Here at ShowMeTheGreen.ca we see a lot of the same questions about home renovation grants over and over again. So to set the record straight we’ve decided to correct 5 of the top mistakes we see Canadian homeowners making when they apply for home improvement grants.
Hold onto your seats!
5 Government Grant Application Mistakes – And How You Can Avoid Them
- Not getting an energy audit done before the home renovations
We hear this question countless times: “I just finished a renovation, but didn’t get an energy audit done. Can I still apply for a government grant?” Unfortunately, in most cases the answer is “no”.
Many government grants (the ones that pay serious money, anyway) require that you do an energy audit before you do the renovations.
- Not combining government grants with manufacturers’ rebates
A huge oversight! Did you know that many manufacturers of windows, furnaces, and home appliances offer rebates or cash-back offers? Up until now, you probably didn’t know that – and you’re not alone. An appliance salesman once told us that fewer than 5% of consumers actually fill in the manufacturer’s rebate coupon!
A good website to check out for appliance rebates is www.RedFlagDeals.ca
- Not keeping receipts
This is a very common mistake. How many times have you gone looking for a receipt and realized that it just fell out of your pocket?
Here’s a simple thing you can do to solve this problem: buy a 10-cent envelope, and write on it “Home renovation receipts” (along with the month your renos took place). Put the envelope in one of your desk drawers, or your home filing cabinet. Now you have a designated “file” for your receipts! Every time you get a receipt or invoice for your renovations, stick it in there!
- Assuming that government grants are available for all small projects
We often get questions like this: “I just replaced two of my windows. Can I get a rebate?” Again, for such small jobs it’s unlikely that there will be a government rebate that will be worth applying for – especially if you have to get an energy audit done (which can cost up to $300).
If there’s no government grant program that is worthwhile applying to, make sure to check with the manufacturer to see if they have a rebate program.
- Not looking into grants that are available in your province
Let’s face it – the big government grant programs like the ecoENERGY Home Retrofit program get all of the attention. But there are lots of government grant programs that are only available in specific provinces or cities.
If you’re only applying to the biggies, you might be missing out on a lot of grant money. Make sure to start your search on the ShowMeTheGreen homepage. Click your province on the map, then choose the kind of home improvement you’re doing.
There you go. Keep these 5 common mistakes in mind when planning your home improvements. It’ll help your pocketbook, and will direct some of that “stimulus” money where it belongs!