The COVID-19 pandemic has some families considering home renovations, in fact, the sector is heating up. If you plan to renovate your home, the Good Hands Advice team has put together a list of tips to consider that might help make the process easier.
The risk of cost-cutting
Since the total cost of hiring someone to do renovations can sometimes be quite high, many homeowners are opting to doing the renovations themselves. With home renovations, the price of building materials can make up a significant portion of any budget. However, be caution when purchasing cheaper materials, especially electrical or plumbing equipment. If an electrical cable or pipe does not meet current housing standards, unexpected (but avoidable) problems can result.
In addition, if you ever plan to sell your house and an inspector finds irregularities in the work, it can be costly and time consuming to make it compliant with building codes.
Whether you’re planning to do the work yourself or will be hiring a contractor (which we’ll review next), spend the time to carefully select the materials you are going to use. If you are reviewing a quote, specify exactly what brand and models you want, if you can. Longer-lasting materials can be more expensive, but you may end-up more satisfied with your renovations.
Doing business with a contractor
If you are not used to doing renovations, or if the project is large, consider hiring a licensed general contractor – or a specialized one, depending on the type of work to be done.
You can start by asking your family and friends if they have any referrals. Or, reach-out to your network and your community to see if anyone knows of a contractor who can provide quality work.
This is especially important in the case of electrical work; Allstate Canada recommends that the hired worker be certified and insured to ensure they are protected in the event of any workplace incidents.
Once you have selected someone to work with, get an itemized quote. This should include a description of the work and materials used, the total price of the project and planned start and finish dates.
You can also find more tips to help you choose a contractor on the Allstate blog.
Are the renovations covered by my home insurance policy?
Before carrying out major work, contact your insurance company to advise them of the nature of the work, as well as its total cost. They will be able to verify if the value of the property changes and update your policy. So, if you have to make a claim in the future, you will have the appropriate coverage.
A reduction in risk could result in a reduction in your premium
Some renovations can possibly result in a decrease in your home insurance premiums. For example, your insurer will want to know if you modernize the plumbing, update the electrical system, install a backwater valve to help protect from sewer back-ups, and more.
This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice.