We all know the value kitchen and bathroom remodels add to your home, but you may be surprised by some of the other renovation projects that make our top-5 list of value-adding renovations.
Bear in mind, this is a general list for the majority of homes. But increasing value from renovations also depends a lot on the site itself. The age, condition, past upgrades (good OR bad!), location, space and layout will all impact what changes will really give you the most value for your unique home.
It’s always helpful to consult with a professional before making any big decisions so you can get the best bang for your buck.
Know Your Goals
The Appraisal Institute of Canada cites payback on renovations is measured in 3 ways:
1. The value of increasing the selling price of your property
2. The value of enjoying the renovated space
3. The value of maintaining the worth of your property
It’s important to know which of these is your primary goal for upgrading your home because that will determine which renovations are best to tackle and what kinds of choices are made for materials and overall aesthetic.
If you are renovating with the goal of enjoying the renovated space for yourself, you can choose projects and colours according to your own personal tastes. For example, a personalized collector’s room for your favorite sports team is great if you are a fan who would enjoy spending lots of time in that room.
But it isn’t the kind of renovation you want to do if you are simply trying to sell your home, because it would require your buyer to share the same passion. On the other hand, if you are happy with your home but want to ensure the value is maintained, you’ll want to choose projects that extend the life of the home such as window, roof or utility upgrades.
On that note, our list starts with window upgrades as a top way to add value to your home.
While new windows provide the obvious benefit of cost-savings on your heating and cooling bills, new windows also greatly increase the value of your home. In fact, replacing all your windows can get you over 70% return on investment if you plan to sell, bearing they are high quality and aesthetically pleasing.
As mentioned before, new windows are still a good investment to make even if you aren’t planning to sell, as they help maintain the value of your aging home and over time will allow you to recoup the cost of installation through savings on your heating and cooling bill.
People often focus so much on interior renovations that they forget the opportunity of upgrading the outdoor area of their home brings. But beware – renovating or adding new outdoor structures to your home vary greatly in how much return value they add, so renovate your outdoor space according to your goals.
If you are wanting to sell, the addition or renovation of a deck, fence, or sunroom tends to add value to the home sale price. But the addition of a pool yields very little return on investment once you factor in the costs of maintaining it.
This depends greatly on the current condition of your home exterior, but if your exterior is damaged, faded, stuccoed, or has ugly paint colours, this is an improvement you should prioritize because it can add huge value to your home by way of curb appeal.
Siding also has the added benefit of improving weather resistance and helping to regulate the temperature of your home throughout the year. Don’t have the budget for new siding? The Appraisal Institute of Canada says that exterior painting brings one of the highest returns on investment when renovating. So, if you are upgrading to increase the value to sell your home, exterior paint is a good alternative to siding.
One of our favorites – and our specialty! No matter what the style of your home is, a functional and modern basement adds a ton of value.
You may be tempted to DIY this project – please don’t unless you are an experienced and skilled handy person. Basements are tricky business because they are more susceptible to moisture and require proper insulation and ventilation before starting on aesthetic upgrades.
For old basements it’s often required to also upgrade electrical and plumbing systems, so the space becomes truly functional. Simply slapping on a new coat of paint and replacing the flooring isn’t sufficient if these items haven’t been folded into the project first.
Attic or add-on
Similar to the benefit of a basement renovation, expanding your functional living space adds great value to your home whether you are trying to increase the value for selling or are just wanting to enjoy the value of the renovated space yourself.
An attic provides a built-in option to consider if there is enough ceiling height. If you want to transform your attic into a bedroom, office or additional family space it’s important to consult with a professional
contractor and/or interior designer who can map out the space for best access, layout and energy efficiency.
If any of those things are done incorrectly you’ve just spent a lot of money on something that will likely turn away buyers rather than attract them.