What Reno’s will you see a return on?

What are the best renovations for Resale Value?

You may be planning to move and want to increase the value of your home. Or perhaps you’d like to renovate your home, and stay for another few years before you make a move. There are many valid reasons to want to renovate your home, and whether you stay in it or not, you want to make renovations that eventually pay off!



There are renovations that you make, that when you go to sell, might not reap as much return as you put into it. You’ve come to a good place to do your homework.

Typically, if you are going to make any structural or large scale renovations, I advise to keep your money and spend it on your new home so you can actually enjoy your personal customization. If you do decide to do some finishings to increase the resale value of your property, below are some tips on how to make it worth your time and money.

Remember: If you are renovating to ‘flip’ or to renovate and sell, use quality materials, but find the least ornate options and do the simplest form of renovation that you can do. Always consult a professional (for quality work and proper permit advice).


  • Do look into

         Finishing your Basement

You create extra square footage and living space. Second kitchens, a bathroom and a walk out is a bonus. Finishing          other extra living spaces like attics and outdoor spaces are also valuable, if only for storage. Consult a                                  professional on what structural changes you should and shouldn’t make, it could cost you even more to remediate            your DIY project.

  • Repurpose Spaces

Can an unused bedroom become a dining room? Attic an organized storage space?

  • We’ve all heard that its usually worth it to

          Renovate your Kitchen

If your existing kitchen just needs some sprucing up, add some new handles to your cabinets, paint the room and            get new stainless steel appliances (you can find good 3 appliance packages, or talk to me about my Brick                            discount!). Alternatively you can create a ‘smart kitchen’ and add energy efficient appliances, slow close cabinets,            pull out garbage can/recycling, and of course nice flooring, backsplash and maybe even granite, if your area                     demands it.

  •  Replace your old carpet.

Choose a hypo allergenic carpet, or go with high end laminate or hardwood.

  •  Repaint

Cheap and cheerful, this option is sure to brighten up your living space and create a fresh sanctuary of enjoyment.

  • Fixture Upgrades

Another low cost idea that goes a long way! Think towel racks, door knobs, plumbing & cabinets.

  • Add Storage

Whether its a pantry, walk in closet, wall bench or chest, we seem to always be able to fill the space! Growing                    family will love this feature, especially if theres a mud room with some sneaky storage options.

  • Bathroom

renovations usually always see good returns on their investment, just don’t go overboard on the upgrades if you’re          doing it to flip.

  • New windows

usually always prove to show good return on your investment, and will benefit you when you still live there, by                 saving on your utility bills! Fancy shapes won’t necessarily add better resale value.

  • Curb Appeal

“It’s the first impression your Buyers get and the last thing they see before they leave”. Make a lasting impression            by keeping a tidy exterior, cut grass, nice landscaping, or even a new roof or siding if they are in bad shape.


  • You might want to build an epic

          Man Cave

so you build a big shed outback. There are Buyers that might find it annoying to trudge back and forth from the                house to use the bathroom, or they may find it too cold in the winter, and choose a house with an attached                        garage. It likely costs ten’s of thousands of dollar’s to build an outdoor shed/garage, and you probably won’t                      obtain the full investment amount of that when selling, especially if you added high end finishes like having brick            exterior, adding built in shelves, having automatic openers, and heated floors with stain resistant epoxy. Even if              you’re ‘handy’, you must be careful to obtain the right permits, especially when you plan on adding a fireplace or              manual heating system.  When you buy your next ‘Dream Home’, build your ‘Dream Man Cave’ (<That doesn’t                  sound very manly does it?)

  • Forget about the

           Luxury home office

If you are downsizing because your house is too big, its likely that you already turned an extra bedroom into an                office. That’s fine unless you included floor to ceiling hardwood built in wall units and high grade hardwood or                carpet.  For the thousands of dollars you spend on the office, spend it at a cafe and use their free wifi instead.

  • Finishing your basement

usually adds enough value to your home to see a return on it, but do not…DO NOT finish your basement if you                  have had water damage! Your new finishings could be affected by moisture and lead to mould, mildew and                    water damage to your floors, walls, furniture and electronics.  Have a professional inspect your basement if you                are planning to DIY, and get someone in there to quote you anyway. Professional renovators have an eye for the              good, bad and the ugly!

  • Don’t choose pretty over impractical

That floating vanity looks marvellous! But, where are you going to stash your TP and toiletries? Families need                   utility. Whether it’s your bathroom, kitchen, or any other room that is highly utilized, ensure that you have proper           storage space.

  • Skip the


MOST OF THE TIME. Sure, it creates extra living space and is great when comparing to other properties that                    don’t have as much square footage BUT if you add high end finishings like low-e windows, automatic shades, steel          roof and top of the line tile flooring, you just spent as much as you would finishing your basement, not to mention          the permit costs! It takes a professional to add an extra living space with the proper wiring and winterizing, so ask          me if this investment would add value in your specific neighbourhood!

  • If you’re already tight for space,

         Don’t add unconventional kitchen items

like warming trays in the oven or wine fridges. They will take up extra space and realistically don’t get used as                  much as initially thought.

  • Take it easy on the

          Master Bathroom

If you already have a master bath, great! If you are thinking of making an addition to add one, I would be                          hesitant (Unless it is on the main floor). I may be guilty of having a lush bathroom, and so should you if you             are planning to stay in your house for a while and enjoy it! But if you have an existing master bathroom and are               looking to upgrade it before you sell, don’t make it fit for the queen. Bypass the marble from floor to ceiling,                       the all glass shower with full spray jets as well having as a customized, jetted tub, heated floor and heated towel               racks. There is benefit to upgrading your master bath, but be sure to use modest, yet quality finishings.

  • Don’t Over- Renovate!

Marble floors can prove strikingly gorgeous, but save some dough and go with the ceramic, it’s good enough!  Yes,             stainless steel appliances add value to your home if you are ‘including’ them in the purchase price. But don’t buy               the $6,000 over the $2,000, especially if you don’t live in an ‘upscale’ neighbourhood.

Take Aways

  • Think about the investment and what you’re trying to achieve
  • Talk to professionals! Speak with your local Realtor to tell you if your area boasts those kinds of renovation returns, and consult specialized professionals to provide quotes and advice for your particular space
  • Again, if its anything major, leave the reno and take the money and run! Put it into your new house to create a space that you can enjoy for years to come

Remember that every market and neighbourhood is different; in one area granite is mandatory, and in another it wouldn’t even reap 50% of your investment value. This is why speaking with your local professional who knows the market is necessary! 


If you are thinking of a renovation, use this formula to determine how much the unfinished space will add to your home value:

Divide your home value by finished square footage. Now multiply the result (dollar per finished sq. ft) by the number of square feet you’re having finished. 

Is it worth it?

 hope this provided you with a better sense of where to put your money. The best way to get an idea of how much your house would be worth before or after renovations, contact me for a free home evaluation.


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