How to stay on top of home renovation costs

Christine Davies and her husband were in their east-end Toronto home for about six years before deciding to pull the trigger on a massive renovation.With two young children and a house “literally falling apart,” Davies says, the couple needed an upgrade but didn’t want to move up in the city’s pumped-up real estate market — where home prices have increased by about 25 per cent over the last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.“Finding the house we have in Toronto, a free-standing home with a private driveway — that would be very difficult to find at an affordable price,” says the 45-year-old health data analyst. “It’s just more cost-effective to renovate.”But that’s not to say gutting her home and building a two-storey addition hasn’t been without stress, she adds, including the additional cost and inconvenience of renting another house to live in during the eight-month process.A recent poll for CIBC indicated that as many as 56 per cent of Canadians embarking on renovations are choosing to stay in place instead of selling their home and buying another — for reasons ranging from wanting to make a space that better fits their needs to increasing the value of their homes.Article Continued BelowHowever, the survey also suggested that homeowners starting renovations worry about household disruptions, project delays and overspending — despite the fact that 61 per cent of people planning to renovate admit they don’t have a detailed budget.CIBC says homeowners should do their research first by seeking expert advice from a realtor, a trusted contractor and a financial planner before embarking on any major projects to determine which options will fit their needs and budget.Knowing if you will live through your renovation or move out is another key consideration and so is understanding what you can and can’t do on your own.