Renovation season upon us - Metro US

Renovation season upon us

A poor economy may have fewer people considering new homes, but area renovators are gearing up for another busy season.

An unofficial housing industry rule states that whenever people stop buying new homes, they begin to invest in their old ones.

“That’s usually what happens when the economy slows down. People renovate their homes instead of buying them,” said Ron Theriault, owner of Embrun-based Elicor Developments. “That’s usually the way it goes and it looks like we’re following that pattern.”

Thousands of Ottawa residents poured into the Ottawa Home and Garden Show this weekend looking for ideas and deals for future and more pressing projects.

“Our en-suite bathroom is completely torn apart right now. It’s just plywood and dust,” said Richmond resident Roy Sunstrum, who was shopping for a new shower head. “We’ve done all that work ourselves.”

Sunstrum does “lots of renovations on an on-going basis” and while incentives like the federal government’s Home Renovation Tax Credit would not affect his plans, he welcomes the rebate.

“I wish we could have got that credit last year, when we changed all our windows,” said Marc Godin. “It’s probably not going to make much difference this year.”

Godin said he will replace gutters and work on his backyard, but the tax credit would not be a big enough return to encourage any bigger projects.

While it’s nice to get $1,350 back at tax time, that amount won’t make a difference when considering big projects like rebuilding kitchens or having an addition put onto the house, people said.

“It’s not the deal breaker,” said Stephanie Harper, a project consultant with OakWood.

“I think that tax credit will be specifically for the guy that’s going to change his flooring or put a new roof on his house.”

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