an amateur. You may end up paying thousands to fix sub-standard work, or risk having no work done at all.
This is where the written contract comes in. Make sure you have all elements of the job, including payment, outlined in a detailed and written agreement. Without one, any legal action will prove challenging should you encounter issues.
There are hundreds of professional renovators and trade contractors available in a fully customizable online database at www.renomark.ca. All companies that you will find on this website have agreed to a renovation-specific Code of Conduct, which includes things like providing a written contract; offering a minimum $2 million in liability insurance; providing two years warranty on all work; and carrying all applicable licenses and permits.
If you are planning a home renovation this summer, make sure you hire a pro.