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Why Canadian Home Renovation Spending Could Be on the Decline

A recent study by CIBC reports that while an increasing number of homeowners plan to renovate their homes, the amount of money they plan to spend is on the decline.

The Canadian home renovation industry has benefited greatly from the rise in housing costs over the last several years. Homeowners are staying put rather than trading in starter homes, opting to renovate and repair rather than trade up to meet their growing needs. Additionally, we have seen an increase in multi-generation housing choices, where either adult children are choosing to live with their parents for an extended period of time, or older parents are moving back home with the kids.

The result is a home renovation industry worth $71.3 billion dollars. However, signs show that spending could be on the decline.

A recent CIBC poll has shown that renovations continue to be on the rise, with *48% of surveyed Canadians planning some type of renovation project in 2017 compared to 37% in 2016. However, that same survey revealed that the average homeowner plans to spend $1,200 less on home renovation projects than they did in 2016.

With industry spending resulting in over 580,000 jobs and $34.5 billion in wages nationwide, a decrease in industry spending is something that could be felt by our industry’s frontline tradesmen and women.

More Canadian homeowners will renovate this year, but spend less to spruce up their space: CIBC Poll (CNW Group/CIBC)

Economic Uncertainty and an Increase in DIYs

Economic uncertainty stemming from a volatile political climate in both the US and Canada could be causing some Canadian homeowners to slow down on renovation spending. Couple that with the fact that 86% of Canadian homeowners surveyed believed that renovations end up costing more than they had planned, and you can see why cost-savings may be a priority.

This however, does not mean that home renovation plans have been shelved. If necessity is the mother of all invention, then frugality is the father of all DIY home maintenance projects.

DIY home improvements have been steadily increasing in popularity, with homeowner opting to take on project themselves rather than pay licensed professionals. Of homeowners surveyed by CIBC, 32% stated that they would renovate to address wear and tear, with basic maintenance projects topping the list of planned home improvement projects. This could mean that homeowners plan to take on many of these small fixes themselves.

However, what homeowners need to realize is that there is a vast difference in the skill required to install a new toilet verses the skill required to renovate an entire bathroom. Oftentimes, not recognizing the differences can result in shoddy, unfinished, or unsafe work. What’s more, is that it actually ends up costing you more to have someone come in and clean up a DIY-induced mess.

Proper Planning Curbs Excess Spending

Source: BILD

Proper planning and managing expectations are the keys to stopping an overage in your renovation spending. During the idea stage of your project, seek out an objective source of advice. A great example of this would be RenoMark’s Destination Renovation feature at the National Home Show. Here, you can get free advice from industry professionals about any project you’re planning to take on.

From there, you may have a more accurate picture of which things you can do yourself and which things should be left to a professional.

If you have small maintenance issue that need to be addressed, but don’t believe that you can effectively tackle them on your own, try speaking to a local handyman service about what they can do to help out.

*According to a survey performed by CIBC


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