It was shaping up to be a tough year for many home renovation companies as the recession took hold.

"January was probably our worst January ever for booking jobs since our business started," says flooring contractor Kevin Bergstresser.

But things have changed. Since the federal government announced the renovation tax credit, Bergstresser's business -- Mira Floors --took off.

"I would say it's increased about 75 per cent," he says.

"If you were to compare this February to this January it's a night and day difference."

That means despite a recession, February 2009 is one of the best Februarys the company has ever had - all due to the renovation tax credit.

You can get up to $1,350 dollars back from the federal government if you spend $10,000.

And if you live in a strata development that has a big project in mind, each family can claim their share.

"Things like roofing, carpet replacement, paving, large ticket items would qualify," says property manager Brendan Materi.

So does painting the outside of the homes or putting in new fences or brand new landscaping.

"We're going to be doing a lot of work for strata corporations this year," says Materi.

"There will be a lot of capital projects. This will provide a good motive for strata councils to move ahead with these projects and perhaps propose them a little earlier than they would have."

Especially when owners can get some money back from the government.

For example, painting homes at the Parc Seville strata complex and putting on new roofs costs $12,000 per unit.

If the work had been done this year each owner would have received $1,350 dollars back from the government.

"I just wish it had been here when we did our renovations," says strata president Sophie Chenier. "But it is a good idea."

There is critical paper work you need to make your claim. All of the following details, if applicable, need to be included:

  • Who is doing the work
  • Their business address
  • GST number for the company
  • Description of the goods
  • Proof of payment
  • Date purchased
  • Date delivered

But that's not all.

"The CRA is also asking that the specific date the work is actually performed has to be in the paperwork so we are adding that in to our quotation," says Kevin Bergstresser.

Related: Full rules from CRA about homeowner tax credit

You have to get the work done by February 1st, 2010 to qualify.

And whether you are looking to cash in on the credit or not you want to hire the right contractor. Follow this link for more information.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Chris Olsen