(Special) - Summertime in Canada almost inevitably is synonymous with home renovations. Drive through any residential neighborhood and you'll likely see refuse bins on front lawns, graders, work trucks and trades people working.
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing's home purchase survey, some 1.7 million households surveyed performed some form of renovation in 2011 and renovation spending across the 10 major centres surveyed amounted to $20.9 billion.
The vibrant home renovation market is being fuelled by low interest rates and government tax credits.
"The continuing drive to renovate has been supported by historically low interest rates and sustained house price gains which have facilitated household borrowing," says a recent Canadian renovation market report by Scotiabank Economics. "Temporary government renovation tax credits introduced in the wake of the 2008 recession also fuelled spending and likely pulled forward some projects."
While renovating your home may improve your lifestyle and add value to what for most Canadians is their largest single asset, the majority of Canadians may not be aware of the insurance implications of giving their living space a facelift.
"Whether you're installing water-efficient plumbing or simply new cabinetry, before you pick up a hammer or drill it's important to understand and learn more about the insurance implications of upgrading your home," says Dave Minor, a vice president at TD Insurance. "While being handy around the house is convenient for upgrades such as painting or installing crown molding, more challenging projects like tackling the electrical work yourself could actually invalidate your insurance policy."