Renovating your house

With housing prices on the rise, many Canadians are choosing to renovate their homes instead of moving.

If you love your location and get along with your neighbours, updating your current space might be the right move. Remodeling your home will also allow you to customize your space to suit your needs and likely increase the value of your home.

Things to consider when planning a home renovation:

Investing in a home makeover doesn’t have to be stressful if you build a plan for a smart renovation

  • Ask for supplier and contractor referrals from friends and family. Community Facebook groups can be a great place to get referrals for contractors who work in your area. 
  • Research the company and/or contractor before signing a contract. Checking online review sites like Homestars is a good place to start. You can also ask your local business bureau to see if any of their former clients have made complaints.
  • Do a legal check – find out if the contractor is licensed and has insurance. 
  • Find out if you need drawings created by an architect and/or a permit for your renovation
  • Notify your insurer 

Typically, home insurance will not cover liability or damages caused by the contractor. Before hiring your contractor, it’s a good idea to ensure that they’re covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or the equivalent board in your province, have commercial general liability coverage and that their insurance will cover any damages on your property during construction. 

If finding a contractor seems daunting, Aviva customers who have add-ons like Home Repair Assure or Claim Prevent can ask Aviva for a list of preferred contractors. Customers with this optional coverage will be backed by a $1,000 workmanship guarantee† if they’re not satisfied with the work done.

Five most popular renovations for Canadian homeowners in 2017

(According to a recent survey)

  1.   Basic home maintenance - painting, flooring and general repairs 
  2. Landscaping - deck, patio, and driveway
  3. Bathroom renovations 
  4. Kitchen renovations 
  5. Replacement of windows and doors

Inform your insurance company of your home renovation plans

Whether you decide to finish your basement, update your kitchen or bathroom, it’s a good idea to let your insurance provider know about your plans. Your house insurance covers your home and its contents in the event of a loss, but your new renovations could increase the overall value of your home – therefore, affecting the replacement value and premiums of your current policy. 

It’s also important to remember that some renovations may not be covered under your current home insurance policy and a surcharge or restrictions may apply to your existing policy due to the risks involved during construction. 

Understanding your policy and available add-ons to your coverage will ensure you’re covered for the cost to rebuild your home (including all the new renovations) in the event of a loss. 

Every situation is different, contact your insurance broker or Aviva to learn more about the implications of home renovations. 

†Terms and conditions apply.

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