Remodeling tips

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While many factors influence the return you’ll get on a home improvement, these tips from the Appraisal Institute of Canada can steer you toward maximum value on your upgrades:
  1. Invest in modern updates in high-traffic areas. Update the core rooms of your home such as the kitchen and bathroom. This can be as simple as changing door knobs, resurfacing cabinets or replacing fixtures and countertops.
  2. Don’t underestimate the value of inexpensive updates. A fresh coat of paint, modern lighting fixtures, light landscaping or gardening or upgraded door handles can give your home an updated look and feel.
  3. Consider energy-efficient renovations that have a high return relative to cost. Energy-efficient renovations are considered one of the highest paybacks relative to cost. Energy efficiency translates into reduced operating costs over time.
  4. Be careful about over improvement. Consider your neighborhood and the expectations of buyers in your area when planning your next renovation project. Attend a few open houses at nearby homes for sale to see what’s on the market now. If you over improve, you won’t recoup what you spent on the project.
  5. Think about your personal needs. How much you spend on improvements will depend on how long you plan to live in your home. If you you’re thinking shorter-term, smaller and less expensive improvements may be your best bet.
  6. Be sure to get a building permit. Take the time to obtain the proper building permits from your municipality or appropriate authority. This is a good step to ensuring that the renovation work complies with the building codes.
  7. Hire a designer, architect or contractor. Talk to a professional when you start planning your renovation project. They can help you draw up a plan, provide renovation advice or assist in the construction. This will add to the quality of the renovation and go a long way in preventing cost overruns.
  8. Choose improvements with long life expectancy. Roofing, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and added insulation can keep you warm and dry for as long as 10 to 15 years. But remember, regular maintenance is as important as the initial investment.
  9. Consider unique features with care. Unique designs or improvements that are uncommon for a particular market may make it harder to sell your home when you’re ready to move.
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