Giving your home a facelift and wondering what the home renovation warranty covers? More than you might suspect.
Of course you’re excited about your home renovation. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to have a new chef’s kitchen, or spa bath of their dreams?
You went over the home renovation warranty before you signed the contract. Everything seemed to be in order. Annoyingly, the contractor won’t return your calls over the misaligned glass tile in your luxury walk-in shower.
A home renovation warranty can fluctuate. How reputable your contractor is can determine your legal recourse if your home renovation warranty is neglected. Axess Law real estate lawyers refer you to our trusted legal partners when you need advice on taking a contractor to Small Claims Court, or pursuing other legal action.
Why Your Home Renovation Warranty Is So Important
Disputes over a home renovation warranty can result in a builders’ lien (definition: direct obstacle to selling or changing the title to your property). Ontario’s Construction Lien Act allows anyone, from the contractor to sub trades they hired and suppliers, to attach a legal claim to your home or land.
What is a construction lien and why should you care?
A charge against your property can freeze home renovation funds you borrowed from a lender or home equity line of credit (HELOC). Your project may even be stalled until the dispute is settled in court, although paying the disputed amount, plus 25%, into an Ontario court usually allows construction to proceed while a lien is being decided.
You wouldn’t want that added complication, so make sure your home renovation contract includes a home renovation warranty clause that your contractor will repair or replace defective work. Your contractor may include this automatically, or you can have a real estate lawyer add clauses that protect you from expensive, and undesirable, financial liabilities.
What’s Included in Your Home Renovation Warranty
What warranties you get with a home renovation depend on the materials, products, and home renovator.
Appliances, flooring, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, and roofing or siding typically have manufacturer’s warranties. Time limits vary by supplier. Windows, for example, may carry a 5- or 10-year warranty. The warranty on a bathroom renovation will be a blend of manufacturers’ and renovator warranties. How long you have to fix problems will depend on the product manufacturer, and your home renovator’s service commitment.
Warranties on a contractor’s work can be optional, although the Canadian Home Builders’ Association says a year is standard. Insist on having a warranty in your contract that specifies what is covered and for how long. Add time limits to avoid misunderstandings.
Renovator warranties typically cover:
- repairs to plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems that are damaged during installation, or incorrectly installed
- poor workmanship, such as an inferior paint job or drywall cracks
and mistakes from misreading directions, such as locating cabinets on the wrong wall.
Buying a new construction home.
What’s Not Covered
- New construction repairs already covered under the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (www.Tarion.com).
- Normal wear and tear from day-to-day living.
- Improper maintenance on your part, such as failing to close windows, that causes personal or property damages.
- Changes you or others make that aren’t part of the initial contract.
Four Times to Request a Warranty
Ask for a home renovation warranty if you are:
Buying Investment Property in Ontario
You’d like to renovate that rundown fourplex you just bought before you market it to other investors interested in buying a rental property in Ontario. Showing potential buyers a bona fide home renovation warranty makes your property easier to flip when or if you decide to sell.
Dealing With Heritage Building Restrictions
Can you renovate a heritage home? That depends on your property. Heritage permits are a must before starting any heritage homes restoration in Ontario. As long as your home is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, your home renovation, restoration, or alteration requires municipal permission.
Heritage homes restorations — what’s involved.
Surprisingly, your home doesn’t have to be old to be designated. The style, architect, location, or former uses may be sufficient to have a property designated historically significant. Even a modest cottage can be part of a community’s legacy.
Hoping to Increase Your Home’s Value
By now, you’ve probably read a home renovation horror story. It’s true not all renovations add value to your home, and some can even diminish your returns. On the other hand, a dated kitchen, or awkward layout won’t attract a fair price in a buyer’s market.
Using Government Grants
Government grants like Ontario Renovates can be a lifesaver if your home’s electrical or plumbing system is antiquated, or you need to widen hallways for a wheelchair. Expect ongoing building inspections if you’re accepted. Having a warranty makes it easier to fix any glitches that come up.
Incentives and rebates for first-time home buyers.
Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer in Ontario
Using the equity in your home to finance a renovation, but think you can get a better interest rate elsewhere? Axess Law real estate lawyers in Toronto, Ottawa and Greater Toronto Area make refinancing mortgages easier.
When you’re done comparing interest rates on the Internet or talking to mortgage brokers, bring us your mortgage refinancing offer. Our licensed real estate lawyers liaise with bankers, credit unions, trust companies, or private lenders to finalize mortgage refinancing documents.
Your mortgage refinance isn’t complete until you accept the offer, and sign legal documents required to make it binding. Axess Law witnesses and signs mortgage documents that allow you to access your home’s equity, or take out a HELOC to pay for home renovations.
Our virtual real estate lawyers discharge existing mortgages If needed, and give you copies of legal documents for your records.
Discharge your mortgage when you flip investment properties.
Low Flat Fees You Can Afford
Refinancing your mortgage doesn’t have to be expensive. Axess Law has low flat fee legal services that fit almost any budget. We have law offices or virtual real estate lawyers anywhere you are in Ontario. A quick phone call or free online booking gets you an appointment at your earliest convenience. You pay only $799.99 and up plus HST for a licensed lawyer to prepare the legal documents you require.
Flipping properties or changing homes regularly? Axess Law’s competitive rates for legal services save you money. You pay just $999.99 and up plus HST to buy a home or $799.99 and up plus HST to sell.
Your final statement of adjustments is explained when we hand you the bill. And you can be assured there will be no hidden fees or extras at the end.
Make Your Appointment Today
Pop by any of our law offices nearby in (Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa if that’s more convenient for you. We’ll find a time that fits your schedule, day or evening, 7 days a week. Check out our onsite parking and easy transit access.
Axess Law’s remote real estate lawyers can organize a virtual video conference anywhere in Ontario. E-signing with Axess Law is secure and confidential, or we courier documents to your location to sign and return.