Home Renovations – Reality vs. Television
Watching home renovation shows is inspiring, often providing us with ideas for our own spaces. However, there is a bit of a downside when it comes to these shows – they can be misleading when it comes to the renovation process. While we may want to recreate something from one of these shows, without knowing […]
Watching home renovation shows is inspiring, often providing us with ideas for our own spaces. However, there is a bit of a downside when it comes to these shows – they can be misleading when it comes to the renovation process.
While we may want to recreate something from one of these shows, without knowing all of the ins and outs, you could be starting a project you’re not ready for! In order to sort out what is real and what is television magic, we have broken down some of the components that go along with a renovation.
Budget & Financing
When it comes to most home renovation shows, there is little to no discussion regarding finances. In reality, if you’re looking to renovate your home you would want to discuss with your mortgage broker or a mortgage expert from Dominion Lending Centres to determine your options.
Some of the ways that you can finance a renovation include:
- Mortgage Refinancing: This option will allow you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s appraised value (less any outstanding mortgage balance). Refinancing your mortgage (if approved) will provide you to access funds immediately and tends to have lower interest rates than a standard credit card or personal loan. This is best suited to large-scale renovations or remodels. You will want to refinance at the end of the mortgage term whenever possible to avoid breaking your mortgage and owing penalties.
- Purchase Plus Improvements Mortgage: This is a great option if you haven’t yet bought that home and will allow you to finance your renovation at the time of purchase. This type of mortgage is available to assist buyers with making simple upgrades, not conducting major renovations where structural modifications are made. Simple renovations include paint, flooring, windows, a hot-water tank, a new furnace, kitchen updates, bathroom updates, a new roof, basement finishing, and more. Depending on your mortgage, the Purchase Plus Improvements (PPI) product can allow you to borrow between 10% and 20% of the initial value for renovations.
- Financing Improvements Upon Purchase: Similarly to Purchase Plus Improvements, this option allows you to finance your renovation project at the time of a new purchase by adding the estimated costs to your mortgage with CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance. You can obtain financing with only a 5% down payment for both the purchase of your home and the renovations for up to 95% of the value after renovations! Plus, there are no additional fees or premiums and you can earn added rebates for energy-saving renos.
- Line of Credit or Home Equity Loans: Lastly, you always have the option of utilizing a secured line of credit or home equity loan to pay for your renovation. Securing your renovation loan against the equity in your home can typically be up to 80% of the property value; accessible at any time. This will typically provide lower interest than non-secured financing and allows you to access funds at any time.
Once you have your source of renovation financing, you need to create a budget. On television, it is very hard to determine whether a renovation budget that is listed is accurate. In fact, in some cases the network or show itself even adds to the budget behind the scenes! As viewers, we are simply not aware of what has been factored into those numbers by the television producers such as design fees, permits, labour, material costs, promotional giveaways, etc.
Fortunately, when it comes to reality, you can easily create a realistic budget for your renovation by simply doing some research and requesting quotes. Working with a professional contractor in these cases is crucial to ensure all the work done is to code and to avoid any surprises down the line. A professional can also help you create a detailed budget and timeline for your project so you know what to expect. During all stages of the renovation from picking out paint and new tile to labour costs, be sure to consult your budget. You don’t want to be partway through your renovation only to find out that you’ve run out of money due to making changes or selecting more expensive materials!
Perhaps one of the least realistic aspects of home renovation shows is the timeline. It can seem like just a few short weeks to re-do your entire kitchen, but in reality, that timeline is often stretched.
Working with your contractor to create a realistic timeline based on your goals will help make the process less stressful and ensure you know what you’re getting into BEFORE you start.
Keep in mind, just because you’re ready to renovate, that doesn’t mean a contractor will be available. You may also run into snags such as material shortages or other issues so keep that in mind when you are planning out your timeline.
Planning & Design
When it comes to home renovation television, there is often an interior designer who comes in and makes decisions without the clients; in reality, that is not the case. When it comes to a real-life renovation, all the changes would be well-documented and planned out in advance with the clients (or by the client). In addition, unlike television shows that don’t show certain aspects, you will need to ensure you get building permits and inspections done throughout your renovation. While it can be time-consuming, this is extra important to ensure that your renovation is legal and therefore covered by insurance should anything happen.
While doing a home renovation in real life is different from television, with the right planning and support team for financing and contracting, you can bring your vision to life! Contact us to get started.