Planning on doing some renovations soon or later in the year? Here are some tips to avoid renovation regret and what to think about in order to future-proof those renos.
Tips to avoid renovation regret
Whether you’re the kind of person who goes into a renovation excited or filled with anxiety, you should give yourself the time to carefully think through all the important decisions you’ll have to make throughout the process. To avoid spending money on choices you’ll regret, here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider your next home update.
How and when will you use the space?
Think carefully about why you want to renovate in the first place and be realistic about how much use the room will get. How often will you use the home gym, or how much use will the kids’ playroom get?
How are you going to pay for this?
According to a recent report from insurance provider Aviva Canada, 14 per cent of those who renovated during the pandemic did it on impulse, with eight per cent saying they spent too much, and five per cent stating they have regrets. No one should have to regret their reno, but spending can easily get out of hand. Be sure to set out a budget beforehand, consider expenses and comparison shop. Having a plan and a solid idea of what you can afford is always best, even if you deviate from it during the project.
“When considering making renovations to your home, it’s always a good idea to ensure you have a plan in place,” says Phil Gibson, EVP and managing director of personal insurance at Aviva Canada. “Canadians looking to make major changes to their home should know that renovations like finishing a basement, removing structural supports or building an addition may impact their insurance coverage as they can change the home’s rebuild value. Your insurance representative can help ensure that your home is covered for its true value, giving you peace of mind should the unexpected happen.”
Does return on investment really matter to you?
Some updates are better than others for resale value and securing more equity in your home. For resale, a fresh coat of paint is the best reno you can invest in for ROI. Updating the kitchen or bathrooms is costlier, but can add that wow-factor when trying to sell in a challenging market. While you shouldn’t base your reno plans based on ROI alone, it’s worth considering so you go into the project with a realistic mindset.
Tips for future-proofing your reno
There are many reasons to renovate your home, including needing more space for a growing family and wanting to reduce your carbon footprint. Whatever your scope or motivation, you should plan for your reno to stand the test of time.
Plan for senior-friendly design
If you plan on staying in the home long-term, factor in some features that can make it easier to live there well into your golden years without adding much cost. Wider doorways make it easier to traverse with a walker or wheelchair, levers instead of doorknobs can be opened with arthritic hands and extra lighting illuminates a room if eyesight diminishes. When getting quotes, ask your contractor for suggestions.
How will you use it in the future?
A playroom may seem like a great idea now, but what will you do when the kids inevitably outgrow it? Can the space be easily converted to an office or spare bedroom down the road? Or if you’re planning to downsize soon, then maybe opt for mid-range fixtures rather than go all out on high-end or custom features which a buyer might change anyway.
How will it withstand the weather?
No one wants to think about it, but climate change is already affecting our lives with more frequent extreme weather events like devastating floods, wildfires and heatwaves. As you consider options for your renovation, think about climate-proofing options. Fireproof materials, durable metal roofing, a more efficient and eco-friendly heating system, and improved insulation and ventilation are just a few ideas.
Review your insurance coverage
In planning your updates, account for hidden costs in the future like product lifespan, upkeep needs and even insurance changes. As Phil Gibson, EVP and managing director of personal insurance at Aviva Canada explains, “Renovations like finishing a basement, removing structural supports or building an addition may impact insurance coverage as they can change the home’s rebuild value. Your insurance representative can help ensure that your home is covered for its true value, giving you peace of mind should the unexpected happen.”
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