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Cheapest reno deal not always the best

Home renovations continue to be a popular topic in Winnipeg and across the country.

The fact that our city has the third-oldest housing stock in Canada (behind Halifax and Montreal) generally translates into the need for renovations. In fact, more Manitobans have indicated their intent to renovate their homes this year than any other province.

Perhaps it's in our nature to see something absolutely fabulous at the Kitchen Bath and Renovation Show, Home Expressions or the Parade of Homes and want to introduce that concept into our owns homes.

If you take the necessary steps to avoid certain pitfalls a renovation can be both exciting and rewarding.

First, remember that the cheapest deal is not necessarily the best deal. This is a close-knit community, so everyone knows someone who knows someone who is handy with a hammer, and that someone may be willing to do the job on the side for cash, no questions asked.

Just think of the money you can save by not paying PST and GST. You'll save even more by not taking out permits, fiddling with cumbersome contracts or worrying about insurance.

Bad ideas all around.

A RenoMark renovator provides a detailed written contract for all jobs. Why is this important? If you don't have a contract, you don't have any control over the scope of work to be done. Furthermore, when the job is finished, you don't have any proof the job was ever done. If there's a problem with materials or labour, you're left holding the bag.

A RenoMark renovator takes out all necessary licences and permits and carries $2 million in liability insurance. Why is this important? If you don't take out the required permits, the job never legally happened. In the event of an accident, fire, flood or other problem, you may find you are not insured for damage.

Whoever takes out the permits is the prime contractor. If someone tries to talk you into putting the permits in your name to save money, you're on the hook for all liability insurance, worker's compensation and other expenses.

A RenoMark worksite is a safe and professional worksite. Anything less is not worth the risk. Consult the RenoMark (www.renomark.ca) and MHBA

(www.homebuilders.mb.ca) websites for more information.

Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association.

 

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