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Upgrades That Add Value to Your Home

Posted on July 15, 2022 by Jivan Sanghera

If you are selling your house, you may be wondering which projects will add to the value of your home's sale price, and which aren't worth the expense and hassle. Alternately, you may be researching home improvement ideas for your forever home, choosing to spend money only on projects that add the most value.

Research shows not all improvement projects increase a home's value. If you aim to build or maintain the value of your home, be sure to balance the expense of the upgrade against the potential value increase.

Rewarding Renos

Although DIY projects save on labour costs, consider your own time investment as part of the overall cost.

Below are some cost-effective home improvements to add style, boost your home's curb appeal, and provide good return on investment (ROI) according to the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC).

Add Usable Space

An unfinished basement means potential space is being wasted. Finishing a basement is complicated but worth the effort as it increases the usable square footage of a home, effectively giving you a larger house. Converting an unfinished space costs around $50 - $90/ft2 with a 75% ROI.

Energy Efficient and Environmentally-Friendly Upgrades

Soaring energy costs and rising interest in eco-friendly houses mean energy-efficient upgrades are more desirable than ever to potential buyers.

Projects improving energy efficiency are worthwhile, especially switching old windows to more insulated ones and replacing the front door with steel. You can expect a 50 - 100% ROI on these.

Adding a smart thermostat or smart home technology to minimize energy usage will boost your home's efficiency. Additionally, with 'green' renos, you may qualify for government incentives, which help to give you a 60% ROI.

Clever Kitchen Renos

A major renovation to your entire kitchen is costly, but a minor remodel still boosts your home's appeal without lots of effort. Simply replacing cabinet fronts and pulls is cheap and easy, but makes a big difference. Facelifts like these recoup a higher percentage than full overhauls. Remodels cost $20,000 - $50,000; minor upgrades sit at the lower end of the scale and yield a ​75 - 100% ROI.

Bathroom Boosts

Simple bathroom upgrades are effective, too. Replacing old light fixtures, faucets and knobs can refresh dated or cheap-looking bathrooms. Most fixtures can be upgraded for under $100 each, with a 75% ROI. Also, save money by reglazing the tub instead of replacing.

Flooring Fixes

Replacing worn carpeting and flooring with wood or laminate planks is another DIY project that has a strong impact.

Laminate flooring costs start at about $3 per square foot. It is appealing, and cheaper and tougher than hardwood floors.

Great Outdoors

A more usable yard increases space and home value, so decks and patios are in demand. Decks from cheaper materials like wood or composite cost roughly $20,000 with a 70% ROI. Including a fire pit can cost about $6,000, but stretches use of your outdoor space into winter and yields a 67% ROI.

A new garage door, or a stone veneer facelift, can provide a 92% ROI.

For very little money, though, you can upgrade your house dramatically through basic landscaping. Simple yard care, such as cutting and fertilizing the grass, controlling weeds, and trimming bushes, costs about $340 with a 539% ROI.


A simple, low cost job is adding a fresh coat of paint. Even little touch-ups or targeted painting of doors and trims is effective. If selling, neutral, lighter colours are recommended.

DIY interior painting costs $2 - $3/ft2. Painting exterior surfaces is a little more at $2 - $4/ft2, but is especially important to protect against mold and other damage. Painting has an excellent ROI of 50% to 100%.

Keep it Clean

An easy fix is deep cleaning to improve the overall look of your home's exterior and interior, breathing new life into your home's appearance.

Power wash exterior surfaces to remove dirt and mold and spruce them up. For just $300, power washing may add $4,000 to resale value.

Assess for Biggest Impact

When deciding on what projects to start with, assess your house for what would make the most impact; a real estate agent can help you with this. Focus on your most dated or worn areas first. If an upgrade adds convenience or refreshes a shabby space, it is likely a safe bet.

Upgrades matching your neighbourhood's profile are most impactful. Big expenditures on fancier items that are significantly more luxurious than commonly found in the area will not add as much value as upgrades to catch up with neighbourhood standards.

Financing Home Improvements

Real estate agents can help you choose which upgrades significantly add to house value.

Consider taking out a home equity loan to complete needed projects, whether you are selling or staying in your home. Circle Mortgage Group has the best home equity loans; they can help you get a great rate so you can tackle these projects. Improve your home today and get an excellent return on your investment.

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