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Industry Expert: Reno Rebates – Feb/Mar2017

Industry Expert: Reno Rebates - Feb/Mar2017

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With a little research, GTA homeowners will find a number of renovation grants that offer savings to their home improvement projects

There are numerous grants available to homeowners in the GTA to make their renovation easier financially.

Programs are offered by different levels of government and partner organizations, and range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands.

If you own a home in the city of Toronto, you can take advantage of a number of programs to help reduce the cost of your renovation. One such incentive is the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program. The city offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a financial subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices.

Another home renovation savings initiative offered by the city of Toronto is the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), which assists homeowners in improving their home’s energy efficiency. HELP provides incentives of up to $650 for replacing furnaces and air conditioners with high-efficiency units.

If you’re thinking about installing a green or cool roof on your home, you can take advantage of the city’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program. Eligible green roof projects can receive $75 per square metre and up to a maximum of $100,000. Eligible cool roof projects get between $2 and $5 per square metre, up to a maximum of $50,000.

To apply for any of the renovation savings programs offered by the city of Toronto, visit toronto.ca and type the program’s name into the search bar.

The Ontario government also offers a number of home renovation incentives, including the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit. If you are over 65 and are planning a renovation to make your home safer and more accessible, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return. For more information, search for Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit at ontario.ca.

Sometimes governments partner with others to provide incentives. The Ontario government recently partnered with Enbridge to create the Home Energy Conservation (HEC) Program, which offers grants of up to $2,100. The program is open to people using natural gas, oil, propane boilers/furnaces or wood stoves.

HEC can provide $150 towards a Home Energy Audit and up to $1,950 for upgrades like insulation, air sealing, window replacement, heating system or hot water, just to name a few. Visit knowyourenergyscore.ca to check if you’re eligible.

Talk to your renovator if you are thinking of applying for any government renovation programs or incentives. Professional renovators can help you better understand the program, let you know if you are eligible and walk you through the application process.

One of the advantages of working with professional renovators is that you can benefit from their knowledge and experience. Take that into consideration when hiring your renovator and be sure to ask lots of questions.

For a list of professional renovators in the GTA, visit renomark.ca. All renovators and trade contractors abide by a renovation-specific code of conduct that includes things like providing a written contract, offering a minimum $2 million in liability insurance and providing two years warranty on all work.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.Follow him on Twitter @bildgta, facebook.com/bildgta, and bildblogs.ca.