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11 Home Renovations to Increase the Value of Your Property (and 7 that Aren’t Worth it!)
Published on 29 June 2015 in BlogOttawa Real EstateOttawa Real Estate Market ReportOttawa Realtor by Jenn Chamberlain
Last updated on December 23rd, 2021 at 02:41 pm
Keeping your renovation budget down when you are planning to sell your home is extremely important. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and change up a few things, so how do you do that without breaking the bank?If you’re wondering what remodeling steps increase home value and which ones are better to avoid, we’ve got all the answers right here. Today, let’s explore in detail the top home renovations to boost value, a few extra goodies to consider, and what you should steer clear from if you value your savings – pun intended!
Steps and Renovations that Improve Home Value
A thorough cleaning can make a remarkable difference to how your home shows. Make sure you scrub from baseboards up to the crown mouldings. Those errant spider webs are sure to catch someone’s eye, and that is not what you want potential buyers to be captivated by. This is something that doesn’t have to cost a penny more than your time and basic supplies you likely already have around the house.
Make sure your carpets are clean and fresh. It is surprising how affordable new carpeting can be if your present ones are too off-putting. Most of the do-it-yourself stores have a service available where they install new carpeting in a very short period of time.
You may love that deep red accent wall in your living room, but it won’t appeal to everybody. The last thing you want is for your fabulous home to be struck off of someone’s list because they didn’t think they could live with the paint colour. A fresh coat of neutral paint will take care of that issue. It will lighten up your room and allow potential buyers to focus on the positives in your home.
When it comes to transforming any space, one of the best ways to do it instantly and affordably is by simply repainting it. By lighting up the colours on your walls and adding a fresh, clean coat, you can make rooms appear larger and brighter, and more modern, clean and welcoming. Even adding an accent colour to a feature wall can enhance your interior dramatically by creating a focal point and some character.
If your kitchen is looking a bit drab and could use some attention, you don’t necessarily have to splurge on an entire kitchen upgrade and stretch your budget thin. Instead, focus on the areas that tend to wear down fast, like the cabinets. Rather than replacing them, you can refinish them by cleaning, sanding, painting and replacing the handles with newer, modern ones. This is a perfect DIY job that can be done in the span of a weekend.In addition to the cabinetry, some other quick fixes that can drastically improve the look of your kitchen include adding a new backsplash and replacing the faucets with chic, modern looking ones.
Add New Light Fixtures
One key feature that can instantly enhance the kitchen or living room as well is a new light fixture. If your current one has been hanging there since the 90s or creates a dark and unwelcoming interior, consider replacing it. Adding a new light fixture can create a more dramatic accent, modernize your décor, and brighten your home, making it appear much more inviting.
Replace the Front Door
When’s the last time you replaced the front door? If your current one is cracked, chipped and looking noticeably weathered, it’s time to either refinish or replace it. As the most visible feature of your home, it affects your curb appeal significantly and can make or break first impressions when you place your home on the market. The last thing you want is to deter potential buyers with a bad impression before they even enter your home.
Improve Basic Landscaping
Speaking of visible features, how does your landscape look? Is your lawn patchy, burnt and unkempt? Remember, improving your home with small renos also extends to the exterior. Whether you have a small patch of grass, gravel or a simple patio, spending a little effort to spruce it up can make a world of difference for boosting the curb appeal and value of your home.
A fairly easy update to a kitchen is the door pulls. Your local do-it-yourself hardware stores have a wide variety of door handles and knobs in any number of finishes. Most cupboards have standard sizes, and that makes it very easy to swap out older models for something fresh and new.Is your kitchen faucet a little worse for the wear? If some elbow grease doesn’t bring back that almost-new shine, perhaps a new one will go a long way to updating the space. Also, appliances should be clean and sparkling. Potential buyers will open the dishwasher and the oven. Make sure they are not assaulted by a spillage or bad scent from last night’s pizza.
Make sure that the grout and caulking are clean and that the fixture sparkle. New faucets and even towel bars will make a big difference to the pickiest of potential buyers. If you do feel that it may need an update, be careful to not blow your budget as bathrooms can be money sinks if you’re not careful. Look for quick solutions that you can apply instead, such as adding a fresh coat of paint, and maybe a new vanity for the sink to give it a lift. You can buy a dual flush high-efficiency toilet for under $300, well worth the price if your old one has seen better days.
While not technically a renovation, a clean and decluttered home will help buyers envision their belongings in the interior spaces. Not only that, but it makes for a more welcoming environment, gives buyers the chance to consider the acoustics and natural lighting of each room without objects getting in the way, and much more. The more minimalist yet home-like a property is, the more likely a prospect will consider not only staying awhile to really explore it but also make an offer. Possibly!
Other Curb-Appeal-Friendly Considerations
Choosing Between Steel Doors or Wood
One high-yielding investment is a new door. This is the focal point of your home and having an attractive, low-cost upgrade can easily increase your resale value. When considering steel or wood, the former will bring you a much greater return. Steel is known for being both long-lasting and sturdy, but it’s also an excellent energy-efficient option and requires little to no maintenance, making it a superior choice.
How Energy Efficient Brands Can Attract Buyers
As energy bills soar, investors and homebuyers are looking for ways to cut back on energy usage and costs. Installing energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom will attract energy conscience shoppers. New windows can also be added to replace energy-squandering ones and to upgrade the look and design of your home. Look for Energy Star certified products that are guaranteed to cut bills down dramatically.
Why New Insulation Has the Highest Return
Not something most people spend a lot of time thinking about is the insulation in their homes. But if you don’t have quality insulation, you will be throwing money down the drain on heating and cooling costs. One of the best investments is fiberglass attic insulation, which often produces a return over 100% thanks to the low cost of installation and reduced costs to your energy bills.
Deciding On a Basement Remodel or New Addition
Your unused basement can really push up your home’s value with a simple remodel. New carpets and fresh paint, as already covered, can be easily added for a relatively painless cost. And if you finish your basement with an added bedroom or entertainment area, buyers will see it as the potential for rental income or an area for other children or family. A new addition is also an attractive option, but it takes a lot more money to add a whole new section to your home instead of upgrading it.
Consider Skylights in the Kitchen
Modern skylights are as dependable as high-quality vertical windows, and they admit much more natural light. Solar-powered, fresh-air skylights passively vent humidity and cooking fumes from the kitchen while bringing in light. Pair them with solar-powered designer blinds, and your skylights become not just more energy efficient, but more functional. This is possible since both are operated by a programmable remote control. As an added plus, solar-powered skylights, blinds, and installation costs are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements.
Things to Avoid
That being said, some value-boosting efforts cost more than what they are worth. Below are a few examples of what to avoid – instead, focus on more affordable approaches.
Extensive Bathroom Additions or Remodelling Jobs
This may come as a surprise since we are always told how important the bathroom is for reselling purposes, and there are steps you can take to improve its looks and functionality without going overboard (as discussed earlier).However, the cost comparisons for your overall investment and resale value simply do not make a bathroom renovation worth it much of the time. Stick to the more minor steps we covered earlier in this article to avoid overspending.
Master Suite Addition
Adding or upscaling a master suite has also proven to not be worth the hassle. Save your money and time by simply adding in a few new features that may modernize the space instead. For example, you can buy a wall-mounted electric fireplace for under $300 to add a touch of elegance to the space.
Adding a Deck
While it may seem like an appealing addition to you, the fact is that a deck is not a significant factor in the potential selling value of your home. So, unless it’s for your own benefit and use – which it isn’t if you plan on finding a new owner – save yourself the money. Don’t overlook the fact that lumber prices are currently sky-high; even buying materials for a simple pine bookshelf, let alone wood for a deck, can seriously gouge your wallet at the local Home Depot!
Let Looks Trump Practicality
Choosing an overall design or materials that look great and are fashionable, but that aren’t practical for your lifestyle, is a recipe for regrets. Whether it’s buying a refrigerator that’s too big for the scale of the room or opting for a countertop color that’s too unusual to be universally appealing, conceding practicality to appearance will make the kitchen harder to work in. Therefore, this will make it harder to sell down the road.
Pick Materials that are too Fragile
Just as you never pick a partner or a vehicle based on their looks alone, choosing materials based on beauty is doomed to disappoint. For example, recycled glass countertops can chip, scratch, or crack more easily than other options, and may not stand up to rigorous use. Limestone has a lovely, luminous look but is vulnerable to stains. Before you choose a material for its looks, find out its durability and weigh that against your tolerance for cleaning and repairs, as well as how brutal you’re likely to be on the surfaces in your kitchen.
Sacrifice Natural Light or Fresh Air
More than one renovator has chosen to “solve” the problem of too little cabinet or wall space by covering up a window. Not a smart move, especially when you consider the value of natural light and fresh air in a home. If you have no wall space to spare for windows, adding Energy Star-qualified, no-leak, fresh-air skylights like those from Velux America can solve the problem.
Cheap Out on Appliances
New appliances can be a large part of your home renovation budget when preparing it for sale, and the temptation to cut costs by buying cheaper products can be compelling. Yet, appliances for the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry spaces are among the most used in any home. When you consider how often you and the future homeowner will use them, how much wear and tear they’ll endure, and how great their impact is on the usability of the room, it makes sense to invest in the best appliances you can afford without buying anything too fancy. What’s more, if you choose cheaper models – or worse yet, keep old, inefficient appliances – you and future owners may miss out on the energy savings that new appliances can deliver. In regards to home buyers, they may be more tempted to make an offer if they don’t have to shell out for a modern fridge, stove, or washer-dryer combo!Looking to buy or sell your home this year in Ottawa? Or are you struggling to choose from the trending top home renovations to carry out? We’re here to help, as we know how important it is firsthand to make a great impression on prospective home buyers in the area! Our friendly and experienced team at Geoff & Bobbie McGowan is here to help guide you through the entire process with ease. Contact us today to get started – we look forward to hearing from you!