Tips for a stress-free home renovation

Renovating is typically less expensive than purchasing a new home, and it can help increase the value of your property. However, it can be stressful. To reduce anxiety and get the most out of your reno, follow some of these top home renovation tips.

Ensure your renovation increases your home’s value

Consider three things before you start:

  • Market value. Will a major reno put your home’s value above the market value in your neighbourhood? The value of your home may be limited if it’s surrounded by smaller, lesser value homes. Try not to price your home out of the market.
  • Future buyers. Even if you’re not planning to sell soon, it’s wise to think of your project in terms of what most buyers would want. For example, eliminating a bedroom to expand another room may not appeal to every buyer, especially those with families.
  • Return on investment. Some renos add instant value, like updating kitchens and bathrooms, adding square footage, or changing carpet to hardwood floors.

10 questions to ask your contractor before a renovation

If you decide to hire a contractor, find one you can trust. Ask friends to recommend top-notch contractors, or search for reputable contractors online, then narrow the list and set expectations with these 10 questions.

  1. Cost: Is your quote an estimate or fixed price, and what’s the payment schedule?
  2. Supervision: Who will supervise the job site and how many hours a day/week will they be there?
  3. Permits: Who will get the permits and co-ordinate inspections?
  4. Protection: Do you have full liability insurance for people and materials? Beyond insurance, how will you protect my property (for example, if you’re adding an addition and it rains)?
  5. Timing: What’s your start-to-finish schedule, and when will I be needed on site?
  6. Communication: How will you communicate updates to me, and can I reach you after hours?
  7. Experience: How many years of experience do you have, or similar projects have you completed?
  8. Employees: Do you work with the same pool of subcontractors/construction workers on every project, or will there be anyone new?
  9. Savings: How can I save some money? Can I buy some supplies myself?
  10. Codes: Are you up-to-date on all current building codes, and how will you handle any violations/changes if the project doesn’t meet code (important for older homes)?

Protect yourself from surprises

Significant renovations may not be covered by your current home insurance policy. Home insurance is designed to protect your home and its contents in case of the unexpected; however, every policy has limits. If you have a claim, you don’t want to find out your improvements aren’t covered.

For more information on insurance coverage for your renovation, talk to your Financial Advisor. And, when your renovation is finished, ask them to re-evaluate your home to ensure the replacement value is updated and officially documented.