Updated - April 7, 2022
Despite the pandemic, Canadians are renovating their homes at increasingly higher rates. Being home so often has made us see all of the home improvement projects we want to get done, and there has never been a better time to do a home renovation.
Many are realizing that investing in an efficient, comfortable at-home work or living set-up is essential.
There are so many different ways to optimize your home. Whether you want to revamp the bedrooms and bathrooms, install your dream outdoor entertainment centre, or finally put in that home office you’ve been wanting, there is no time like the present.
Read on for all you need to know about home renovations and the best ways to upgrade your space.
What Are Home Renovations?
Home renovations are changes, additions, or repairs to your home. Home renovations make your home new again; they invigorate and revitalize your existing home to make it exactly what you want.
Are Home Renovations Allowed During Lockdown in Ontario?
Yes! Home renovations are still allowed during the lockdown in Ontario, as residential contracting was exempted from the most recent lockdown orders. If you have been renovation ideas, you can get started on them now.
Why Are So Many People Doing Home Renovations During the Pandemic?
Now that people are spending so much time at home, they are realizing that certain areas of their home need improvement. People who used to work at an office are suddenly forced to coexist with a leaky sink and squeaky doors. Suddenly, an issue you may not have noticed before has become your top priority.
Not only are Canadians getting to know their homes better, but the pandemic has also created a new set of needs for the home.
Working and educating from home has become the new normal, and many Canadians are simply not 100% comfortable in their own surroundings all day long. With many members of the family at home during the day, there just simply isn’t enough office or learning space.
Additionally, now that social activities are restricted, many people want to improve their outdoor areas and entertainment spaces so they can safely enjoy their homes. When we revisited this article in April of 2022, most restrictions across the country have been lifted however with the pandemic still running rampant across the country, anything can happen at any time in terms of the reinstatement of these mandates. More to that, many Canadians are still simply choosing to stay home.
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The Canada Home Renovation Tax Credit and How It Can Help
To help Canadian families keep their homes in great condition, the federal government has implemented a renovation tax rebate. To qualify, you will need to complete substantial renovation on your home (meaning 90% or more).
In Ontario, seniors age 65+ can claim up to 25% of a $10,000 renovation. These renovations should be specifically aimed at increasing accessibility for the home.
Professionals vs DIY
It can be extremely tempting to complete home renovations by yourself, but is it really a good idea? Whether or not to hire a professional depends on a wide range of things:
- The scope of the project in mind
- Will the project require a permit? (Any structural changes usually do)
- Your abilities and experience
- The tools and supplies needed
- The amount of time a project will take up
- Will the project involve technical work?
Think about your own experiences and whether or not the project you want to complete is really within the scope of your abilities.
If you are a beginner, wall painting is a simple way to totally change the feel of your space. However, if your intended project will involve plumbing, roofing, electrical, gas, and anything structural should be left to a professional. Some projects may even be mandated by law to be done by a licensed professional.
When in doubt, it is best to run the project by a contractor for a second opinion.
Working from home has become the new normal, and many companies are considering making it permanent. However, a poor working space can be detrimental to your productivity and positivity. If you have been working from home at your dining table or from the living room sofa, now would be a great time to optimize your home.
The ideal home office will allow you to focus and de-stress so your productivity will flourish. When designing your home office, try to bring in elements that make you happy, such as plants, art, or beautiful bookcases. Natural light is essential for maintaining your productivity- sunlight is like nature’s mood booster.
Aim for calming colours for the walls- blues, greens, and neutrals are all popular for home offices. Try out a soft blue or a light sage green for your new space. Be sure to think about what your backdrop will look like for video meetings- simple, non-distracting decor pieces are a great way to create that picture-perfect background.
Most important of all is your office furniture. Invest in a comfortable chair and a functional desk. If you are uncomfortable at your desk, you are less likely to get much accomplished. Be sure to check out our guide on reorganizing your home office to ensure productivity and peace of mind.
Your kids will need a space to work too. Many students have struggled to keep up with at-home virtual schooling, and not having a functional space to work can be even more detrimental to your kids than to you.
Aim to create a space that encourages learning, like a mini-classroom- on-topic posters, whiteboards, and proper desks. Avoid making the space too sterile; rather, use lots of colours, books, and educational decor. Try to keep as much natural light as possible in the space.
If your kids are old enough, try to involve them in the design process. They may have ideas on how to optimize their study space and will be even happier with the end results.
Outdoor gatherings have massively surged in popularity. Your backyard, or balcony if you're in a building has the potential to become the coolest neighbourhood gathering spot, it just needs some TLC first.
There are so many great ways to utilize your backyard space.
A deck is a great place to start. Decks and patios are multi-functional and they are a relatively simple way to add space to your home. These spaces are completely customizable, whether you want an outdoor kitchen, a chill spot for watching the kids play, or an entertainment centre, anything is possible!
Maybe you have always dreamed of putting in a pool? Now is a great time to make that dream a reality. Add a slide, a shallow end with in-water lounge chairs, a hot tub, or a poolside tanning area to really make it luxurious.
For the ultimate outdoor luxury, add an outdoor movie projector and get some great lawn chairs. Everyone will love the outdoor movie watch parties you will be able to throw, and it will make for memorable nights in with the family.
To make your new space functional all year round, consider installing outdoor heating systems. These systems are easy to use and will allow you to have COVID-safe outdoor gatherings without freezing in the cold Canadian winters.
Finish the backyard with some great plants that suit the vibe you’re looking for — trees for privacy, flowers, or a practical vegetable garden. Good greenery will complete the backyard and give it a polished look.
There is nothing less relaxing than an inadequate bathroom. Revamping your bathroom space can completely change the functionality of your home.
If you and your partner have been driving each other crazy in the mornings, double sinks will be your best friend. A double vanity will give you each your own space without needing an entirely separate bathroom.
After a long day, take a long, relaxing hot shower. Whether you are looking to increase your shower’s size or just want to bring it up a notch, there is a lot you can do with them. Be sure to consult with professionals who understand your plumbing system before beginning any renovations.
For a modern look, aim for a richly coloured, unique tile pattern. Brightly coloured tiles are very popular at the moment- greens, blues, and bright mosaic tiles all create a vibrant shower experience. If you prefer neutral colours, select a warm grey or clean white.
Even something as minimal as replacing the showerhead can make a huge difference in your shower. Not only can it increase water pressure, but it can create all different flows of water for your perfect relaxing shower experience.
For a luxury touch, consider adding heated tile to your bathroom floor. No more cold feet first thing in the morning!
A basement is one of the most under-utilized areas of homes. They may seem like just a basic storage area, but with some simple upgrades, they can become a large functional space for your home.
The foundation level of your home is full of potential. Depending on the size of your basement, you can create all kinds of different spaces.
If upstairs isn’t cutting it, think about adding on an extra living room downstairs. You and your kids can have separate spaces to watch TV or hang out with friends, and you won’t have to fight to watch what you want.
Turn it into a gathering spot- add a bar, a pool table, or maybe some eclectic video game machines. Select paints in rich, deep colours, such as burgundy or navy. Some comfy bar stools will complete the atmosphere.
If you don’t have the space upstairs for a full office, you can easily create one in your basement. Being separated from the rest of the house also has some advantages, as it may be a quieter area and easier to focus.
You can also add on another bedroom and bathroom. Not only is this extremely functional, but it also adds value to your home.
The attic is just like the basement- full of under-utilized potential. A poorly insulated attic can drive up your electric bills and could potentially let in pests.
Fix up that space and turn it into any number of needed rooms. If you have the space, a bedroom and bathroom in the attic can be great for guests or teenagers looking for a more private space.
You could also turn it into your home office or a crafting space. Take advantage of the location of your attic and create lots of natural light with skylights or big windows. Inspiration will flow in a great atmosphere.
If your attic is smaller, consider making a cozy library, playroom, or study area for younger kids! Tighter spaces may not be much fun for adults, but younger kids will love having a play space dedicated to them.
If you love using your attic for storage, you can still brighten it up with some light paint and good-quality storage shelves. Adding in better lighting can make any small space feel brighter and bigger.
Will Home Insurance Cover Any Accidents?
Insurance is designed to protect you and your family when the unexpected happens. A good home insurance policy will protect you against any accidents that may happen, from water damage to fire to natural disasters. This is important to consider when beginning home renovations. Whether you're hiring a professional or going the DIY route, you should always be prepared for any accidents that may occur when you're undergoing a renovation.
What Exactly Does Home Insurance Cover?
A standard home insurance plan covers the house itself in the instance of fire or weather damage, coverage for your belongings, liability, and any living expenses should your home become inhabitable. Then specifics of your coverage may vary depending on your plan.
How Much Does Home Insurance Cost?
The cost of your home insurance will vary depending on a number of factors, including the details of your home and your claim history. Insurance can be customized to fit your budget, so you can find the right plan for you!
What Should I Look For in a Home Insurance Company?
When picking out a home insurance company, look for plans that are affordable with your budget and adequately protect your home. There is no point in spending money on a policy that does not protect your home and belongings. Pick a company that has good reviews from other homeowners and strives to protect its customers.
Don't forget this super informative read on the common myths about home insurance. View article
Ensure Your Protection While Building the Home of Your Dreams
Your home is an endless pool of possibilities! Even though we all may be spending more time at home these days, it doesn't mean we have to settle for dysfunctional appliances and little to no work space. By renovating your space, you can create a healthy work and play environment that satisfies the whole family.
With an amazing home renovation, your dream home may be within reach. From incredible outdoor spaces to completely revitalized indoor spaces, you can have it all. It's an investment that will greatly pay off in the present and future.
Think about the main goals you want to get out of your home, set a budget and a timeline, and be sure to insure your dream home today.