Back into North Vancouver

Is North Vancouver a hot spot for renovations? We seem to be spending an awful lot of time there (damn those bridges). This project – like many – but particularly this project started at a moderate size (for us) and then tripled. If the customers budget can withstand it, then its obviously cost effective to tick off your wish list while we are there. You eliminate a chunk of start up and finish up time, streamline the schedule and of course get it all done at once so we don’t invade your home again and make your life a misery! We have heard many times “I wish we had……….”. Remember,  when you are putting the new next to old, it makes the old look really old. Remember its all about a good plan – and that plan can only be made by a contractor if he really knows what the customers wish list is and what the realistic budget is. There are so many consequences in a renovation its very important to know what the customer really wants. Now to our latest North Vancouver foray.

Our customer had just sold in Yaletown and exchanged their down town life for North Vancouver surburbia and family life (an impending baby always keeps us on schedule). Initially the outline was to open up the kitchen walls, put a new kitchen in and create a laundry – somewhere.

See under ‘major projects’ for the befores, during and after.

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Financing your renovation

I’ve always found it quite perplexing how home owners are quite short sighted about not just improving their investment (i.e their home) but protecting it by using the excuse that they can’t afford to. Here’s an article that has some good ideas about financing renovations – and remember money has never been so cheap!

I want to make a really big space part III

In part II, I explained and illustrated in photographs how we had opened up the kitchen to the family room with a clear sight line through to the living room in a structurally sound manner.

Moving on from the construction phase we are now dry walled and installing oak strip flooring which marry’s into the existing oak floors on the ground level. This is a 3/8 solid naildown floor.

You can also see final wall paint on, crown mouldings and most of the casings.

Home Renovation Tax Credit

1. What is the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC)?

The proposed HRTC is a non-refundable tax credit for eligible expenses incurred for work performed or goods acquired in respect of an eligible dwelling.

2. What is meant by eligible dwelling?

An eligible dwelling of an individual is a housing unit located in Canada. All the following conditions must be met:

  • You own at the time of the renovation or alteration, alone or jointly with another person, the housing unit or share of the capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation you acquired solely to get the right to inhabit the housing unit owned by that corporation; and
  • You, your current or former spouse, or your current or former common-law partner, or any of your or your spouse or common-law partner’s children ordinarily inhabited the housing unit at any time during the eligible period.

Generally, land of ½ hectare (1.24 acres), including the land upon which your housing unit stands and any portion of the adjoining land, will be considered part of your eligible dwelling.

3. What is the eligible period?

The credit is based on eligible expenses for work performed or goods acquired after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010. Eligible expenses for goods acquired during this period, even if they are installed after January 2010, will still qualify. If an eligible expense involves work performed by a contractor or a third party, and the work is not completed by the end of the eligible period, only the portion that is completed before February 1, 2010 will qualify even if a payment is made. Expenses incurred pursuant to an agreement that was entered into before January 28, 2009, will not be eligible for the credit.

4. Who is eligible for the credit?

Eligibility for the HRTC is family based. Eligible family members include you and your spouse or common-law partner, and your or your spouse’s or common-law partner’s children who are under 18 years of age at the end of 2009 (other than a child who, at any time during the eligible period – after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010 – was married, was in a common-law relationship, or had a child).

The claim can be split among eligible family members but the total amount claimed cannot exceed the maximum allowable.

If two or more families share the ownership of an eligible dwelling, each family can claim its own credit (i.e., each up to $1,350) that is calculated on its respective eligible expenses.

5. How is the credit calculated?

The HRTC is only available for the 2009 tax year and applies to the total eligible expenses of more than $1,000, but not more than $10,000, resulting in a maximum non-refundable tax credit of $1,350 [($10,000 – $1,000) x 15%].

6. What are eligible expenses?

The expenses are eligible when they are incurred by an eligible family member and are directly attributable to a renovation or alteration to an eligible dwelling (including the land that forms part of the eligible dwelling) and are of an enduring nature and integral to the dwelling. As a general rule, if the item you purchase will not become a permanent part of your dwelling, it is not eligible. There are items, however, that have been explicitly excluded (see below).

All expenses must be supported by acceptable documentation. Keep it in case we ask to see it.

Some businesses or individuals may assert that certain items qualify for the HRTC. It is important to remember that you are responsible for ensuring that all eligibility requirements are met when you claim this credit on your tax return.

7. What types of expenses are not eligible?

The following expenses will not be eligible for the HRTC:

  • Furniture, household appliances, and electronic home-entertainment devices
  • Purchasing of tools
  • Carpet cleaning
  • House cleaning
  • Maintenance contracts (e.g., furnace cleaning, snow removal, lawn care, and pool cleaning)
  • Financing costs
  • Amounts paid as part of the purchase of your new house, including “upgrades”
  • Expenses to acquire goods that have been previously used or leased by you or an eligible family member (e.g., hot water tank)
  • Expenses incurred with respect to the parts of an eligible dwelling used for income generating purposes (see question 19 for additional details)

8. Could you provide me with some examples of eligible and ineligible expenses?

See Examples of eligible and ineligible expenses.

9. How will I claim the HRTC?

A new schedule will be included in your 2009 tax package to allow you to list your eligible expenses and to calculate the amount you can claim. Also, a new line will be added to Schedule 1 to claim the HRTC.

If you are filing a paper return, do not include your receipts or documents supporting your claim. Keep them in case we ask to see them. You must however attach the new HRTC schedule to your paper return.

10. What does the CRA consider to be acceptable documentation?

Documentation, such as agreements, invoices, and receipts, must clearly identify the type and quantity of goods purchased or services provided, including, but not limited to, the following information, as applicable:

  • information that clearly identifies the vendor/contractor, their business address and the GST/HST registration number;
  • a description of the goods and the date when the goods were purchased;
  • the date when the goods were delivered (keep your delivery slip as proof) and/or when the work or services were performed;
  • a description of the work performed including the address where the work was performed;
  • the amount of the invoice; and
  • proof of payment.  Receipts or invoices must indicate paid in full or be accompanied by other proof of payment, such as a credit card slip or cancelled cheque; and
  • a statement from the co-operative housing corporation or condominium corporation (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners) signed by an authorized individual identifying:
    • the amounts incurred for the renovation or the alteration work;
    • as a condominium owner, your portion of these expenses if the work is performed on common areas;
    • information that clearly identifies the vendor/contractor, their business address and, if applicable, their GST/HST registration number; and
    • a description of the work performed and the dates when the work or services were performed.

Consult our Underground Economy Web page, for tips to protect yourself when hiring a contractor.

To verify whether someone is registered for GST/HST, please consult the GST/HST Registry.

11. Do I have to submit any supporting documents with my income tax return?

No. You will not need to submit any documentation (except the new schedule) when you file your paper return. However, you must keep the documentation in case the CRA asks for it in verifying your claim. If you file electronically, keep all documentation in case the CRA asks to see it.

12. If I own both a house and a cottage and incur eligible expenses for both, are both sets of expenses eligible for the HRTC?

If you own, alone or jointly with another person, both a house and a cottage and if you, your current or former spouse or your current or former common-law partner or any of your or your spouse or common-law partner’s children ordinarily inhabited each property at any time during the eligible period, eligible expenses incurred for both properties will generally qualify for the HRTC. However, the maximum amount of eligible expenses you can claim for the HRTC is $10,000.

If the main reason for owning the recreational property is to gain or produce income, expenses related to the property are not eligible for the HRTC. However, you will not be considered to own the property to gain or produce income if you receive only incidental income related to the property.

13. If during the eligible period, I incurred eligible expenses for a house that I sold and also incurred eligible expenses for my new house, do both sets of expenses qualify for the HRTC?

If during the eligible period you sold and purchased an eligible dwelling, eligible expenses that you incurred for both dwellings will normally qualify for the HRTC. However, the maximum amount of eligible expenses you can claim for the HRTC is $10,000.

14. Will a renovation or alteration qualify for the HRTC if I perform the work myself?

If you do the work yourself, the eligible expenses include expenses for building materials, fixtures, equipment rentals, building plans and permits. However, eligible expenses would not include the value of your labour or tools.

15. I am planning to replace my windows in 2009: can I hire my brother-in-law to help me out and still be eligible?

It depends. Expenses are not eligible if the goods or services are provided by a person related to you, unless that person is registered for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) under the Excise Tax Act. So, in your case, if your brother-in-law is registered for the GST/HST and if all other conditions are met, the expense will be eligible for the credit.

16. Does work performed by electricians, plumbers, carpenters, architects, etc. qualify?

Generally, work performed by electricians, plumbers, carpenters, architects, etc. in respect of an eligible expense qualifies for the HRTC. If you’re planning on hiring a contractor to do construction, renovation, or repair work on your home, the Get it in Writing! Web site has information that will help you.

17. Will expenses incurred by co-operative housing corporations or condominium corporations (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners) for common areas qualify for the credit?

Your share of the cost of eligible expenses incurred by a condominium corporation or a co-operative housing corporation (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners) qualifies for the HRTC if all the following conditions are met:

  • the condominium or co-operative housing unit is your or an eligible family member’s eligible dwelling;
  • the expenses would be eligible expenses if the common areas were treated as an eligible dwelling; and
  • the condominium corporation or co-operative housing corporation (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners) has notified you in writing of your share of the expenses (see question 10 to know what CRA considers to be acceptable documentation in this case).

18. How will the co-operative housing corporation or condominium corporation (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners) determine my share of the eligible expenses for common areas?

Your share of the eligible expenses for common areas will be determined in accordance with the governing documents of the co-operative housing corporation or condominium corporation (or, for civil law, a syndicate of co-owners). The governing documents generally establish the allocation of expenses for common areas.

19. I rent out my basement. If I renovate the basement for my tenant, will I be allowed to claim the credit?

No. If you earn business or rental income from part of an eligible dwelling, you can only claim the amount for expenses incurred for the personal-use areas of your dwelling.

For expenses incurred for common areas or that benefit the housing unit as a whole (such as re-shingling a roof), you must divide the expense between personal use and income-earning use. For further information, please consult the Business and Professional Income Guide or the Rental Income Guide.

20. If an eligible expense also qualifies for the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC), will I be allowed to claim both the HRTC and METC?

Yes. If an eligible expense qualifies for the METC you can claim both the METC and the HRTC for that expense.

21. Will the credit be reduced by other government grants or credits that I may receive for the same expenses?

No. Eligible expenses are not reduced by government tax credits or grants to which you may be entitled. For example, if you qualify for and take advantage of a grant under the ecoENERGY – Retrofit Homes program, you can receive the grant and claim the HRTC for the same expense.

22. Will eligible expenses be reduced by any incentive or rebate offered for related goods or services?

Eligible expenses are generally not reduced by reasonable rebates or incentives offered by the vendor or manufacturer of goods or the provider of the service. For example, a promotion that provides 10% cash back in the form of a gift card based on purchases made from a particular vendor or manufacturer of goods or a service would be acceptable and would not reduce the expenses.

23. Where can I get more information about this new tax credit?

For further information, call CRA’s individual income tax enquiries service at 1-877-959-1-CRA (1-877-959-1272).

24. The Budget also mentions the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes grant. What is it and how can I obtain more information?

The ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes grant is administered by Natural Resources Canada. The grant applies to a host of measures that reduce energy consumption and provide for a cleaner environment. Home and property owners could be eligible for federal grants of up to $5,000 to offset the cost of making energy efficiency improvements to their home or property. Most provinces and territories have complementary programs that offer additional financial assistance based on the results of the ecoENERGY Retrofit evaluation.

Energy Grants

Energy Grants

Thinking of ways to make your home more energy-efficient? Here’s what you can do to reduce your energy consumption and receive grants through ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes.

You can hire an independent energy advisor certified by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)to perform an energy efficiency evaluation of your home, including single-family homes, detached, semi-detached and low-rise multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) that are no more than 3 storeys high.Also eligible are some small buildings of no more than 3 storeys for which at least 50 percent of the floor area is used as one or more permanent residences. Under ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes, property owners can qualify for federal grants by improving the energy efficiency of their home and reducing their home’s impact on the environment.

 

As part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program has been expanded to help 200,000 more homeowners cover the cost of making energy-efficiency retrofits to their homes. The expanded time-limited program includes a $300-million increase in funding over two years.

Hire the services of an energy advisor who has been certified by NRCan to perform a detailed, on-site evaluation of your home’s energy use from the attic down to the foundation. You will receive a personalized report, including a checklist of recommended retrofits to improve the energy efficiency of your home or MURB and, in some cases, reduce water consumption.

On the following pages, you will find a list of improvements and retrofits that are eligible under the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program and the corresponding grant amounts. The maximum grant you can receive for a home is $5,000. In the case of MURBs, the maximum grant receivable is $5,000 per dwelling unit. The maximum grant for property owners with multiple properties is $500,000.

The grant is calculated and based on the grant amounts and eligibility requirements that are in effect at the time of the post-retrofit evaluation. You must complete your retrofits and receive your post-retrofit evaluation by March 31, 2011, or within 18 months from the date of your pre-retrofit evaluation report, whichever comes first and subject to available funding.

Once you have received your post-retrofit evaluation, you can re-enter the program using the evaluation as a baseline if you would like to perform more work within a new 18-month deadline, provided you do not exceed the maximum grant of $5,000 per dwelling unit. To re-enter, you must complete the registration form on our Web site at: oee.nrcan.gc.ca/registration or you can call 1-877-953-5454.

When replacing ANY of the equipment listed in this brochure, the new equipment must have an efficiency rating higher than that of the original equipment. The second system must be of the same type and efficiency.

Note: New installations are not eligible in cases where improvements listed state “Replace.” Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) reserves the right to revise the grant amounts. The payment of grants is subject to the availability of funds. NRCan does not endorse the services of any contractor or any specific product and accepts no liability in the selection of materials, products, contractors or performance or workmanship.

Eligible Improvements / Retrofits
HEATING SYSTEM Grant Amounts
Single-Family Home MURB
1st system 2nd system
Replace your heating system with:
 
• an ENERGY STAR® qualified gas furnace that has a 92.0% annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) or higher $375 $190 Same as single-family home
• an ENERGY STAR qualified gas furnace that has a 92.0 percent AFUE or higher and a brushless DC motor $625 $315
• an ENERGY STAR qualified gas furnace that has a 94.0 percent AFUE or higher and a brushless DC motor $650 $350
• an ENERGY STAR qualified gas furnace that has a 94.0 percent AFUE or higher and a brushless DC motor (when installing a condensing furnace for the first time) $790 $400
• an ENERGY STAR qualified condensing gas boiler that has a 90.0 percent AFUE or higher $750 $375
• an ENERGY STAR qualified oil boiler that has an 85.0 percent AFUE or higher $750 $375
• an ENERGY STAR qualified oil furnace that has an 85.0 percent AFUE or higher $375 $190
• an ENERGY STAR qualified oil furnace that has an 85.0 percent AFUE or higher and a brushless DC motor $625 $315
In the case of mobile homes (only)
• where a zero-clearance furnace is being replaced, an ENERGY STAR qualified zero-clearance gas furnace that has a 90.0 percent AFUE or higher
$375 N/A
Install an earth-energy system (ground or water source) that is compliant with CAN/CSA-C448 and certified by the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (www.geo-exchange.ca) – applies to a new system or a complete replacement. $4,375 N/A
Replace a heat pump unit of an existing earth-energy system (ground or water source). The system must be compliant with CAN/CSA-C448 and certified by the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (www.geo-exchange.ca). (*per equipment replaced) $1,750 N/A *1,750
Replace your existing space and domestic water heating equipment with an integrated mechanical system (IMS) that has an overall thermal performance factor of 0.90 or higher. The system must be compliant with the CSA P.10-07 standard and meet or exceed the standard’s premium performance requirements. (*per equipment replaced) $1,625 N/A *1,625
Replace your wood-burning appliance with a model that meets either CSA-B415.1-M92 or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (40 CFR Part 60) wood-burning appliance standard; an indoor wood pellet-burning appliance (includes stoves, furnaces and boilers that burn corn, grain or cherry pits); or a masonry heater. (*per equipment replaced) $375 $190 *$375
Replace your solid fuel-fired outdoor boiler with a model that meets CAN/CSA-B415.1 or the U.S. EPA Outdoor Wood-fired Hydronic Heater (OWHH Method 28) Program, Phase 1 or 2. The capacity of the new boiler must be equal to or smaller than the capacity of the boiler being replaced. $375 N/A $375 (per building)
Install a minimum of 5 electronic thermostats for electric baseboard heaters. Electric baseboard heating must be the primary space heating system. (*for each set of 5 electronic thermostats) $40/5 N/A *$40
Install an ENERGY STAR qualified air-source heat pump for both heating and cooling that has a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 14.5 or higher and a minimum heating capacity of 12 000 Btu/hour. See “Important Information about Air-Source Heat Pumps and Central Air Conditioners.” (*per equipment installed) $500 N/A *$500

N/A = Not applicable

Important Information about Air-Source Heat Pumps and Central Air Conditioners

In the case of air-source heat pumps and central air conditioners, a manufacturer’s new ENERGY STAR qualified matched condenser coil (outdoor unit comprising a condenser coil, compressor and cooling fan) and indoor evaporator coil (typically located with the furnace) must have a SEER of 14.5 or higher. Under no circumstances will the replacement of only one of these coils entitle the homeowner to a grant, just as components that are not certified by the manufacturer as being matched (i.e. tested together) will not be accepted. Currently, some manufacturers match their low SEER air conditioner/air-source heat pump coil packages with one of their brushless DC motor-equipped furnaces (i.e. blowers) as a method to reduce the power consumption requirement for ENERGY STAR compliance and labelling. However, this arrangement is not accepted under the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program because NRCan already provides separate grants for furnaces that have an energy-efficient brushless DC motor.

To be ENERGY STAR qualified in Canada, in addition to the minimum requirement of SEER 14.5, air-source heat pumps must also have a minimum heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 7.1 for Region V, which is more reflective of the Canadian climate.

If the heat pump is only rated for Region IV, which is used in the United States, it must have a minimum HSPF of 8.2.

Mini-split (ductless) air-source heat pumps must have at least one head per floor, excluding the basement, to qualify for a grant.

In the case of mini-split (ductless) air conditioners that do not have at least one head per floor, excluding the basement, each head will be considered a room air conditioner and the grant amount will be reflected as such.

When having your new central air conditioner or air-source heat pump installed, ask the contractor to indicate on your invoice the manufacturer’s name (not the model name) of the condenser coil and the model numbers of both the new condenser and evaporator coils.The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI, also known as ARI) reference number must also be referenced on the invoice. The energy advisor will request to see this information when performing the post-retrofit evaluation of your home.

Eligible Improvements / Retrofits
COOLING SYSTEM [Replacement Only] Grant Amounts
Single-Family Home MURB
1st system 2nd system
Replace your central air-conditioning system with an ENERGY STAR qualified system that has a SEER of 14.5 or higher (complete system replacement, including indoor coil and outdoor components). See “Important Information about Air-Source Heat Pumps and Central Air Conditioners. $250 N/A $250 (per building)
Replace your window air conditioner(s) with an ENERGY STAR qualified unit(s). See “Important Information about Air-Source Heat Pumps and Central Air Conditioners. $25 (per unit replaced; maximum of 5 units) N/A $25 (maximum of 2 units per dwelling unit)
VENTILATION SYSTEM (New installation or replacement)  
Install a ventilation system that is certified by the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) as a heat- or energy-recovery ventilator. The HVI Product Directory is available at http://www.hvi.org. Click “Consumers” and “Certified Products Directory.” (*per equipment installed) $375 N/A * $375
DOMESTIC HOT WATER SYSTEM  
Install a solar domestic hot water system with solar collectors that meets the CAN/CSA F378.87 standard AND provides a minimum energy contribution of 6000 megajoules per year. For a list of eligible solar collectors, see the “Glazed Water Heating Solar Collectors – Flat Plate Collectors” and “Glazed Water Heating Solar Collectors – Evacuated Tube and Concentrating Collectors” sections of the “List of Accepted Solar Collectors” found at www.ecoaction.gc.ca/heat (*per equipment installed) $1,250 N/A *$1,250
Replace your domestic hot water heater with an ENERGY STAR qualified instantaneous, gas-fired water heater that has an energy factor (EF) of 0.82 or higher and is on the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes list of eligible domestic hot water heaters (refer to the Web site indicated at the end of this brochure). (*per equipment replaced) $315 N/A * $315
Replace your domestic hot water heater with an ENERGY STAR qualified instantaneous, condensing gas-fired water heater that has an EF of 0.90 or higher and is on the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes list of eligible domestic hot water heaters (refer to the Web site indicated at the end of this brochure). (*per equipment replaced) $375 N/A * $375
Replace your domestic hot water heater with a condensing gas storage-type water heater that has a thermal efficiency of 94 percent or higher and is on the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes list of eligible domestic hot water heaters (refer to the Web site indicated at the end of this brochure). (*per equipment replaced) $375 N/A * $375
Install a drain-water heat recovery (DWHR) system. Grants are based on the efficiency of the system, determined by an independent testing facility. For a list of eligible systems and their efficiency, go to http://www.ecoaction.gc.ca/homes and refer to “Questions and Answers.” (*per equipment installed)  
• efficiency between 30.0 and 41.9 percent $95 N/A * $95
• efficiency of 42.0 percent or higher $165 N/A * $165
BUILDING ENVELOPE
When adding insulation to the building envelope, pay special attention to the type and the placement of vapour barriers per local building codes. For a multi-unit residential building, the grant for insulation is multiplied by the MURB MULTIPLIER shown on page 7.
CEILING INSULATION
A minimum of 20 percent of the total ceiling area must be insulated to qualify. When the roof has more than one type (i.e. attic, cathedral ceiling, flat roof), all applicable grants are pro-rated based on the ceiling area that is insulated. The maximum grant for any combination of attic, cathedral ceiling and flat roof is $750. Grants listed reflect 100 percent of the ceiling area being of one roof type.
Increase the insulation value of Starting Point
R-12 and less Greater than R-12 and up to R-25 Greater than R-25 and up to R-35
• your attic to achieve a total minimum insulation value of RSI 7 (R-40) $500 $250 N/A
• your attic to achieve a total minimum insulation value of RSI 8.8 (R-50) $750 $375 $125
• your flat roof and/or cathedral ceiling to achieve a total minimum insulation value of RSI 5 (R-28) $750 $250 N/A
Add a minimum insulation value of RSI 1.8 (R-10) to your uninsulated flat roof and/or cathedral ceiling and qualify for a grant of $500.      
EXTERIOR WALL INSULATION
  Minimum Additional Insulation
Percent area R-3.8 to R-9 Greater than R-9
A minimum of 20 percent of the total exterior wall area must be insulated to qualify. The grant is based on the percentage of wall area that is insulated and does not include walls between individual dwelling units. See “Important Note about Semi-Detached and Row Houses. 20% $225 $375
40% $450 $750
60% $675 $1,125
80% $900 $1,500
100% $1,125 $1,875
EXPOSED FLOOR INSULATION
(overhangs and floors above an unheated space, excluding crawl spaces)
Insulate your entire exposed floor and increase its insulation value by a minimum of RSI 3.5 (R-20). A minimum floor area of 14 square metres (150 square feet) must be insulated to qualify. $190

FOUNDATION INSULATION

When both a basement and crawl space are present, all applicable grants are pro-rated to a maximum of $1,250 based on the total wall area that is insulated.

BASEMENT INSULATION
  Minimum Additional Insulation
Percent area R-10 to R-23 Greater than R-23
A minimum of 20 percent of the foundation’s wall area (including basement and crawl space walls, when applicable) must be insulated to qualify. The grant is based on the percentage of wall area that is insulated and does not include walls between individual units. See “Important Note about Semi-Detached and Row Houses. 20% $125 $250
40% $250 $500
60% $375 $750
80% $500 $1,000
100% $625 $1,250
BASEMENT HEADER INSULATION
  Minimum Additional Insulation
R-20
Seal and insulate your entire basement header area, increasing its insulation value by a minimum of RSI 3.5 (R-20) $125
CRAWL SPACE INSULATION
  Minimum Additional Insulation
R-10 to R-23 Greater than
R-23
Insulate 100 percent of the crawl space’s total exterior wall area, including the header area. See “Important Note about Semi-Detached and Row Houses.” Or $500 $1,000
Insulate 100 percent of the floor above the crawl space to increase its insulation value by a minimum of RSI 4.2
(R-24).
N/A $250

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SEMI-DETACHED AND ROW HOUSES

In the case of a semi-detached or row house that is an end unit, the grant amount for the insulation of exterior walls, basement or crawl space walls is 75 percent of the amounts shown. In the case of a row house that is a middle unit, the grant amount is 50 percent of the amounts shown.

AIR SEALING
  Single-Family Home
$190
Perform air sealing to improve the air-tightness of your home to achieve the air change rate indicated in your ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes report.
BONUS: If you reach 10 or 20 percent better than the target included in your report, you can obtain an additional grant. 10%
20%
$120
$240

MURB Multiplier

MURB Multiplier (for insulation and air sealing grants)
The appropriate multiplier must be applied to the grant level identified based on the nature of the work done.

Number of dwellings 2-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 13-16 17+
Multiplier 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0
DOORS/WINDOWS/SKYLIGHTS (heated space only)
  Single-Family Home MURB
Replace windows and skylights with models that are ENERGY STAR qualified for your climate zone. (*per unit replaced) *$40 *$40
Grants for windows and skylights are based on the number of rough openings (RO) in which windows or skylights were replaced between the pre- and post-retrofit evaluations. Each RO is counted as one window or skylight. An RO is defined as the structurally stable opening created by the builder for the installation of the window unit (i.e. framing and glazing) or skylight. (Note that a bay window, which may be made up of several windows, is regarded as one RO.)
Replace your exterior door(s) with an ENERGY STAR qualified model(s) for you climate zone. (*per unit replaced) *$40 *$40
To be eligible for a grant, proof of ENERGY STAR qualification of windows, doors and skylights is required, such as the presence of an ENERGY STAR label on all of the replacement windows, doors or skylights indicating they are ENERGY STAR qualified for the house’s climate zone. If the labels are removed by the installer, you should request them as proof, or request a copy of an invoice indicating 

  • the brand/product name
  • the NRCan model reference number or the manufacturer’s model code
  • the climate zone for which the windows, doors or skylights are qualified
WATER CONSERVATION
  Single-Family Home MURB
Replace your toilet with a low-flush or dual-flush toilet rated at 6 litres per flush or less that meets the Los Angeles Supplementary Purchase Specification (SPS) and has a flush performance of 350 grams or more. (*per unit replaced) A product list is available on the Veritec Consulting Inc. Web site at http://www.veritec.ca. Click “Reports” and select “ecoENERGY Eligible.” *$65 (maximum of 4 units per home) *$65 (maximum of 2 units per dwelling unit)

Important Notes

  1. Natural Resources Canada reserves the right to revise the information contained in this document, including the grant amounts and the eligibility requirements, without notice. The payment of grants is also subject to the availability of funds. Refer to the Web site indicated below for the most up-to-date information, or contact your local licensed service organization.
  2. All upgrades or renovations must meet local codes and by-laws. Before undertaking upgrades or renovations, find out about the appropriate products and installation techniques to ensure that your home’s building envelope and indoor air quality will not be compromised.
  3. Read carefully the recommendations found in your ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes report for more information.
  4. Renovations that are part of an addition made to a property following the pre-retrofit evaluation are not eligible for a retrofit grant and may reduce the grant amount for the improvement done on the existing portion of the house. Consult your energy advisor.
  5. Insulation value in RSI equals the R insulation value divided by 5.678.
  6. For more information on ENERGY STAR qualified products, visit www.energystar.gc.ca. The ENERGY STAR name and the ENERGY STAR symbol are registered trademarks of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are used with permission.

To book an appointment with an energy advisor certified by NRCan, visit www.ecoaction.gc.ca/homes, or call 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232). TTY: 1-800-926-9105.

Cat. No. M144-149/1-2009E (Print)
ISBN 978-1-100-13080-4
Cat. No. M144-149/2009E-PDF (On-line)
ISBN 978-1-100-13081-1
Aussi disponible en français sous le titre :
Tableau des subventions écoÉNERGIE Rénovation – Maisons
(En vigueur le 1 juillet 2009)

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2009

Why is the plaster peeling off my walls?

When we first looked at this project it was because the customer had the above question. The thin layer of plaster on the shiplap wall was starting to fall off. Nothing was immediately obvious (apart from some windows that had been replaced about 4 yrs ago – or is that obvious?) –  so we had to investigate. There was nothing else for it but to get stuck into that wall…..and thus ensues a Mike Holmes-esque situation.

There were three main contributing factors to the plaster peeling. We found the 4 yr old windows had been installed improperly. What was missing was the caulking – a slight oversight (and that’s sarcasm). In years gone by there had been stucco repairs and we also found evidence that there had also been a porch in this area that had been walled in. The stucco repairs had cracked allowing water ingress. These two factors were exacerbated by the fact that the wall and windows were east facing taking the full brunt of the winter weather. Finally factor number 3. We are still bemused by this. Under one window (the closest to the corner of the house) was a piece of plastic attached to the studs. This made sure that water coming in was trapped and worked full time on the framing and also that area sweated.

The pics below show the extent of the rot which took about 4 yrs. The double bottom plate (2 – 2×4’s) were completely rotten through, and as we know water only goes one way – down – to the basement suite.

It maybe called duct tape……

4762batch 040

Can you spot the three mistakes?

Number 1.

Odd, it maybe called duct tape but its not actually for ducting. Infact its for just about every conceivable situation that needs sticking together. Apollo 13 even used to make a repair to get home safely but not for ducting – but here it is being used for ducting. 

The problem…duct tape does not adequately seal the joints and has a short lifespan. Over a three-month period in 1998, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) researchers tested duct tape and 31 other sealants under accelerated laboratory conditions that mimicked long-term use in the home. They heated air to nearly 170 degrees and chilled it to below 55 degrees before blasting it through ducts. They baked ductwork at temperatures up to 187 degrees to simulate the oven-like conditions of a closed attic under a hot summer sun.

Of all the things they tested, only duct tape failed – and they reported it failed reliably and often quite catastrophically.

Eventually it will dry up and fall off.

Did You Know?

Proper duct sealing can reduce home heating and air-conditioning costs by $60 to $120 a year.

According to the Energy Performance of Buildings Group at LBNL, each year, U.S. residential duct leakage costs consumers $5 billion. This energy loss is equivalent to:

  • The annual oil production from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • The annual energy consumption of 13 million cars
  • The carbon dioxide uptake of 7 billion trees is needed to offset the global warming impacts of this energy waste.

    Number 2

    You may also spot in the picture above how certain elements of the venting system for the hood fan are not even attached – and that’s how we found them. Everything really does work better if they are air tight.

    Number 3

    An articulating 90 degree elbow made from glavanised steel may have been more appropriate in this situation……and the correct tape is a HVAC foil tape.