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Best Home Improvements for Return on Investment

July 16, 2019
3 mins
A dad tries to vacuum while his two toddlers "help"

Home renovations can be a personal project to make your living space more to your liking. But they also add a great deal of value if you plan to put your home on the market. Experts in real estate and property appraisals offer insight into what kinds of renos give you the largest return on investment. While every little bit helps, some bring you more cash back than others.

1. Update the Kitchen

The kitchen is often the centrepiece of the home. It's a social spot, where families and close friends gather. For that reason, even aesthetic changes to the kitchen can bring back 75 to 100 percent ROI. That figure is from CIBC, quoting the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC)'s calculations. Redo the countertops, put in stainless steel appliances, lighting and fixtures to impress potential buyers. To demonstrate even more value, consider energy-efficient appliances and lighting.

2. Deck Out the Landscaping

Curb appeal is a big selling point for real estate agents. After all, everyone wants to be proud of the home they live in -- and most neighbours will only ever see it from the outside. So consider updating walkways, re-sodding grass, planting attractive and easy-to-maintain gardens, and putting rocks and other clean or natural barriers around trees. It can give you an ROI of about 100 percent of what you spend, and often comes at a modest cost of a few thousand dollars.

3. Remodel the Bathroom

Bathroom remodels often go hand-in-hand with the kitchen renovations. These also give a 75 to 100 percent ROI according to AIC. Again, aesthetics are important. It may mean a simple, modern look with faucets and showerheads. It may not mean replacing the larger items like the bathtub or shower, although that's a good idea too if they are noticeably outdated. One thing is certain with buyers: they don't want to have a hint that wear and tear they will have to repair is hiding under a quick coat of paint.

4. Redo the Floors

When was the last time you cleaned your carpet? While it might provide warmth in the winter, those fabric floors are tough to clean. They also send buyers in the other direction., notes that hardwood floors can bring you 100 to 150 percent ROI. That depends on how well you install the new element, of course. If you do the job yourself, it's essential there are no gaps in planks or any risk of the flooring becoming prematurely worn. Hiring an expert might help you get the best resale value and a happy next owner of your home.

5. "Bones" and Extras

Remember that note about potential buyers not wanting to foresee any extensive renovations? That's one reason why the "bones" of your home are so important. The "bones" are the roof and windows, which should be up-to-date and functioning properly. If they are bringing in moisture, it's likely a buyer will turn the other way quickly. Also, consider adding some extra aesthetic touches. A fresh coat of paint can bring you a 60 percent ROI and makes your home look newer and more inviting.

Check Out Your Financing Options

Ready to do some renos? You have more options for financing than you think. Before you set your budget, shop for the best line of credit products at RATESDOTCA. Then decide if you want to hire an expert to do the job, or put your DIY skills to the test.


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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