By: Bryan Tuckey
Editor’s note: This Toronto Star story, written by the president and CEO of Toronto’s Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), has relevance in Ottawa, as well. Tuckey is a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.
Renovating your home is a big undertaking. It takes time, effort and it’s a big investment.
We did a homeowner survey in January that showed environmental consciousness and energy savings as top motivators for home renovations this year. The survey asked how homeowners would spend $100,000 during a renovation and 80 per cent reported an interest in saving on utility costs, while 68 per cent claimed to be interested in environmentally-friendly improvements. In the renovation sector, that can mean upgrading windows and doors; replacing insulation; and even retrofitting your home’s plumbing and electrical systems.
Measures to improve a home can quickly go beyond what you can do on your own. When you work with a professional renovator, you can renovate with confidence knowing that you’re working with someone who understands the rules and regulations that go along with home construction. Professionals like the RenoMark renovator and trade contractor members of our Association have a strong knowledge of municipal bylaws as well as the Ontario Building Code — two very detailed sets of rules that guide projects large and small.
They also abide by the Association’s code of ethics and a renovator-specific code of conduct, which you can view at renomark.ca. As part of their work to advocate for their clients and consumers in general, some of our renovator members meet with municipal staff and local councillors to educate them and provide real-time examples of project demands and how process delays can affect timelines.
It’s important to understand that most home renovations will require municipal building permits and a professional renovator can assist in acquiring them. They will also co-ordinate and schedule a team of tradespeople that work on different aspects of your home at different times. A delay in permit approvals can cost time and money. Our members work with the city to improve the communication flow and keep projects on schedule and on budget.
With increasing property values in the GTA, many people are choosing to stay and renovate their current home instead of moving. Renovation spending increases on average 7 per cent each year across Canada, according to a TD Economics report. Last year in the GTA, the renovation sector created 87,300 jobs and generated $4.8 billion in wages, which show up as purchases across the entire local economy. Renovation is also a significant driver of the local economy since products are sourced locally and the businesses are housed locally.
There are many reasons homeowners decide that it’s time to renovate. Working with a professional can help you make the right decisions to increase the comfort and value of your home. Search our database of professional RenoMark renovators by geography and by project type at renomark.ca.