Author: Adriana Valentina

8 Tricks for saving money on your renovation

Hire a renovator who looks at space in innovative ways. You may not really need a bigger kitchen. You may just need someone with the imagination and know how to make the space more workable and to appear bigger. Tell your renovator you only want to make one substantial change a year, or two years, or three. Ask what one thing would make the biggest difference. Do that the first time, and then the second time, and so on. That way you can plan and budget for what comes next. A good renovator will also see ahead to the...

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Your children’s first home – Should you and loan money to your kids for their first home and how?

Richard Yasinski CFP With our children renting university accommodations or graduated and settled down in their careers, I often get asked about how best to help get them into their first home.  A home can be a great savings and investment strategy but challenging (and costly if they buy wrong) for first time home owners to purchase without help.  Here are a few things you need to consider before making the decision to help your child buy their first home and how you might do it. Firstly, “Does it make sense for your children to own a home at...

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Renovation essentials: First, the money

By Francie Healy Financing your renovation can be one of the biggest steps in your journey to a bright new space. In many cases financing works well through a mortgage company, particularly with “projects that don’t fit with bank financing,” says Andrea Haines, Eastern Ontario Regional Manager for Magenta Investments. But, like everything else about your project, financing means you’ll need to do your homework. One of the first things Andrea urges people to do is to find a good contractor. “We sometimes get called in because a bank construction loan has gone off the rails,” she says. “The...

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What the experts say about cutting reno costs

The best people to give renovation advice and information are, of course, the experts themselves, the professionals who know the building and renovation business inside out. We asked two renovators, Mike Dion of Oakridge Construction, and David Gladwin of Gladwin Building Services, to tell us, in their own words, some of the best ways to save money in a renovation. This is what they said. Mike Dion, Oakridge Construction Don’t change your mind!      Do you want to keep your renovation costs down? It can be done, but it takes a bit of know-how. First of all, minimize changes. Once...

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Renovation advice: Insure first – then renovate

If you’re about to plan a renovation, there’s one thing you can’t forget. In fact, this one step is more important than you might realize. Before you begin, you need to renew your home insurance. What is the cost of your planned renovation? Your home insurance policy is designed to cover the replacement cost of your home. Many policies offer a guaranteed rebuilding cost endorsement, but your home must be insured to 100 per cent of the rebuilding value. A renovation, as you know, could increase that value; and thus your contract must be updated in order to ensure...

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What is RenoMark™?

RenoMark™ renovators are held to the highest industry standards. They have to do the big things – carry $2 million liability insurance and enforce strict workplace safety – and the smaller things that give you comfort: pledge to call you back within two business days, for instance.

RenoMark™ renovators must pay a fee to be certified. They must also follow detailed guidelines. In addition to insurance, safety and courtesy, they must:
• Give you a detailed written contract for all jobs, big or small
• Provide a minimum two-year warranty on all work except minor repair
• Carry the proper licences and permits
• Keep their worksite organized and safe
• In the Ottawa area, be a member in good standing of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) and abide by the GOHBA Code of Ethics.
• Stay current, through consistent and continuing education, in their professional knowledge of building codes, permit procedures and technical skills.