Which renovations give the best return on investment? The ones you plan for and implement correctly, on budget and in style. Having said that, the 5 things you should concentrate on are kitchens, baths, fixtures, flooring and basements. I can tell you without a doubt that buyers always comment on the quality of these items when looking at properties.
- Kitchens have the most significant impact on value. Modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting and new appliances can make a big difference in your sold price. To save on costs without compromising construction and desirability, prefabricated options, such as Ikea cabinets, can often take the place of custom cabinetry. Do it right, kitchens are the heart of any home. What cook worth their weight doesn’t like showing off? Holidays are spent here, not in the living room.
- A nicely updated bathroom is a place of comfort. With regard to value, bathrooms are the second most important spaces in a house. If you can add a second bathroom to a home with only one bathroom, you’ll notice a dramatic rise in the market value of your property. Adding a bathroom to a basement reno is always advisable. An additional tip for maximizing washroom space is to use glass for the shower, making the room feel more spacious.
- If your kitchen and bathrooms look tired and dated it may be old fixtures and counter tops making things sad. Upgrading these items is considerably less expensive than a full remodel. Stone has come down in cost over the last decade and is well worth the added expense compared to laminate or formica. Changing out your cabinet hardware, light fixtures and faucets at the same time will make your kitchen and baths pop and pay you real dividends.
- Flooring is a statement in its own right. It’s one of the most important features of your home. Carpet is passe and switching it out adds almost instant value. And nothing compares to the sheen and richness of wood, tile, or other high end products. The easy cleanup is a plus too. If you have existing hardwood, refinishing is often an option and looks great. There’s tons of choice for stain as well. In the kitchen or baths, tiled flooring is the go-to choice and retains value exceptionally well.
- A finished basement will also increase the ROI of your home. Building permits, proper insulation and a dry foundation are a must. Make sure you address any deficiencies before starting. Adding a bathroom is a good idea if you have the space. Basement bedrooms are perfect for growing families but you’ll need to meet requirements for egress in the event of a fire. You don’t need to break the bank on finishes but concentrate on making a usable livable space for people to enjoy.
Workmanship and style are equally important for a successful reno. If you are planning on tackling a kitchen, bath or flooring renovation on your own you’d better know what you are doing. If you are hiring a contractor, a thorough vetting is needed, as is a complete breakdown of costs. By all means get referrals and never ever pay everything up front.
Make sure to spend a lot of time online, at suppliers, and even consulting with designers. You want a look that is currently in vogue with the public. Believe it or not this might go against your tastes! Be careful choosing cabinet and flooring colours. Be contemporary. I have seen many houses with very heavy wall colours in one or more rooms. This is a turn off to much of the public. Soft neutral wall colours sell homes.
The final word? Always plan and design with a mind to get your house sold. Don’t go too crazy on the upgrades unless you are already in a high end neighbourhood. Make renovations appropriate for the area and add real value to your property without overspending.