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September 30, 2021

Man told to demolish $3.3 million dream home

One home owner learned a lesson the hard way. While you can change the decor of your house any way you want, it's a different story when you try to change your home's structure.

A British businessman was told to demolish his two million pounds ($3.3 million) dream home after he made extensive changes. While city council approved him to add 45 per cent more floor space to his home and change a new roof, he went far beyond that.

Syed Raza Shah added two extra storeys to his home, along with balconies and a turret. All in all, he spent $1.7 million transforming his 1960s bungalow into a seven-bedroom castle. Unfortunately, it'll all go to waste.

Neighbours complained that the house "sticks out like a sore thumb" and "clashes with other houses on the road," according to the Daily Mail.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. In Toronto, an elderly couple was told that they needed to demolish an $80,000 addition. Unfortunately, they made additions to the home without a permit from the city. Along with their wasted money on the renovation, they also spent more than $200,000 in legal fees. It goes to show you that you can lose a lot of money when you make home additions without a permit.

While everyone wants to build their dream home, it'll save you a lot of money and time if you take the time to research whether you need a permit for your renovations. While simple changes like replacing windows and doors or changing your flooring won't need a permit, other tasks such as installing a fireplace, moving or removing walls need them or cutting down a tree on your property will need one. Save yourself the trouble by talking with your contractor about any necessary permits or check in with the municipal development office.

Home renovations are pricey enough as it is. Don't waste any more money than you have to by building something that'll be demolished anyway.

How much have you spent on home renovations?

Josephine Lim, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...