How To Finance Your Next Home Improvement Project in Toronto

Whether you’re planning to hire a professional or to do it yourself home improvement projects can get expensive fast.  Often, when we work with our home painting clients, they are doing a whole gamut of other renovations as well.

Taking the time to plan exactly how you’re going to finance your home improvement project—including making a plan for unexpected expenses—before you get started is essential for preventing a massive headache down the road.

Let’s take a look at the most common options for financing home improvement projects:

  1. Cash

You might actually make the payments with your debit card or a series of checks but the point of this option is that you’re paying for everything up front with money you’ve already earned. This allows you to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on interest payments but saving enough money for anything but the smallest projects can take years.

If you have a significant amount of money saved away for your home improvement project but you know it’ll be a few years before you have all the cash you can also choose to pay for part of the project up front and use one of the other financing options on this list to pay for the rest.

home financing options

  1. 0% or low interest credit cards

There are literally dozens of cards that offer a 0% introductory APR for the first 12-24 months that you own the card. You may also be able to get a card with a permanent low interest rate if you have excellent credit. Some department stores also offer store cards with special 0% interest financing on large purchases for the home.

Of course, there are limitations to this, the most obvious being your actual credit limit. Many cards that offer an introductory 0% APR also end up with unusually high interest rates when the promotional period ends, so you don’t want to borrow more than you can pay off within the promotional period.

  1. Personal or unsecured loans

Personal/unsecured loans are loans based entirely on your income and creditworthiness. A personal loan will typically have a noticeably lower interest rate than any of your credit cards. Personal loans can also be used to finance larger projects, with the typical range being $15,000–$50,000. They’re also easy to apply for, making them the perfect fit for projects under $50,000.

Of course the interest rate on personal loans is significantly higher than the interest on most home equity loans, which use your home as collateral. Personal loan agreements also vary more significantly than home equity loan agreements so it is essential to really thoroughly read the contract and make sure you aren’t paying any surprise fees.

  1. Cash-out Refinance

A cash-out refinance allows you to replace your current mortgage with a new one and take out a set amount of cash for a home improvement project at the same time. Depending on when you bought your home this may be a great opportunity to take advantage of lower current mortgage rates while simultaneously funding big projects. You’ll also get lots of time to pay the loan off, typically 30 years.

Unfortunately, cash-out refinances can be quite costly. Many mortgage companies charge high closing fees for this type of refinancing and your APR will be higher than it would be if you hadn’t taken any cash out. This means that a cash-out refinance can cost you thousands of extra dollars.

  1. Home Equity Loans

Home equity loans are essentially second mortgages taken out on your home to finance home improvement projects. Since your home is used as collateral banks are usually quite happy to give you a significantly larger amount than they would for a personal loan. You’ll also get a significant amount of time to pay it off, usually 15 years.

The downside of home equity loans is that they typically come with quite high closing costs, similar to what you pay to close a primary mortgage. Some home equity loans also charge a pre-payment penalty fee ranging between $1,000 and $3,000 if you pay the loan off early.

  1. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

The most popular form of financing for home improvement projects, home equity lines of credit work very much like a credit card. You are given a maximum loan amount and a card and/or check book that allow you to access the HELOC account at your discretion. This is ideal for dealing with unexpected expenses, an all too frequent occurrence when you’re doing home improvement projects. Most HELOC agreements give you 5 to 10 years to draw from the line of credit and a full 15 years to pay the loan off.

HELOCs are adjustable rate mortgages, which means that your APR may fluctuate significantly over the lifetime of the loan, with rates sometimes ending up significantly higher than what you’d pay on a regular home equity line. That said, HELOCs also don’t come with any closing costs, so you’ll pay much less up front.

Final Thoughts

To actually figure out what type of financing is best for your home improvement project you’re going to have to do the math yourself, but there are a few general rules: if your project will cost less than $15,000 funding it yourself with cash or credit card is ideal, personal loans are best for projects that will cost $15,000–$50,000, and loans that use your house as collateral are ideal for projects that will cost $50,000+.

Before you rush out to get financing for your home improvement project you should also consider how much it will improve your home—and how much it will raise the value when you sell the home. If the home isn’t going to significantly improve the value of your house it isn’t worth financing unless you can pay for it with cash.

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How to Choose the Right Exterior Paints for Your Home

Choosing the right exterior paint for your home can be a real challenge. There are so many things you have to consider that just don’t matter when you’re doing interior painting. For starters, the wrong color can negatively impact how your entire street looks. There’s also roofing, landscaping, hardscaping and weather to think about.

Follow these tips to find the perfect exterior paint for your home:

how to choose an exterior paint
Photo by Wonderlane
  1. Consider neighborhood guidelines

Some areas actively restrict what colors you’re allowed to paint your home, especially areas which have Homeowners Associations. Make sure you know what these guidelines are before you start painting or you might have to do it over.

  1. Consider your home’s architecture

You want the color you paint your home to fit well with the style of your home. Several paint manufacturers produce historically accurate color lines for different time periods and many paint store professionals can help you figure out what will go well with your architecture. You want to go with something similar to the historical colors.

  1. Consider the visual effect

Painting your home a brighter color will help it stand out from its surroundings, especially if your house is built well back from the street. Choosing a darker color will make your home appear to recede, even blend in with its surroundings.

  1. Pick three colors

To really make your paint job spectacular you’ll need three shades: a main color, an accent color for things like doors and shutters, and a trim color for things like window and door casings. The trim color should contrast strongly with the main color. Most paint manufacturers will have a series of preselected palettes you can look through to get a better idea what you want.

  1. Consider the material

What type of paint you get is extremely important when you’re painting the exterior of your home since it’s going to be exposed to all kinds of weather. Oil and latex paint are the two most durable types, with latex being easier to use (and less smelly). It’s also a good idea to get specialty paint for your porch; several companies sell this specific type of paint. Depending on what you have to paint you may also want to invest in some paint created specifically for metal.

Don’t forget to buy enough primer for a proper coat too; this step is much more important when you’re painting the exterior of your home.

exterior painting toronto
Credit: John
  1. Don’t just trust the palette

Once you’ve chosen a palette you like, buy a quart of paint and paint an inconspicuous section of your home. Give it at least a couple weeks and examine it at different times of day and in different weather conditions to see how it holds up. This is really the only way to know how good the paint is and whether or not you actually like the color—the color is often slightly different from what the palette shows.

And remember the most important thing: take your time when choosing the exterior paint for your home. You’re going to have to see it every day for a long time.

Author Bio

Alex is the founder of Pure Envy Renovations, an Australian roof restoration and home renovation company based in Adelaide, South Australia. Alex has a wealth of knowledge on home renovations. For more information and home DIY tips, follow his Youtube channel.

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9 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Toronto Painting Contractor

Before you ever select a Toronto painting contractor for your big upcoming  painting project, you should know which questions to ask

When you’re in the process of selecting an interior painting contractor for your next big painting project, it’s crucial to ask these questions so you can make the right choice. Hiring a reputable company can mean the difference between success and failure.

painting contractor in toronto questions

  1. For what length of time has the painting company been in business?

Anybody can put up a shingle and claim they’ve got a painting company, but how do you know who’s reliable and who isn’t? One way to determine that is how long they’ve been in business. It’s always a smart move to go with a painting company that’s been in business at least five years. This gives you a reasonable measure of protection. You can see that they’re not a fly-by-night company who’ll leave town without notice.

  1. Do they work with subcontractors?

It’s very important that painting companies don’t work with subcontractors because that can worsen the quality of their work. If they outsource to unskilled and unreliable subcontractors, you never know what you’re going to get. If you receive a really low painting estimate from a company, one reason for that might be that they use low-skill subcontractors.

  1. Are they insured?

Do they have insurance to pay for something if they mess it up? Why put your home in the hands of a company without anything to back them up? Some of the items covered should be labor and materials. Furthermore, the painter should be fully insured if they’re going to work on your home.

  1. Has the company gotten any awards for great service?

Has the company gotten any awards for great service? If you’re looking for a stellar company, it’s best to work with a company that has gotten good reviews from online review sites.

toronto painting contractors

  1. Do they have a picture portfolio of past work?

You should be able to look through pictures of their past work. If you can’t see it for yourself, how can you know how good it is? Don’t settle for low-quality photos. Make them show you high-quality photos. You want to see the details of the job.  For example, our portfolio has images from some of our past jobs.

  1. What brands of paint do they use?

Check to see that they use the biggest brands of paint. Knock-off, low-quality brands just aren’t going to cut it.

  1. How much wall prep do they do?

Make sure that they do the proper wall preparation before painting.

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The 10 Painting Mistakes That Toronto Homeowners Must Avoid

If you’re hoping for a flawless paint job, avoid these amateur painting mistakes.  (Of course, you could also give Greater Toronto Painters a call at  +1 647 694 0215 and skip the headaches).  

Let’s take a look at the most common painting mistakes people make.

1. They Skip Prep Time

Prep time is the difference success and failure. It is what separates DIY from professional work. Homeowners sometimes feel like jumping straight into the project, because they’re excited to see what it’ll look like. But, that’s a huge mistake. You’ve got to clean the walls, scrap off peels and cracks, apply painter’s tape, and let the patching compound to dry before you begin.

Toronto painting mistakes

2. Buying Cheap Tools

You can buy the best paint in the world, but it won’t look good without the right application tools. Good roller covers and brushes will give you enhanced coverage and save you on paint in the long run. And, the brushes will last for years if you keep them in good condition.

3. Trying to Take a Shortcut With Masking Tape Instead of Buying Real Painter’s Tape

Professional painters spend a lot of money on high-quality tape, and you should, as well. Buy a mini scraper or putty knife – not your finger – to get rid of air bubbles and super-seal the edges to stop drips and ensure clean lines.

4. Not Using Primer

Primer covers up flaws in the surface and ensures you have a smooth finish that stands the test of time. It’s all right to use paint-and-primer-in-one mixes if you previously painted over the old surface, it’s still in good condition, and it has a flat finish. However, if you’re painting over a rougher surface like plaster, concrete, glossy paint, or drywall, then use a stand-alone primer or premium mix design to cover up unpainted surfaces.

5. Flat Paint in a High-Traffic Area

Use a washable satin or semi-gloss for a high-traffic area like a laundry room or closet. But, you might choose a nice premium matte finish, too.  This is a common mistake that we see people make while trying to do their own DIY painting in Toronto.

6. Painting Over High-Gloss Painting and Not Sanding Beforehand

New paint needs some kind of texture to catch on to, so you need to gently scuff any shiny surface with sandpaper, after which you’d rinse it with clean water.

7. Dipping Your Brush Too Far Into the Paint

Just dip your paintbrush in a third of the way – you’ll get more than enough paint on your brush without wasting or pushing the paint too far into the bristles. That can be hard to clean off.

8. Painting Without Direction

You should always start by the ceiling and then slowly work your way down nice and slow. You want to get the smoothest finish possible. That allows you catch the drips as you’re painting.

toronto home painting

9. Painting On Top of Wallpaper With a Water-Based Paint

You can paint over the wallpaper, but you should be sure to use an oil-based primer beforehand. Water-based primers and paints can reactive the wallpaper glue and even lead to unsightly peeling.

10. Not Doing Cleanup

You’re going to be tired at the end of your job, so you probably just want to toss the brushes in the garage and forget about them. That’s a terrible idea. Protect your investment.

Call Us Today at  +1 647 694 0215

Look, you probably want to skip all this mess. Let us do the painting for you. Give us a call today!

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Review- The Best Home Painters in Toronto (We Love Our Competition)

Yes… we think some of our competitors are damn awesome.   And we’re proud to recommend them.

Here at Greater Toronto Painters, we provide many happy homeowners each year with the perfect interior or exterior decoration for their home. Often we get enquires about the other great companies in Toronto.  Since we love our competition and want to make sure that everyone chooses a professional painter for their property, here are some of the best painters in Toronto with a solid history and reputation.

best home painters in Toronto

Home Painters Toronto: Serving Toronto and the Greater Toronto area since 1991, these guys definitely have the experience and know-how needed when it comes to delivering an awesome, professional painting job. Whether you’re after interior, exterior or commercial painting, Home Painters Toronto have been around for years and offer a wide range of reputable services.

ColourWorks Painting: These guys won the HomeStars award in 2014 for painting and interior design. ColourWorks are bringing a new type of painting service to the Toronto city area, combining professional workmanship with the colour design services that you’d usually need to hire an interior designer for. They offer design and workmanship services for every budget.

Perfect Painters: This top-rated Toronto painting company pride themselves in going the extra mile when it comes to providing customer satisfaction (just like we do). Their professional painting services cover both residential and commercial properties, and come with a one-year warranty to give you peace of mind for the future.

Peregrine Painting: Covering the Toronto and Greater Toronto areas, Peregrine Painting is a company that’s striving to be at the top of the industry, just like us at GTA Painters. They have a range of services available including interior, exterior, residential and commercial painting services, and no job is too big or too small for these guys. They take pride in every job that they complete, and you can be sure of environmental safety as they share our feelings about using Eco-friendly, low VOC paints.

Of course, we’re more than happy to help you out as well.  Give us a call at +1 647 694 0215 and we’ll set you up with a free painting estimate!

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How 7 Common Home Painting Projects Affect ROI

Real estate agents urge homeowners that it’s always the right time to paint, even (or especially) if you plan on listing a house on the market imminently. Applying paint onto rooms covers up blemishes and gives the whole home an appealing “new” feeling.  At Greater Toronto Painters, we see that well painted homes sell faster and at higher prices. One of the reasons that a new paint job is so highly recommended is because the return on investment often exceeds the cost of the project. Above are the rooms to paint in order of their importance and the approximate ROI that can be received with quality work and optimum colors.

Greater Toronto Painters Home Value Infographic

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