For homeowners planning to spruce up their homes or cottages or make them more energy efficient, this may be the year to act thanks to a Home Renovation Tax Credit that has been put into effect by the federal government. The temporary tax break, allows homeowners who spend money on home renovations a 15 per cent tax credit between $1,000 and $10,000 before February 1st, 2010, to a maximum credit of $1,350. This covers a variety of projects, including renovations to houses, cottages and condos.

In addition to major work such as rebuilding a kitchen or bath, or finishing a basement, it covers a lot of smaller upgrades.

New flooring or rugs, a new furnace or water heater, a refinished driveway, sod for the lawn, interior and exterior painting are all covered.

The credit comes one to a household, although any member may claim it.

It doesn't cover things such as new furniture, household electronics or maintenance contracts for snow removal, pool cleaning and the like.

Households who make energy-saving home improvements will be able to essentially double-dip because they are eligible for grants under the federal ecoENERGY retrofit program as well as the new tax credit, in addition to provincial rebate programs where applicable such as the LiveSmart BC program.

Hiring a Contractor:

If you're planning on hiring a contractor to do renovation or repair work on your home, hire a contractor with a solid reputation for doing good work, and have a comprehensive written contract in place before the work begins. There are many experienced and reliable contractors who do business the right way. If you are offered lower prices as long as nothing is written down and you pay them in cash you should know what the risks are before you make a hiring decision. These "under the table" cash deals mean a lot more risk for you and could cost you "much more" in the long term! Always Get it in Writing and "check references".


Ted Wiggins

Ted Wiggins

Real Estate Broker
CENTURY 21 United Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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