How renovations can help make your house a home

#House and home

Renovations can be an important financial investment

Maybe you just bought your first home. Or maybe you’ve lived in your house for 20 years.

In any case, it’s important your home is structurally sound and reflects your personality and taste. Home renovations can be as small as painting a room or as large as remodeling your kitchen. Regardless, you can expect to take out your wallet to make it happen. Thankfully, planning ahead and carefully considering the following issues can help your project run more smoothly.

Financial preparation

First, ask yourself this: Are you ready, financially, to complete the desired renovations? To help you understand what your upgrades are likely to cost, do some research – it may be helpful to speak with a contractor and get an estimate. Develop a budget that reflects your research – one common practice is to include an additional buffer amount of 15-20 per cent to cover unexpected expenses. Don’t forget to include HST. If you’re feeling wary about the cost of your renovations, remember there are laws in place to help protect your finances.

Things to consider before renovating

Before getting started, it’s important you consider the following:

Is this a big or small change?

Depending on the scale of your project, the impact on your budget and financial security plan will vary. Understanding the amount of work required will help you create a realistic budget.

Who should do the work?

Your home is one of your biggest financial investments. That’s why it’s so important you find a trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced contractor for your project.

Another option is to complete the renovations yourself. While this can be enjoyable and a great way to save money, it will only remain as such if you have the tools, time and understanding of building codes and processes necessary to smoothly complete the updates. Give some thought to whether you have these resources available to you before you begin.

Do I know what to look for in a contractor?

If you decide that paid help is the right choice, you’ll want to work with someone that respects both your expectations and your budget. Depending on an external provider for such a large purchase requires a great deal of trust and transparency. Pay special attention to potential renovators’ professionalism, timeliness and communication to decide if they’re the right fit. Ask your friends and family for recommendations.

A renovation can increase the value of your home for resale, making it a valuable investment in your future.
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Return on investment (ROI)

In many cases, renovations actually increase the original value of a home. From a fresh coat of paint to new windows and doors, everything has a value. A common rule of thumb is that a successful renovation will increase the value of your home by at least 50 per cent of what you spent. To determine the ROI of your project, work with an appraiser before and after your renovation. They can tell you the approximate value of your home so you understand the long-term financial impact of your project.

In addition, there are national tax credit programs available to assist with the cost of certain renovation projects. Credits change over time, so be sure to check online or with a government representative to find out what’s available when you begin your project.

If you’ve made the decision to renovate but are unsure where to get started, a financial security advisor can work with you to ensure your budget is worked into your overall financial security plan.


“Your rights when starting home renovations or repairs,” Government of Ontario
“Return on investment,” National Association of the Remodeling Industry
“Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit,” Government of Ontario

The information provided is based on current laws, regulations and other rules applicable to Canadian residents. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Rules and their interpretation may change, affecting the accuracy of the information. The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate legal, accounting, tax or other professional advisors.


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