Should I Renovate Right Now? Thoughts From Canadian Homeowners 


Two months ago, RenoAssistance partnered with Desjardins and l’Association des Professionels de la Construction et de l’Habitation du Quebec (APCHQ) to ask homeowners in Quebec and Ontario how they felt about home renovation. You may have read about this survey in La Presse or Le Journal de Montreal, where demand for renovations was discussed as having increased despite rising material costs and a shortage in labour. What you may not have heard is that a third of those seeking renovations were also seeking financing (despite more than half of those surveyed indicating their planned renovation would cost less than $15,000) or that a quarter wanted to improve the energy efficiency of their home. 

You might be wondering if this is the right time to renovate. Should you hire someone to modify or update your property or home right now or try to do it yourself? What kind of renovation should you plan for? While the most accurate answer depends on your personal situation, you might be interested in knowing some of the more detailed information drawn from the survey, such as how your fellow Quebecers feel about renovation and what their motives are. If you want to look at the statistics directly, visit Cision for more information. 

renovation statistics 2022 from Ontario and Quebec

Quebec’s renovation boom

Let’s start with a bit of context. According to La Voix de l’Est, 2021 was the third best year for renovation in Quebec’s history and the best since 1987. To maintain that boom, more than three quarters of those surveyed stated they would use their personal savings on renovation while just 19% had considered drawing on a line of credit to do so.

Two out of ten respondents who said they wouldn’t renovate stated that they simply didn’t have it in their budget to do so, while another 16% cited building materials being too expensive and 7% planning to sell their property instead of renovating. Given that renovation budgets can run into the tens of thousands (averages: $22,000 for an external project; $21,000 for an internal project; $80,000 for conversion and expansion projects), wanting to pay close attention to cost is understandable. So, if you plan on renovating, it’s reasonable to set a budget you’re comfortable with for the work you want. 

What will drive this need to renovate? According to the APCHQ’s director, Paul Cardinal, the recent pandemic has driven more people to work from home, cultivating a desire for greater comfort as the office becomes part of where we live. Our survey bears out his comment, as two-thirds of those seeking internal renovations and just over half of those wanting external renovations gave the motive of aesthetics. Further, the top reason for a conversion or expansion was making the property more functional (76%), far beyond simply increasing its value (40%). To hammer this point home, those who did not seek to renovate offered one major motive: they liked their home the way it was (63%). Here at RenoAssistance, we recommend only seeking a renovation if you want one and if it suits your situation. If your property already satisfies your tastes, enjoy it. 

What do Quebec homeowners plan to renovate in the coming years? Believe it or not, the most popular renovation inside the home among our respondents was flooring (30%), followed by standard bathroom (28%), kitchen (26%), and basement (24%) work. Those seeking exterior renovations indicated they wanted patio, balcony, or terrace work (37%) much more than landscaping, roofing, cladding, doors, or windows (25% each). After the aesthetic motive mentioned earlier, homeowners wanted to maintain what they already had (45%) or repair it (40%). In addition, a quarter of Quebecers wanted to improve their home’s energy efficiency. The Canadian government is in part responsible for the rise in eco-friendly home improvements; it’s been encouraging them with incentives like the Greener Homes Grant. 

Ontarians improving quality of life at home

Quebec is not alone in its renovation boom. Neighbouring Ontario was also surveyed by us, and its homeowners indicated their plans to spend even more money on improving their properties, particularly when it comes to conversions and expansions ($122,000 on average with a focus on bulkhead expansions). Of those planning to renovate (seven out of every ten homeowners), 43% planned to do so before the end of 2022. Plans to renovate the interior of a home, sought by eight out of every ten planning to renovate, matched Quebec respondents perfectly as far as ranking went (floors, followed by bathrooms, kitchens, and basements).

However, Ontario did differ greatly from Quebec in one aspect: more than half (52%) of those respondents seeking renovations mentioned wanting improvements to increase property value. While Quebec homeowners admitted to considering such values, those concerns took a backseat to maintenance, repairs, functionality, and aesthetics. Ontarians also planned to lean more on financing, with nearly a third intending to draw on a line of credit. Over two thirds (68%) of respondents stated that they would be seeking out contractors to boot.  

This leads into a major consideration for those surveyed in Quebec that fits amazingly well with RenoAssistance: making sure renovations are executed properly. Almost two out of three (64% on average) respondents planned to seek a licensed professional to guide their renovation, with a third also wanting to have a direct hand in their projects and a fifth wanting a friend or family member to help. What would determine who was consulted to help? Heading the list of contractor requirements was reputation (62%), with pricing, availability, and a family recommendation trailing a long way off (47%, 39%, and 37%, respectively). That matched Ontario motives for seeking licenced support (68% planned to use a contractor, with reputation having more importance than pricing). 

Renovate with the best contractors

Now, who do you know that runs a 53-point Verification Process on every contractor they refer, guarantees the renovation against defects, and ensures project completion while charging nothing to those seeking reliable and qualified support? Go on and take a minute to think about it. It’ll come to you. While you might not share the impulse of those we surveyed to have your renovation completed in 2022, RenoAssistance will be ready to help you when you are.