Home renovations can be difficult when you need a helping hand and don’t know where to go. Whether you can’t make up your mind about which project to start first or you don’t how the renovation will impact your home’s value, here are the places to start and people to talk to before making any changes!
Home Renovation Help: The Home Inspector
A licensed home inspector can be a valuable place to start for home reno help. Most people call one before moving into a home, but you can call a home inspector before your renovations, too! They will check your house from attic to basement, looking for leaks, dampness, heating and air conditioning problems, roof issues, and anything to do with plumbing and electrical. After you’ve read the full report, you can take the findings into consideration and start planning your renovations.
Always Ask For Referrals
A good place to start is with family and friends. Ask if they know a good home inspector, contractor, or someone who can do a specific job like flooring or painting. Generally, if they’ve done good-enough work to get a positive referral, they will be a reliable option!
Home Renovation Help: Know Your Rights
The homeowner has rights under the law when it comes to renovations, and knowing what they are can help a lot when working with contractors and builders.
Under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), if an estimate is included in a renovation contract, the final price for everything cannot be more than 10% over the original estimate – unless the homeowner has agreed to the new work or price. This means that it is important to insist on a written estimate to be included in the contract, and if new work comes up, the contractor should discuss it with you before doing anything. Always approve and sign a change to the contract, including a new estimate, after discussing it over with the contractor.
If you are doing major renovation work, it’s best to have a lawyer go over your contract, explain it to you, and advise you on your rights before you sign. Check whether you will need a building permit with your municipality, as it is your responsibility to meet the necessary legal requirements before you renovate. If you want the contractor to get the required permits on your behalf, make sure it’s detailed clearly in the contract, and don’t allow construction to begin until you’ve seen the permits themselves!
Remember To Check Up On Rebates
If a contractor has told you that the work being done qualifies you for a government rebate or tax credit, you are responsible for making sure that you actually do qualify for it. Check ahead of time with the ministry, department, or agency offering the tax credit, rebate or grant. These credits can be an important part in the renovation decision-making process, so be very thorough in your research.
Make Sure You’re Covered
Renovations can impact your home insurance coverage. Before you get started, contact your bank or insurance provider and let them know about the upgrades and renovations you want to make to your home, as the changes may affect your coverage. They can walk you through your policy details and clear up and coverage changes or limitations that may come up. Contact us to learn more!