(NC) You've bought a tool belt and are ready to go. For many, one of the joys of home ownership is renovating the property to improve its appearance, for better use of space, and also to protect the investment. Before you start, however, there are some important considerations.
While it's common practice to buy insurance to protect your home against losses, Sylvain Renaud, vice president, personal lines at Intact Insurance, says that many homeowners don't realize renovations can have an impact on their policy.
“Before renovating, it's vital to contact your insurance provider to make sure you have the right coverage that accurately reflects your upgraded home,” Renaud points out. “In order to benefit from the best available coverage, standard property insurance policies require you to advise the company when renovation costs go over a certain amount. Making sure your investment is protected will give you peace of mind while creating your dream home.”
Also, depending on the upgrades you make, you may be eligible for premium discounts, so be sure to ask.
Here are some home renovation tips to help reduce monthly bills, stay safe, and prevent serious damage:
1. Properly insulate and ventilate your attic. When a house is not properly insulated the heating systems work harder, cost more to run, and consume more energy.
2. Insulate your water heater, hot water pipes, and heating and cooling ducts to help your housing system run more efficiently.
3. Check that hot water tank. The average life expectancy of a hot water tank is only eight to 10 years. Newer models are more efficient and won't leak or burst.
4. Install home alarms for fire and theft as well as carbon monoxide detectors and water leak detection systems.
5. Consider installing a sump pump with a back-up system, or think about adding a backwater valve to the main sewer line. These will reduce the likelihood of a messy sewer back up and provide valuable savings on your insurance premiums.