Renovations offer a real opportunity to increase your home’s value — so long as the upgrades are strategic. In 2018, real estate brokerage Royal LePage released a study outlining which renovations will give you the most bang for your buck when you list your home to sell. Kitchens topped the list, offering the biggest return on investment, with bathrooms and finished basements tying for second place. Energy efficient upgrades and interior painting also ranked in the top ten.
We sourced expert tips for maximizing the ROI of your renovation at Improve Canada — the largest home improvement centre in Canada. Conveniently located two stop lights north of Toronto in Vaughan, Improve Canada offers a one-stop shopping experience for all of your renovation needs. There are over 350 showrooms under one roof, with businesses that specialize in every project on Royal LePage’s home improvement list — from bathroom, kitchen and basement remodels to landscaping and energy-saving solutions for your home.
Here, we asked home renovation experts Fredi Fazzi (the owner of Remodel Canada located within Improve Canada at showroom 205) and Mark Dayter from Moose Basements (located at showroom 113 and 161) to share their top tips for boosting your home’s value when you renovate.
1. Invest in the right renovations and reap the rewards.
You don’t have to tear down walls or build a brand new addition to yield big returns. Small upgrades in design and decor can increase the value. At minimum, prepare to invest $2,000 to $5,000 on home maintenance updates, painting, touch ups, cleanups and simple landscaping. Updating plumbing fixtures, old flooring, light fixtures and even door/cabinet hardware can drastically improve the look of a room. At Improve Canada, you can find all of this and more within their 350 showrooms. To ensure your visit is efficient, it’s best to schedule appointments on Improve Canada’s website via each of the showrooms’ profile page in advance since these local businesses can sometimes be out on a service call.
2. Give your kitchen a facelift.
A kitchen facelift is the best way to boost your property value — upwards of 12.5 percent, according to the Royal LePage Home Improvement Survey. To break it down, on a $700,000 house, that’s an $87,500 increase in property value. It’s no wonder then why kitchens are the largest category at Improve Canada, with 43 showrooms in the kitchen category alone.
“Homebuyers are looking for new floors, new cabinets, countertops, backsplash and lighting. It’s the whole picture,” says Fazzi. If you’re on a budget, there are many cosmetic fixes that will boost the kitchen’s appearance without breaking the bank. Dark wood cabinet doors can be taken down, sanded and painted a bright, light colour — either by yourself or a painting specialist on Fazzi’s team. Even replacing the hardware or adding a backsplash can do wonders to update the space.
Fazzi also recommends swapping old appliances for modern, stainless steel options. His showroom boasts the latest and greatest in appliances — think on-trend colourful finishes, advanced touch technology and fridges that come with a built-in camera, so you never have to wonder if you’ve run out of parmesan cheese at the grocery store.
For flooring, Fazzi recommends splurging on good quality hardwood throughout the main floor and installing tile for the kitchen and entryway. Remodel Canada carries one of the largest selections of carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl plank and more. In the event you can’t find what you’re looking for, there are 24 additional flooring showrooms located within Improve Canada.
3. Splurge on a bathroom remodel.
Bathroom remodels aren’t cheap, but they can increase your property value between 2.5 and 12.5 percent, according to Royal LePage. Today’s homebuyers want a modern freestanding tub, glass standing shower and good quality vanity. If you’re short on space, leave out the tub and install a luxurious, frameless glass walk-in shower. If you’re looking for advice on where to save and where to splurge in a bathroom remodel, check out these designer tips. With 21 showrooms in the bathroom category alone, it’s easy to compare prices and save money.
You might be a self-proclaimed shower person, but a future buyer may feel differently. “It’s always nice to have a beautiful shower, but if the final goal is to rent it out or sell it, young families with a kid will need at least one tub in the house,” says Dayter.
4. Extend your living space by finishing your basement.
Since property values in Toronto have skyrocketed and land in the city is scarce, many homeowners are looking below ground to expand their square footage and increase their property value. “When you finish your basement you’re adding an entire story to the house,” says Dayter. “You’re extending the square footage of the home, which makes it bigger and gives you more possibilities.”
According to the study, basement upgrades can increase your home value up to 10 percent, but if you’re planning to transform the unfinished basement into a rental unit, the ROI possibilities are much greater. “If you legally apply to have a kitchen and bathroom, your basement becomes a separate unit and your house will be considered a duplex,” says Dayter.
Save energy with the Nest Learning Thermostat available at Simply Smart within Improve Canada. Photo: utekappliances/Instagram
5. Invest in energy efficient upgrades.
Energy efficient upgrades have the potential to increase your property value up to 10 percent. This includes installing new windows, ensuring your house has proper insulation and investing in an energy-efficient heating system. “Having a smart thermostat is a good, energy efficient way to keep costs down, and cool and heat the house efficiently,” says Fazzi. You can find smart thermostats at Simply Smart (showroom 94 and 95) and My Smart Home (showroom 93) at Improve Canada.
Having proper insulation in your basement will help keep the remainder of the house cozy during Ontario’s harsh winters. “For the basement floors, you basically have two options: Fiberglass or spray foam,” says Dayter. Both go underneath concrete to prevent heat loss through the floor and provide a warmer, more comfortable landing to walk and live.
6. Brighten up with a fresh coat of paint.
Any realtor will tell you to paint before listing your home for sale. Remodel Canada is an authorized dealer for Para Paints, and they also supply Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams. “If you want to sell a house, the brighter the better,” says Fazzi. “Lighter colours like soft greys and creamy whites attract natural light and make the rooms look bigger. Stay away from accent walls, they can make your rooms look smaller.”
At Moose Basements, they have a basic basement renovation package that includes adding drywall, flooring, electrical and painting. When it comes to the wall colour, Dayter also suggests going with lighter colours (whites with a hint of blue or a hint or yellow), since less light can flood in underground.
Whether you’re renovating to list your home or you simply want to enjoy it more while you live there, start your journey at Improve Canada. With 320,000 square feet to cover and over 350 showrooms, you can get the home of your dreams (and reap the benefits of rising property values). Visit Improve Canada’s website and book appointments with the many showrooms to get started.