home renovations canada

Photo: Katie Lips/Flickr

Two surveys about home renovations have sprung up in the season of spring cleaning and home repairs. Both TD Bank and Scotiabank have released reports about how Canadians feel about repainting their living rooms or updating their kitchens.

The TD survey upended some of the commonly held beliefs about buyers clambering for a home with a turn-key lifestyle. They found that 56 per cent of respondents have considered, or would consider, renovating their current home or buying a fixer-upper instead of buying a move-in-ready space.

“Many of our customers tell us they love their neighbourhood but their current home doesn’t have enough space or it could use some upgrades,” said Pat Giles, Associate Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending at TD Bank, in the news release.

“Situations like these motivate homeowners into making an important choice – do you move or do you renovate your current home? Given the cost and stress associated with moving, renovation is a popular choice among Canadians.”

These findings are in line with recent Statistics Canada numbers. In late 2014, the agency found that Canadians were spending more money on sprucing up existing housing stock then investing in new dwellings, a trend that economists called a “meaningful shift,” not often seen outside of recessions.

The TD survey pinpointed the reasoning behind the renos: 69 per cent of survey respondents said it was to increase their property value; 59 per cent wanted to upgrade the look and feel of their home and 48 per cent said the renovations were to improve home efficiency.

Survey respondents were also concerned about pricing with 61 per cent saying cost was their biggest concern.

On the money front, the CIBC survey found Canadians intended to spend less on refurbishing their homes this year compared to the previous year. Homeowners surveyed by the bank said they were planning to spend, on average, $17,142 – down from $19,754 in 2014. Interestingly, more Canadians were actually planning to rework their home with 42 per cent of respondents planning overhauls in 2015 up from 40 per cent in 2014.

The CIBC survey also found that the biggest percentage of respondents, 23 per cent, planned to stick to a budget of $5,000 to $9,999 for their upcoming reno work.

The big-cost projects have been eclipsed by more prosaic plans: 64 per cent of respondents indicated they had plans for basic home maintenance such as painting, flooring or replacing appliances; 32 per cent had landscaping and their outdoor decks in mind; bathroom renovations figured into 29 per cent of would-be renovation plans; 28 per cent wanted to fix up their kitchens (respondents were allowed to pick more than one option if applicable).

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