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One day left to claim home renos

There’s one day left for do-it-yourselfers to take advantage of a federal program that provides a tax deduction for home improvements.

There’s one day left for do-it-yourselfers to take advantage of a federal program that provides a tax deduction for home improvements.

Sunday is the last day that shoppers can qualify for the Home Renovation Tax Credit, which allows homeowners to claim a tax credit of 15 per cent on renovation expenses between $1,000 and $10,000. The maximum credit is $1,350.

The looming deadline has meant busy times at local building supply centres.

At The Home Depot in St. Albert, customers are mainly stocking up on flooring, kitchens, blinds and doors, said store manager Colin Dutton.

“A lot of people [are] coming in saying they want to get it in before the deadline,” he said.

Some customers are even stockpiling materials for upcoming summer projects.

“We’ve had some inquiries about decks and fences, which you don’t usually get in the middle of winter,” Dutton said.

“Some people are looking to buy the product now so they can claim it, then build it in the summer.”

Created last spring by the federal government to spur economic activity, the credit program applies to materials bought by do-it-yourselfers and material and labour on projects completed by a contractor. A list of eligible expenses is available at the Canada Revenue website at

Do-it-yourselfers need to buy their materials before the Feb. 1 deadline but can do the work at a later time. Projects being done by a contractor must be completed before Feb. 1.

The program has “done pretty good numbers” for The Home Depot, Dutton said.

“I really like that program. I’m really sad to see it go,” he said.

Activity was particularly brisk after the program was announced last spring, then again as the deadline has been nearing.

“It was the excitement at the beginning and panic at the end,” Dutton said.

Flooring has also been a big seller lately at the St. Albert Rona, where customers are snapping up paint, doors and materials for finishing basements.

“We’ve found the store to be pretty busy with last-minute buyers,” said manager Gord Symington.

“It’s been a busy January.”

He hopes the government brings back the program again this year, which Prime Minister Stephen Harper has hinted may happen.

“I think it was successful and I hope it’s successful again next year,” Symington said.

Customer Doug Davis expects to claim about $8,000 in receipts. He had his roof shingled this year and did work on his deck and floor. However, his home improvement decisions had nothing to do with the tax credit.

“It happens to be a little bonus,” Davis said.

“The shingling had to be done whether the government was going to have that program or not.”

Rick and Iris Woodford had their shingles done as well, and were very happy to claim the cost. They did some extra work on their patio too.

“I think [the tax credit] did help motivate us,” Iris said.