House Effects

House Effects resources



Your knowledge and the decisions that you make about your house will have an effect on your savings, debt, health, safety, security, energy bills, insurance coverage and premiums, mortgage renewal, resale value and time on the market when you decide to sell.

We are committed to providing real, accurate and helpful information related to owning and living in a house in Ontario.  Our aim is to put you in charge of achieving the best results when buying, maintaining, renovating and selling your house.  Our content is based on years of renovation experience, knowledge, Ontario laws, codes, insurance, honesty and trust.

Home owners should have the same advantages.

Use the resource icons to access our book, articles, news, videos, workbooks, community and personal service.  Subscribe to our Blog, Twitter, Facebook Group and YouTube Channel for regular updates.

- Dean Sprung & Craig MacGowan
Reno FX Media


We have published our 2nd edition and want you to benefit from the new knowledge, sources of rebates and savings, consumer rights and more:


Our initial intention with this publication was to just help Ontario home owners avoid the pitfalls of their renovation projects by understanding the costs, knowing how to screen for the right contractor and making sure the work is done properly.  The motivation came from family and friends who either received a poor quality renovation or were overcharged for a simple one by rogue contractors.  Since 2015, we have done many professional, proper and cost effective renovations that our customers have been proud of.

It didn't take us long, as we started to compile information, to see the extent of finding the right location to live, the costs incurred when buying a house, the ongoing costs and responsibility of ownership and then the costs associated when selling.  The results or “effects”, as the title of the book implies, can sometimes be a negative, confusing or a helpless experience for a home owner.  So we went deeper into the puzzle of housing in an effort to help you find the right house, manage your money, maintain or increase your resale value, source funds, find savings, negotiate agreements, prevent damage, improve energy efficiency, select a good contractor and reduce the risk of injuries and accidental death in your house.

What this manual will do for you, your family, the economy and the environment:

  • Removes the vulnerabilities associated with buying, selling and renovating by asking the right questions.
  • Reduces stress and improves mental health knowing that you are making smart and informative decisions when buying, maintaining, renovating or selling your house.
  • Controls your debt through saving for a down payment, using the cash flow worksheets to budget expenses, see the projected costs of maintaining and updating a house.
  • Adds to your savings with rebates, improving energy efficiency to reduce gas, electrical and water bills, reduce insurance premiums and replacement costs through damage prevention.
  • Maintains or increases the value of your house by doing the right repairs, replacements and renovations.
  • Protects you from unfair and illegal practices with consumer rights, laws, permits and inspections.
  • Ensures quality renovations with written project specifications and selecting the right contractor.
  • Grows employment by hiring good contractors, skilled trades and specialty service providers. 
  • Reduces the risk of injuries and accidental deaths by making the house safer.
  • Reduces pollution through proper waste management. 

Here’s many popular questions that we have answers to. 

How do I keep my house safe for my children?  
How do I avoid becoming house poor?
How do I find the right house to buy? 
What are all the costs involved in buying a house?
What are the steps to purchasing a house in Ontario?
How much do I need to save for a down payment on a house?
What are the savings incentives for first-time home buyers?
What are the three ways to list my house for sale?
What are the health risks with the house that I’m living in now?
What are the personal safety concerns that I should have about the house I’m living in?
How do I keep my home safe from criminal activity?
What renovations should I avoid doing to my house?
What can I do to prevent fire, smoke, water and wind damage to my house?
What questions should I ask my broker about my home insurance policy?
Is my house insured if I miss a monthly payment?
What will it cost me to maintain and make repairs to my house over the next 40 years?
What will it cost me to renovate my kitchen, bathroom and basement?
What sources of funding is available to do home renovations?
Should I do a home renovation myself or hire a contractor?
Do I need a permit for my home renovations?
Where can I find a contractor to do a renovation in my house?
How do I pre-screen a home renovation contractor before calling them?
I have three quotes for my renovation.  Which one is the best?
My home renovation contractor wants me to pay in cash.  Is that a good idea?
What should be included in a home renovation contractor's proposal and quote?
Why did my home renovation contractor put a lien on my house?

You should read this if you are:

      • Saving for a down payment
      • Buying your first house
      • Buying a newly built house or previously owned house
      • An owner living in the current house for more than one year 
      • Selling your house
      • Renovating or landscaping your house
      • Retiring within 15 years
      • A newcomer to Ontario

Here's what you get:

      • Over 200 pages of content.
      • Downloadable worksheets and checklists.
      • Links to sources of savings, market data and other resources.
      • 1 on 1 access to the authors

Disclaimer:  The information is intended to help you to pre-plan buying, maintaining or renovating your house.  It is not intended to provide financial or legal advice.  Dollar amounts or percentages for taxes, fees, refunds, rebates, subsidies, grants, loans, maintenance or renovations costs interest rates, thresholds, and inflation rates could change at anytime making the information outdated.  Incentive programs expire based on limits or dates and could be cancelled at anytime by the agency or organization offering them.  The calculation results may not represent the actual costs when you decide to purchase a house.  The results do not guarantee approvals for loans or rebates.  You will still need to apply or register through the appropriate organizations to determine if you qualify


House Effects content is a publication of Reno FX Media

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