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Top Ten Renos to Improve The Value of your Home

Posted by Peter McKinnon (peterlmckinnon) on Feb 22 2012
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Can't stand your dark, drab basement? Have the purple-and-olive tiles and porcelain in your bathroom seen better days? Maybe you've had enough of your old vinyl floor and tacky fittings in your cramped kitchen. But what do you tackle first?

It depends on your goals and plans. If you're thinking of selling your property soon for the highest possible price, your priorities are different than if you're planning to stay for a few years.

Here are ten worthwhile renos and the payback that you could expect at resell (seller's market).

1. Painting
If you're only going to do one thing, paint. Interior/exterior painting is one of the very few improvements on which you are likely to realize a profit-as long as you choose tasteful, current, neutral colours and the work is very professional. Payback: As much as 300%.

2. Kitchen remodeling
Typically one of the most expensive improvement projects, to avoid running up a huge bill, carefully plan and shop wisely. Take care to keep the project in line with the style and quality of the rest of the house; and be reasonable, don't install a $50,000 kitchen in a $200,000 house. Payback: 68-120%.

3. Bathroom addition
If most homes in your neighbourhood have two, three or more bathrooms, and yours has just one or one-and-a-half, you will definitely increase your property value by adding a bath. Payback: 80-130%.

4. Bathroom remodeling
Play it safe and choose white porcelain, it is the safe, timeless choice. Payback: 65-120%.

5. Finishing unfinished space
Finishing your attic or basement will add significant value to your home, increasing square footage without having to build. Payback: 50-90%.

6. Window/door replacement
Do it if your windows or doors are wasting energy or simply decrepit-looking. Stick to standard styles; odd shapes and highly customized arrangements do little for resale value. Payback: 50-90%.

7. Deck addition/improvement/expansion
Decks are one of the few exterior renos with any significant return, apart from painting. Payback: 65-90%.

8. Room additions
Increasing square footage is almost always an excellent use of remodeling dollars, but don't expand your home so much that there's little outdoor space left. Payback: 50-83%.

9. Home office remodeling
Plan for plenty of electrical and cable outlets to accommodate all the required machines and gadgets and don't skimp on lighting. Payback: 60-73%.

10. Energy efficiency upgrages
Retrofits, like insulation and high-efficiency furnaces, pay for themselves relatively quickly. Others, like solar panels, and tank-less water heaters, may take years to pay for themselves. Payback: Highly variable.

Two renos that don't pay off: swimming pools and excessive landscaping.

If you are thinking of taking on a larger project and require financing, please contact me.

Peter McKinnon



Last changed: Feb 21 2012 at 10:52 PM

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