Home Improvement Patio Edition: Over a Third of Canadians Renovating Outside this Year

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As summer is set to reach its peak, Canadians are more excited to turn on their barbecues, break out their lawn mowers, and rake out some cash on their yards. A new poll by CIBC finds that 37 per cent of Canadian homeowners plan to renovate or improve their home this year with an emphasis on outdoor projects.

While most are focused on basic maintenance (54 per cent), there has also been a huge shift in focus to gardens and patios this year. Forty-two per cent are planning to landscape yards, rebuild or repair decks and patios, or repave driveways, in comparison to only 25 per cent last year.

As a result, indoor renovations have become less of a priority; only 33 per cent plan to work on bathrooms, 26 per cent plan to update kitchens, and 23 per cent want to replace windows or doors.

With renovating comes concerns

According to the poll, Canadian homeowners who plan on renovating expect to spend $13,000 on average this year. But even still, overspending is the biggest concern and almost two thirds admitted to not having a detailed budget for their upcoming renovation. Fifty-two per cent in total are worried about going over budget. Other top concerns include projects taking longer than expected (48 per cent), disruption to the household (38 per cent), reliability of contractors (33 per cent), and starting a project and never finishing (25 per cent).

Renovating and your home insurance

A backyard deck, an in-ground swimming pool or a freshly-paved driveway are great amenities to improve your home and increase its resale value. But what many people may not consider is the impact that certain renovations can have on your home insurance. Any change to your home will likely lead to a change in the replacement value and ultimately, a change in your premium.  It’s in your best interest to contact your insurer to inform them of any renovations to make sure you’re covered.

For example, swimming pools, trampolines, barbecue pits, and tree houses are fun, but also create a liability risk and will lead to an increase in your premium.

Landscaping is generally not covered under your typical home insurance policy, unless it causes damage to your property (i.e. if a tree falls on your home, the damages to your home will be covered, but most policies won't cover the replacement cost of the tree itself). Insect or pest infestation, wind damage, and other weather damage to landscape are generally excluded from coverage. However, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, some insurers will allow you to apply up to five per cent of your coverage amount to repair damage to trees and landscaping.

If you have rare or expensive plants or trees that have been standing for hundreds of years, you might also consider scheduling them into your policy for an additional fee.

Caught the reno-fever this summer? Make sure your home and its new assets are covered by an appropriate home insurance policy. Visit InsuranceHotline.com today to compare rates and find the best deals for the policy you need.