Get the biggest bang for your renovation buck

Maximize your home improvement budget and reap the reward.

Get the most out of your renovation dollar by knowing exactly what you want to accomplish. If you’re renovating so your home can fetch top dollar when you sell it, your priorities will be different than if you’re improving your home for your long-term use.

Whether you’re sticking around for the long haul or fixing up your home to sell it, these tips will help you get the most out of every cent.

If you’re looking to sell: 

  • Be strategic. Updates to your kitchen and bathrooms bring some of the highest returns when it comes time to sell. Adding living space by finishing an unfinished basement is another great renovation investment. The things that’ll boost your home’s value the most are those things buyers can see. You’re best not to focus on the fundamentals like your roof, windows and foundation – even though these are absolutely important they’re not going to grab a buyer’s eye.
  • Not everyone shares your tastes, so avoid renovations that make strong statements. Whoever buys your home will want to make it their own – by leaving them a blank canvas, you make that as easy as possible. It’s expensive for you and the buyer if they need to make changes to things you just renovated.
  • Don’t go overboard. Renovations can add to the value of your home, no question, but there are limits. Your home’s age, size and location all play a part in determining its value, and they put a cap on the value boost you’ll get out of renovations. For one example, you should keep the costs of a kitchen renovation below 10-15% of your home’s total value.
  • Renovations depreciate over time. Things get worn as they get used, so the closer you can do your renovations to the date your home sells, the better. Of course, if you do your renovations earlier you’ll have some time to enjoy them yourself.

If you’re looking to stay: 

  • Focus on the fundamentals. Windows, roof, furnace, foundation, insulation – these are the things that’ll guarantee the value of your home on the long term. Many of them will also improve your home’s energy efficiency, bringing down the monthly costs to keep your home running.
  • Make it your own. The renovations you’re making are for you and no one else, so make sure they fulfil your specific needs. Consider your needs today, but also try to imagine what they’ll look like in the future. You want your renovations to keep pace with you as much as possible.
  • Go with quality. High-end finishes can help guarantee your renovations will be in good shape for decades.
  • Go classic. Styles change over time – choose classic designs and you’ll be able to keep your renovations fresh and modern for years with minor tweaks and accessories.