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Renovation Season

T’is the season of renovation all around us. 

Whether you target the exterior versus interior, one room or more, or DIY versus contractor, everyone is spring cleaning or sprucing up some area of their home after the long winter months inside. The onset of sun and grass is the sign for dumpsters to appear on every driveway as far as the eye can see.  In fact, if there isn’t a dumpster on your driveway, well…..

Our family took the plunge this spring and had our 30 year old kitchen upgraded.  The panel removed with our children’s height changes to keep forever.  The old pantry cabinets put in the laundry room as a mini-reno.  Our older son was quite affronted by the whole process as he leaves for college in September and only has a few short months to enjoy the ‘upgrades”.  So far he has found the water and ice dispenser on the refrigerator door and seems very happy with this convenience on the outside of the fridge instead of opening the door to access the old water dispenser.

A friend pointed out that the strains on a marriage include money issues, kid issues, vacation issues and renovation issues.  We have worked our way through saving plans, maternity leaves on reduced income, our eldest child has made it to 18, one more to go , survived my husband’s driving in St Maarten on the roundabouts listening to his cowboy “Yeeha!!” and now we sit in the new half-finished kitchen, grateful for the running water coming out of the tap and the now functioning dishwasher instead of trudging up the stairs to wash the dishes in the master bathroom because it has enough counter space to dry the dishes.

And so you say – where’s the benefit?  Well, the Ontario government has established a renovation tax credit called “The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit” for seniors and family members who live with them. If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return.  The credit is calculated at 15% as a regular personal tax credit.  The purpose is to improve household safety for seniors and their families.  To qualify for the credit, you need to be 65 years old or older by the end of the year for which you are claiming the credit; or living with a family member who is a senior.  Your income level doesn’t matter — seniors and their family members at all income levels are eligible.  To see if you qualify for this credit please visit the provincial government page.

The federal government has established the “Home Accessibility Tax Credit”.  This federal credit is available to any qualifying individual defined as an individual who is eligible to claim the disability tax credit  or an individual who is 65 years of age or older at the end of a tax year.  The emphasis is on renovations that increase access or mobility within the individual’s home. 
The credit also allows for an eligible individual such as a spouse, common-law partner, and supporting relatives of a qualifying individual. A supporting relative is defined as an individual that has claimed the amount for an eligible dependant, caregiver amount or amount for infirm dependants age 18 or older for the qualifying person, or could have claimed such an amount. 
This credit has very specific parameters for the type of work considered eligible and the type of dwelling.  To see if you qualify please visit the CRA websiteCRA Website.    

For family caregivers, grown children of seniors living on their own, these credits are a great incentive to help make home both a safe and functioning place.  It can extend a senior’s time in their own home where they are happiest.  Isn’t that what we all want?  To be happy and safe in our homes.

Our contractors used their signature on our wall; first initials of each of their names. Eventually, this will be covered in a back splash...hopefully. Does anyone else see the irony of pms being written on a wall in a house full of me and 3 boys? Please stay tuned on my Facebook Page for the final reveal. When that will be? Your guess is as good as mine.


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