Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Claim 15% Tax Credit on Renovation Projects Kelowna

Homeowners can claim 15% of costs on projects worth $1,000 to $10,000 on top of the grants offered by the Livesmart & ecoenergy programs and local utility providers.


OTTAWA–Installing a new furnace this year? Building a deck?

The proposed federal budget offers a temporary new tax credit for your home renovations – provided you do them soon.

The Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) is designed to get Canadians spending now to help create jobs in industries typically hurt by an economic downturn.

"These measures to support home construction and renovation will help stimulate our construction and building-supplies industries," Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in his speech. "This in turn will support forestry and other Canadian industries. It will give an immediate boost to our economy, and help to create jobs."

Effective today through Jan. 31, 2010, homeowners can claim a tax credit for 15 per cent of renovation expenses between $1,000 and $10,000. The maximum tax credit (on $9,000 in renovations) is worth $1,350.

The government estimated the total value of the tax credit at about $3 billion, and expects about 4.6 million families to benefit.

The tax credit would apply to a variety of home improvements, such as renovating a kitchen, bathroom or basement, new carpet or hardwood floors, building an addition, deck, or fence, installing a new furnace, painting the inside or outside of a house, or laying new sod.

Expenses such as building permits, professional services, and equipment rentals are also eligible. Routine repairs and maintenance will not qualify for the credit. Nor will the cost of purchasing furniture, appliances, electronics, or construction equipment.

Houses, cottages and condominium units owned for personal use are eligible.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reel Change Sustainability Film Fest, Kelowna

Ken Kunka of Flywheel Building Solutions will be one of the guest panelists at the first annual Reel Change Sustainability Film Fest hosted by the Fresh Outlook Foundation. This event will take place at the Kelowna Rotary Centre Jan 30 and 31st, 2009.

For more detailed information go to

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Federal Budget to help improve homes

This info was forwarded to me by Westside mortgage expert Philippe Daigle

OTTAWA — The Harper government has been floating the idea of a tax credit for home renovations - an idea that could deliver significant stimulus for Canada's residential construction industry in the Jan. 27 budget.

Deliberations continue as Canada's premiers meet today in Ottawa to put the final touches on a budget request for Prime Minister Stephen Harper - one that sources say will include more cash for employment training, more benefits for the jobless and extra funding for infrastructure.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, meanwhile, has been conducting his own consultation on the looming budget, expected to deliver up to $30-billion in stimulus to soften an economic downturn.

During a closed-door session in Montreal last week, Mr. Flaherty asked participants' opinion on a partly refundable tax credit for renovations. Some economists among the more than 20 attendees criticized the proposal while representatives of the building-trades sector lauded it. Tax credits can be used to reduce the amount of taxes a person owes to the government, but refundable tax credits can benefit filers even if they have no taxes to be paid; in that case, they could get a refund based on the credit.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Kelowna Home Show

Flywheel Building Solutions is excited to be part of the Kelowna Home Show running Feb 27th thru to March 01 at Prospera Place. It is gearing up to be one of the largest in years and is consistantly the most attended Home Shows in the valley.

This year the Home Show features some excellent experts ....

Host of DISASTER DIY on HGTV BRYAN BAEUMLER is part of the new breed of contractors who are passionate, dedicated, and have a plan to execute. Bryan's mantra in his own contracting business is ‘Design, Destroy, Rebuild’ and he will bring a fresh vitality to the presentation stage this year. Saturday and Sunday only. Sponsored By Terasen Gas

JANE LOCKHARTcomes straight from her popular TV show on W, ‘Colour Confidential’ to join us at the KELOWNA HOME SHOW for the first time, with great new ideas on colour, decor and style trends for today and tomorrow. Appearances Friday and Saturday only.

DON BURNETT - ‘Going GREEN’is nothing new to Don, who has been dispensing sage advice about keeping our outside environment of trees, schrubs, gardens and landscaping healthy, green and beautiful.

Ken Kunka AScT,BCQ
Flywheel Building Solutions
250 859 6062

Monday, January 12, 2009

Flywheel - Habitat Set to Build Green in Penticton

The South Okanagan chapter is preparing to build it’s second home this spring in Penticton. Building upon the lessons learned from its first build in 2007, Habitat is looking forward to partnering with Okanagan College this spring. Students from the carpentry program will be bringing the house up to lock-up stage but many volunteers are still needed to complete the building and landscaping. The following Video will explain the next program and family.

Unfortunately the modern design proposed by Architect Cal Meiklejohn cannot be used with the building scheme restrictions for the new lot, but Habitat is looking to incorporate sustainable building practices and products as outlined in the “Built Green” program (

Flywheel Building Solutions is proud to donate $400 towards this build plus assisting in the design and project coordination.

If you would like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity or volunteer please go to . Habitat is also looking for gifts-in-kind, particularly towards “green” products.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Flywheel - Economy - Inflation vs Deflation

This information was forwarded to me by Laurie Baird of Okanagan

Canadians not deflated about economic outlook

Jacqueline Thorpe, Financial Post Deflation may be public enemy number one among central bankers, monetary policy wonks and bond market aficionados, but a survey shows it has not even a blip on the average Canadian's radar screen.

The poll released Wednesday shows 50% of Canadians expect inflation to increase over the next year, versus 21% who expect the current recession to be deflationary.

The finding, contained in Pollara Inc.'s annual financial outlook survey, underscores the grip inflation continues to hold on the Canadian psyche. It could ultimately be a good thing, providing a bulwark against deflation -- a downward spiral in prices caused by consumers delaying purchases in anticipation of cheaper goods in the future. Deflation can become debilitating if it causes companies to cut production and employment, leading to ever-weaker output.

That inflation, rather than deflation, is still the main concern for Canadians could be understandable if the survey were conducted last summer when commodity prices were soaring and gasoline roared across $1 a litre, but the poll of 2,670 people was conducted between Dec. 11 and 15, 2008. That was after gas prices had tumbled, sale signs filled shopping malls, stock markets had tanked, house prices were beginning to fall and constant talk of depression and deflation filled the airwaves.

After decades of worrying about inflation, it could be that Canadians have not yet wrapped their heads around the idea that prices can also materially drop.

It could also be that with the domestic economy in relatively better shape than in the United States, Canadians simply do not see deflation posing as much of a threat as south of the border. There, the U.S. Federal Reserve has pulled out all the stops to try to prevent deflation, including cutting interest rates to nearly zero.

Meanwhile, it is hard for any average consumer to see lower prices as a threat.

"Nobody understands deflation can be bad for them because they don't recognize it could also involve their pay cheque," said Avery Shenfeld, senior economist at CIBC World Markets.

Mr. Shenfeld was among a panel economists who attended the release of the survey at an Economic Club of Toronto outlook on Wednesday.

"The reason prices are falling is usually that the economy is in a mess."

The Bank of Canada could take some heart in the perception that deflation is not considered as big a threat as policymakers or the media do. For deflation to become dangerous it has to seep into the consciousness, causing consumers to curtail purchases.

"Inflation expectations tend to be pretty sticky in both directions which is actually good thing for public policy," Mr. Shenfeld said.

While deflation is no big threat, the survey, with a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points 19 times out of 20, shows Canadians see many economic demons over the next year: A record high 91% believe the economy is in recession; almost a third believe the recession will last 13 to 18 months; 68% believe employment will worsen while 31% believe either it somewhat likely or very likely someone in their household may lose a job.

Oddly, many Canadians still expect their personal financial situation to be maintained or even improved in 2009, said Michael Marzolini, chairman of Pollara. This could be because the Canadian unemployment rate has not dramatically soared yet.

Canadians are all government interventionists now, survey data show.

"The villains are on Wall Street or in Washington," Mr. Marzolini said of the average perception. "The current solution is direct government intervention, spending on infrastructure job retraining, tax cuts and even bailouts and protectionism.