Pre renovation Financial Checklist

Pre renovation Financial Checklist

  We sure seem to be in the mood for improvements in this country and our homes are no exception. A recent construction study from Scotiabank suggested Canadians spent a record $53 billion on home renovations last year and that number was actually on par with what Canadians spent on new home builds. In a separate report from BMO, their research concluded over the past decade, renovation spending in Canada has been the single fastest growing segment of residential investment across the whole country.   Knowing that, chances are pretty good you too have done some recent improvements on your house or are in the very least thinking about getting some done. Whether it is fixing up the front walk and stairs or fitting the bathroom with safety guards in the shower, toilet and bathtub to full blown demolition and additions on your home, you need solid plans in place first and it all starts with proper finances.   The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests regardless of size, you enter into any renovation project well informed on all aspects of impending construction to help it go that much easier and hopefully, stay cost effective and stress free. Financial Advice How much money do you personally have on hand to get this project done? Will you be doing the labour yourself? If so, is there room on your credit cards to cover the cost of supplies (don’t forget the pizza and pop costs if you are getting family and friends over to help)? Will you need to take out a loan with the bank? Does refinancing your mortgage make...

Pre-renovation Checklist: What is your Financial Plan?

We sure seem to be in the mood for improvements in this country and our homes are no exception. A recent construction study from Scotiabank suggested Canadians spent a record $53 billion on home renovations last year and that number was actually on par with what Canadians spent on new home builds. In a separate report from BMO, their research concluded over the past decade, renovation spending in Canada has been the single fastest growing segment of residential investment across the whole country.   Knowing that, chances are pretty good you too have done some recent improvements on your house or are in the very least thinking about getting some done. Whether it is fixing up the front walk and stairs or fitting the bathroom with safety guards in the shower, toilet and bathtub to full blown demolition and additions on your home, you need solid plans in place first and it all starts with proper finances.   The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests regardless of size, you enter into any renovation project well informed on all aspects of impending construction to help it go that much easier and hopefully, stay cost effective and stress free. Financial Advice How much money do you personally have on hand to get this project done? Will you be doing the labour yourself? If so, is there room on your credit cards to cover the cost of supplies (don’t forget the pizza and pop costs if you are getting family and friends over to help)? Will you need to take out a loan with the bank? Does refinancing your mortgage make more...
Going Green: Energy Efficient Homes and Appliances   

Going Green: Energy Efficient Homes and Appliances  

  Wherever you stand on the climate change debate, it is clear there is more humankind can do to help out the environment and lessen our negative impact on it. Thanks to technological advancements and financial help from all levels of government, it’s never been easier to go green in your home.   Home Energy Audit Getting an energy assessment done on your home by a trained professional could save you big money in the long run and of course, lessen the burden you place on our planet. From your attic to your basement, there could be major energy inefficiencies you don’t even know about but a certified energy advisor can spot any wastefulness going on under your roof and also factor in seasonal climate changes that happen where you live – weather in Manitoba can be a lot different from that in Newfoundland so homeowners’ needs will be different depending on geographic location. Once the inspector has done an assessment, you will receive a personalized report suggesting any needed retrofits. Sometimes it can be as little as applying new insulation to windows and doors. Even little things like that can make a big difference in the efficient heating and cooling of your home and lower your energy costs.     Energy Efficient Renovation Rebates and Tax Credits In the City of Toronto, you could be eligible for up to $5000 in grants to put towards renovations and upgrades in your home to make it more environmentally friendly. A home energy assessment has to be done before any upgrades to the house – like new insulation or windows, furnace...
Keep the Peace: How Not to Annoy Your Neighbours During Renovations

Keep the Peace: How Not to Annoy Your Neighbours During Renovations

So, you have got your renovation financing in place, you have selected your contractor and all the plans and designs have been laid out to your specification. You are eager to get this project underway and for those sledgehammers to start swinging but what about all the people around you? You know, your neighbours to the left, right, front and back of you. Even people down the street or apartment dwellers nearby. Sound can travel far, especially the constant, repetitive, loud and grating noises particular to all things construction and renovation related. It is those noises that can ruin the quality of life of your neighbours and prevent them from enjoying their own homes while you are getting yours made over.   Give Notice This isn’t the ordinary duct cleaning, furnace repair of air conditioner installation we’re talking about here. This is about power tools, heavy machinery and major renovations and remodelling like putting in a new deck, tearing down walls and adding an addition onto your home. Those are the kinds of projects that make big noise so once you have your plans in place let your neighbours know all about them. Giving all those living around you a heads up before the demolition starts is a courteous thing to do and can give them enough of a head start to mentally prepare for the dust, noise and commotion to come. It’s worth taking the time to let your neighbours know how long the construction will last because not only is it disruptive from a volume standpoint, it usually means more vehicles will be in the neighbourhood and...
Summer is Here! How is Your Air Conditioning System Holding Up?

Summer is Here! How is Your Air Conditioning System Holding Up?

  It’s bound to happen to you or someone you know at some point in life. We’re in the middle of a brutal, seemingly endless heatwave and some freak accident happens that ruins your air conditioning or maybe the unit is so old, it’s simply beyond a routine air conditioner repair to get it back to life. So what do you do? You’re hot, sweaty, frustrated and not in the mood for doing hours of research on the best air conditioner options. Have no fear! This blog will lay out what to look for if you have to buy a new unit and why it’s a smart move to get your air conditioner install done by a professional.   Top Three Air Conditioners The job of an air conditioner is pretty straight forward: make a space cool and comfortable to be in even on the hottest of days and nights. But there’s so much more to look for in a quality air conditioning system for your home. So many brands are on the market like York, Trane, Lennox, Carrier, Goodman, Rheem and Heil but which one is the best for you? We checked with Top Ten Reviews to get the lowdown. Their independent staff of reviewers and editors have done a ton of testing, research and market assessment and comparisons to figure out the top performing air conditioners and here are a few of them: #1: Dave Lennox Collection XC25 Top Ten Reviews gave this system the highest overall rating because of its high level of efficiency and low noise output. It also got the edge over other units...
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