Value-added home renovations

Home Expressions 2015 ended last weekend at the RBC Convention Centre and judging from the attendance it was a very successful three-day event. There were a myriad of exhibitions featuring home and garden related products and services. 

As show manager Jan Currier said about Manitoba’s premier home and garden show, “You can shop and compare all under one roof.” 

And next year could be even better as the newly-expanded convention centre may be ready in time for the early spring 2016 show.

The Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) and WinnipegREALTORS® were proud to be the presenting sponsor this year, and look forward to doing it again in 2016 and 2017. 

While the show may be viewed as a rite of spring with Manitobans keen to emerge from winter with optimism and plans for projects on their home and gardens, others attending were just getting out to learn more about new offerings and take in the guest speaker.   

Based on the packed venue and eager response to his arrival and presentation, HGTV’s Income Property host Scott McGillivray did not let anyone down.  He delivered a well-polished and insightful presentation with supporting slides to back up his points.  

He said the top-5 renovations that add the most value to a home are flooring, fixtures, bathrooms, kitchens and income-generating suites. The renovations are very practical and economical ways to add value to your home without feeling you need to spend an excessive amount of money.    

For example, tired kitchen cabinets can be refinished as opposed to being replaced, and older homes often have hardwood floors underneath worn-out carpets. A few slides in particular showed just how dramatic a difference you can make to a home that has been neglected, but has great potential for improvement.

Since a key theme of the Home Expressions Show over its 41 years is renovations, here are a few renovations tips from homeowners that were mentioned in the February-March 2015 issue of the Home Décor & Renovations magazine handed out at this year’s show. The tips were sent in to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.

• Find a renovator you can trust and are comfortable with. This is crucial to a good renovation experience. You need to check out the renovator thoroughly. Ask lots of questions when you meet. Talk with previous customers. Visit past or current projects — you want to feel that, “If the renovator did something like that in my home, I’d be very happy.” You also need to be confident the company is financially stable and will be around in the future.

• Make sure you have a detailed written contract. “We chose the renovator who had it all written out.”

• Take an active role throughout the project. “It’s your investment and your home, so you want to follow things closely and know what’s going on at all times.” The best results come from good communication and a good working relationship between you and your renovator. A good renovator provides regular, if not daily, updates and is easy to get a hold of if you have questions or concerns. You should be prepared to spend time going over drawings, monitoring the progress of your project, and discussing decisions with your renovator.

• Don’t expect a problem-free renovation. Be flexible and understand that some things are beyond the renovator’s or your control. 

• And finally, it is not uncommon for homeowners to want to go an extra step — a better quality tile, brand new appliances and so on. “Once you are into it, you realize that just so-so is not good enough, and that now is the best time to get those extra little touches of style or luxury.”

MREA and WinnipegREALTORS® were proud to team up with Renovations Plus for a draw for a $10,000 renovation at this year’s Home Expressions Show.