Going green – home renovation and improvement advice for Canadian homeowners


If you are used to keeping up with the latest new in Ontario, or Canadian broadcast in general, you have probably noticed the increase in the number of homeowners who have recently upgraded their home to an energy-efficient level. While you may not have exactly considered the possibility of renovating until now, if you are an environment activist and your home isn’t exactly eco-friendly, perhaps it’s time to truly take into account the possibility of pursuing a few improvements. Energy-efficient homes are becoming of great popularity among the country’s population, and considering the issues that have arisen regarding pollution, you can clearly understand why more people are focusing on the matter. Once you decide to go green, there are a few essential details that should be analysed, and the following information will help you on the topic:

Start with an audit

Actually finding out where you are wasting energy, and if consumption is distributed in a balanced way around the house or not is the first step you need to take into the process. In order to actually comply with Ontario Building Code’s new regulations, determining the current consumption rate of your house, in the energy department should come as a priority. You can easily hire a team of experts that can assess your situation with exaction. An audit will let you know detailed information on where your home is using energy, and where changes need to be implemented immediately. Make sure to collaborate with a certified, experienced evaluator, in order for the report to actually contain accurate, reliable information. This step will help you start with the essential first.

Source a green renovation contractor

Because you will obviously need professional support, in order to master your home renovation process, regardless if you are thinking about investing in an upgraded HVAC system or a home infrastructure that allows an easier saving of energy, resorting to a professional will be necessary. While contracting firm offers are all over, not all services provided stick within green requirements, so handle your screening process with care. The company you choose to contract needs to be a pro in green renovations and to provide you with clear examples of their work. Because in some cases, experts might proclaim themselves as green professional without actually having anything to sustain this, it’s best if you do some research first.

Don’t forget about renovation refunds!

While you probably already know that you have access to a rebate once you carry out an extensive remodelling project, what you may not have known by now is the possibility put at your disposal by the government when you are pursuing a green approach towards a home renovation. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has put the base of an appealing program that targets the promoting of energy efficient homes, offering homeowners a what is called a premium refund, which can reach even up to 25%. This has become an extremely powerful move, determining an impressive number of homeowners to consider an upgrade and for home buyers to start seeking properties that have been rated through EnerGuide system. If after the completion of your remodel and interior upgrade projects you will adhere to certain eco-friendly standards, you will be granted the possibility of obtaining even the maximum amount of returns. Knowing about this aspect from the start is extremely important, because you are obligated to file in your rebate form during a specific time frame after the renovation. So, before taking any steps in this direction, to make sure you are eligible for a return, check the CMHC’s eligibility criteria.

Insulation is a must

One of the essential things a property needs to have in check, in order to actually take energy conservation to a proper level is good insulation. If your home lacks high quality insulation, temperature imbalances, drafts, and heat loss are probably problems you are facing constantly, which ultimately affect the overall energy efficiency of the premises. Book an inspection and see what specialist have to say regarding your home’s insulation quality. If an upgrade is required in this department, try to choose a proper material – the majority of Canadian homeowners go for spray foam as their first choice, this having the highest R value. With your house properly reinsulated, energy loss will become less of a problem.

Don’t forget about small details

While reinsulating, replacing faulty windows, mechanical or infrastructure upgrades, and even certain fixtures in the bathroom are usually the type of improvements you should consider for a complete “green makeover” of a house, there are other, more affordable things you can also do, to add to the energy-efficiency of your property. From switching from traditional appliances to ones that are star rated, to replacing your light bulbs with LEDs and even adding a thermostat that is programmable, you have plenty of affordable things you can take care of in order to turn your house into a more environmental friendly home. You should also remember that while you are cutting down on energy consumption you are cutting down on utility bills at the same time, so you can clearly say that your investment is a multipurpose one. Nowadays, you will find numerous Canadian forums, where others in your situation share tips and discuss the topic further – if you need further support on the matter.

As you can see, you have plenty of great possibilities when you are trying to make the environment of your home one that can be characterized as eco-friendly. Canadians are ones of the first to take a stand against the aggravating level of pollution today’s society deals with, and you can play your own active role against this sensitive manner and start by turning your house into a green home. Considering the government also supports you on the matter, providing you with tax relief, it’s even easier to pursue a few green home improvements and renovations. So know that you know more on the topic, start putting together a plan.