Everyone has a different reason for wanting to renovate their home. You may be looking to make a change in the way your home looks or feels, or you may want to fix a maintenance issue or make your home more comfortable or energy efficient. Whatever your reason, undertaking a renovation involves a number of important decisions.
To help you make more informed decisions, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers a number of tips, tools and resources like the Before you Renovate: Renovation Guide. Consulting these resources before you begin can help you save time, money and a lot of frustration – resulting in a better overall renovation experience.
First, always take the time to thoroughly plan your renovation before you pick up a hammer (or the phone). Mistakes on paper are much easier and less expensive to fix than mistakes on the job. Taking the time upfront to identify your priorities and how you want to achieve them can save you a great deal of expense (and more than a few headaches) further down the road.
Next, decide whether your planned renovation is practical. For instance, that addition may look great, but can your home’s systems handle the additional heating, lighting and plumbing requirements? Learn to draw the line between what would be nice and what’s really essential, and consider hiring a qualified professional early in the process to help guide you toward what’s practical for your home.
It’s also a good idea to think about the long-term impact of your renovations. For example, renovations that make your home more energy efficient could pay for themselves through years of lower monthly utility bills. In addition, think about your family’s future needs by making sure your design is flexible enough to adapt to changes as time goes by.
To avoid going over budget, have a clear idea in advance of how much your renovation will cost. CMHC’s Household Budget Calculator is designed to help you understand what you can afford. Get written estimates from at least two reputable local renovators, architectural firms or materials suppliers and, if they ask for a deposit, make sure it’s a nominal amount and request a signed receipt.
If you need help financing your renovation project, it may be beneficial to refinance your mortgage at today’s great low rates! And if the renovation will make your home more energy efficient you may even qualify for financial assistance. Answers to your questions are just a phone call or email away!
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