There are as many different types of renovation projects as there are homeowners. Maybe you need to fix leaky plumbing or replace sagging eavestroughs. It might be time to upgrade windows and insulation to save on utility bills. Or maybe it’s finally time for that dream kitchen you’ve always wanted, or to gain more usable space by finishing your basement.

Whatever your reason for renovating, it not only improves the look and feel of your space, it also helps protect your investment by adding value to your home.


It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and dive right in. But with a little bit of planning, you can save yourself a lot of headaches. Before you make that first trip to the hardware store, check with your municipal building department to find out if the upgrades you're planning are allowed under current zoning and by-laws and that they conform to building code. And don’t forget the permits! Failing to complete the necessary paperwork can result in fines, delays and needless expense.


You might be handy with a paintbrush and confident with minor repairs, but are you really ready to take on a bathroom reno? Even if you’re feeling good about your skills, there are certain tasks that must be performed by certified tradespeople to meet with local by-laws. Find out first before you crack open your tool kit.

While you’re at it, decide how much time you’re prepared to spend on the upcoming task and how it fits with your other obligations. If you plan to work on your project only in your spare time — evenings and weekends — it will take much longer than it would if you could focus on it full-time, like a contractor would. Can you live with the mess and inconvenience in the meantime?

For larger jobs, consider hiring a full-service renovator, who can take responsibility for the entire process from obtaining permits and drawing up plans to hiring a contractor and supervising the work being done.


Before undertaking any renovation project, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the costs involved. You should obtain at least three estimates for the work from qualified contractors. Anticipate spending an additional 10-15% for unexpected costs.

With a reliable figure in hand, you can look at your financing options. You may want to renegotiate your mortgage or apply for a personal loan.

Purchase and Improve

Found a great fixer-upper? A mortgage that allows you to include some renovation costs in your mortgage could be the answer. You start by arranging your mortgage for the initial purchase price. Then list your planned renovations and have an appraisal done to establish the increase in value resulting from your proposed improvements. The down payment and approval process is based on the projected value of the home once the renovations are complete.

Home Advantage Plan

You've built the equity. Now, build the dream. Take advantage of the strong foundation you've built in your home. Ask us how you can find the credit you need… right under your own roof. The ACU Home Advantage Plan gives you credit for the equity you've built in your home. Use it to increase your home's value with renovations, consolidate credit cards, finance your children's education and more. It's flexible — you decide when and how to spend your money. Simply put, with this plan, as the value of your home goes up, you can access funds more quickly, while avoiding associated fees. And it's tied to your mortgage, so it comes complete with an exceptionally low rate. It's the tool you need to help build your dream!


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