Finally, at long last your home reno is finished … or is it? Here are five things to consider as your project is winding down.
1. Finishing touches
Sometimes the small touches and minor details can make or break the ‘look & feel’ of a renovation. HGTV provides photos of several finishing touches that could be the “pièce de résistance” or crowning achievement of your home reno!
You may have pre-arranged to have your contractor clean up after the renovation. But this may not be their strong suit, so you may want to spend the extra money to hire a professional cleaning service. Either way, be sure to follow this helpful clean-up checklist to make sure you don’t encounter any ‘dust-bunny’ surprises a few weeks down the road.
3. Consider a ‘Cash Out Refinance’
Remodeling your home can substantially increase its value, resulting in increased equity in your home, which means you may be able to refinance your loan and take cash out.
To determine the loan amount you could qualify for, calculate your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which is your unpaid principal balance divided by your home’s fair market value. Here’s an example: After remodeling, your new home’s appraised value is $500,000. The maximum LTV offered in Canada is 80%, so if you qualify, you can take out a new loan for up to 80% of $500,000 which is $400,000. If you currently owe $250,000 on your home, then you will be eligible to take out the difference between $400,000 and $250,000 which is $150,000 – in cash!
While you could receive a large amount of cash, you’re also significantly increasing the total interest you will pay. This may not be appropriate for you, so speak to a financial advisor first.
4. If you’re not fully satisfied
Unfortunately, there are times when no matter how much planning and effort you put in, the finished product just doesn’t measure up. If you’re not fully satisfied, ask the contractor for a face-to-face meeting to discuss the issues and solutions. If that doesn’t work, hire an attorney to reach out to the contractor on your behalf. If it’s still unresolved, take the case to small claims court. Be open to an out-of-court settlement the contractor may propose in order to avoid legal fees.
5. Share your experience, even if it was negative
Reviews are the lifeblood of websites like HomeStars and TripAdvisor – they depend on the contributions of people who ‘pay it forward’ to help others. And, if you had an unpleasant experience it’s especially important to write a negative review – here’s why:
- Most people are reluctant to give negative feedback and that’s understandable. However, without it, companies might continue to make the same mistakes without knowing and other homeowners may suffer the same fate as you. Everyone makes mistakes and most want to learn from them.
- When writing a negative review, stick to the facts and avoid language that is emotional, insulting or defamatory. There is a big difference between a negative review and a defamatory review.
- When you write a negative review, companies providing poor service will have a lower overall rating than their competitors. This will serve as a warning to their prospective customers and hopefully will encourage these companies to improve their business practices.
- Smart, conscientious companies will respond to negative reviews. By responding, they can either propose ways to resolve your concerns or simply present their side of the story. But the worst thing they can do for their online reputation is to remain silent about a negative review.
- On HomeStars, you have the option to NOT publish your username on a particular review. If you choose to be anonymous, that review will not be included with all your other reviews on your user profile.
- So, let your voice be heard! Pay it forward! And hopefully your unpleasant experience will not be re-lived by fellow homeowners.
About our Survival Guide
Home renovations, whether upgrades, repairs or new construction, are a reality most homeowners face at some point in their lives. While there often seems to be an endless supply of independent contractors or companies available to do the work, finding the best one for the job can often pose a challenge. Although online resources exist for homeowners, there has yet to one that addresses the entire process from start to finish. So the experts at HomeStars have developed a comprehensive guide to help homeowners along every step of the way.
This concludes our six-part Survival Guide. Please read our five earlier instalments: Getting Started on Your Renovation , Selecting the Right Contractor , The Contract , The Permit , 10 things to expect DURING the renovation.