Thursday, January 3, 2008

Renovation Horror Stories in Toronto

TORONTO, — While renovation horror stories may make good cocktail party chatter, the reality is that 94 per cent of Canadians who have undertaken a major renovation in the last two years thought the finished look was as good or better than expected, and 71 per cent said the overall cost met their expectation.
A survey from RBC Financial Group shows that Canadian homeowners who have renovated in the last two years are level-headed about time, cost, quality, and inconvenience. When asked to indicate how these aspects went, recent renovators responded as follows:

As Expected/Better/Much Better Worse/Much Worse

Finished Look 94% 5%
Overall Cost 71% 28%
Time Until Completion 64% 36%
Quality of Workmanship 90% 10%
Inconvenience Involved 76% 24%
Contractors/Tradespeople 76% 23%

“Our survey shows that Canadian homeowners are a practical lot who are realistic about time and cost, and unlikely to go wildly over budget, or be overly influenced by television makeover shows,” said Catherine Adams, vice-president, Home Equity Financing Products. “It’s likely they are wisely doing their research, getting quotes, and learning about the most affordable and flexible ways to finance bigger projects.”

The RBC survey also asked experienced major renovators what one piece of advice they would give to prospective renovators and while the responses were varied, caution and practicality were overwhelming themes. Some of the most popular responses were:

Plan ahead/do your homework 17%
Shop around/get a few estimates 14%
Ask for references of tradespeople 11%
Use the best materials/contractors 9%
Add extra onto the estimate 6%
Allow for more time/unexpected delays 6%
Be patient/keep your sense of humour 2%

“In a nation where most of us spend the winter months indoors, keeping our homes inviting and well-maintained isn’t just a fact of life, it’s a necessity,” added Ms. Adams. “Unless they enjoy frequent moves, every responsible homeowner is bound to undertake a home improvement or renovation project at one time or another. If you do need to finance a reno, it’s important to understand in advance what you can afford to spend and how the financing will impact the monthly budget.”

RBC is the largest residential mortgage and home equity lender in Canada with more than $100 billion in loans outstanding and over 15 per cent of the Canadian mortgage market. It is Canada’s number one source of financial advice on homeownership and home financing.

These are the findings of an RBC Financial Group/Ipsos-Reid poll conducted from September 1 to September 2, 2005. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1,854 Canadian homeowners was interviewed online. The sample of homeowners that had experienced a major renovation in the past two years is 633. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire population been polled. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data. Please visit for more information.


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