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Published June 27, 2023
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4 Renovations That Boost Home Value (And How to Do Them for Less)

Updating your kitchen, bathroom, windows and front door can positively impact home value. Here are tips for renovating on the cheap.

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For many Canadians, a home is the single most valuable asset they’ll ever own, so it’s no wonder that knowing how to retain — and better yet, increase — its value is a key priority. 

According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, updating your kitchen, bathrooms, windows and doors are the renovations that most significantly improve the home appraisal

Understanding why a specific improvement impacts a property’s value — and how to make those improvements for less — can help you grow wealth while also creating a home you love.

1. Kitchen remodel

Why it adds value

A kitchen renovation has the potential to improve home value by 20%, according to a 2022 report by Royal LePage

Kitchens, often referred to as the heart of the home, are where families spend a lot of time eating, entertaining and preparing meals. Renovating this area can have a big influence on not only the market value of your property, but also on the overall enjoyment of the home. 

How to do it for less 

Unfortunately, as one of the most important rooms of the home, the kitchen can also be the most expensive, lengthy and complicated to renovate. After all, it’s an area that can have plumbing, electrical and HVAC issues to navigate, as well as finishings and appliances to consider. If you’re not keen on the idea of taking out a second mortgage, there are ways to curb kitchen remodel costs while still improving appeal.

Paint. Never underestimate the transformational power a fresh coat of paint can have on the walls, ceiling and baseboards of your kitchen. The right colour not only has the potential to change the mood or cozy factor of a space, but can also erase years of wear and tear. 

Refinish cabinets or install new hardware. A new coat of paint or stain can breathe new life into your cabinets, as well. Rather than getting new cabinets, which are usually the most expensive part of a kitchen reno, you can opt to have the existing cabinets refinished by a pro for less.

If you like the colour of your cabinets, simply adding new cabinet hardware — handles, knobs or pulls — can freshen up a kitchen’s look without the investment of much time or money. 

Choose a modern light fixture. For a few hundred dollars, you may be able to add a bold light fixture that can act as your kitchen’s statement piece — instantly elevating the space with minimal cost and effort to install. 

2. Bathroom remodel

Why it adds value

Bathrooms are integral to the function and comfort of any home. Updated bathrooms can boost the overall value of a house by as much as 16%, according to the Royal LePage report.

How to do it for less

A bathroom remodel can cost tens of thousands of dollars on average, depending on the size and level of finish. You could finance your reno with a home equity line of credit, but there are also ways to give your powder room a new look on the cheap. 

Paint. As with a kitchen — and really, any house in your home — a new coat of paint offers an instant refresh, especially if you move from a neutral or dated palette to a more modern hue.

Install beadboard or wainscoting. When installed along the lower sections of a bathroom, beadboard or wainscotting can elegantly enhance empty walls. Convenient, affordable options include pre-made beadboard and peel-and-stick wainscoting.

Replace faucets. Installing new sink, shower or bathtub fixtures is an easy way to upgrade your bathroom. It’s also a project most homeowners can tackle on their own, with the help of a few online tutorials. 

Regrout tile. Like outdated faucets, missing or mouldy grout can reveal a bathroom’s age. Regrouting can give a newer look to your bathroom. If your grout is still in good condition, you can simply whiten the grout with some bleach and elbow grease instead of replacing it.

3. Window installation

Why it adds value

With Canada’s cold winters and hot summers, windows are a coveted upgrade option because they not only enhance a house’s appearance, but can also significantly improve its energy efficiency. According to the Royal LePage report, window replacements can increase the value of a home by 13%.

How to do it for less

While buying top-of-the line, certified energy-efficient windows would be ideal, it would also be costly. Plus, there are ways to improve your windows while honouring a more modest budget. 

Upgrade hardware. Installing new latches, hinges or cranks, which help windows maintain a better seal when closed, could reduce energy loss.

Weatherproofing. Applying additional caulk or weatherstripping to seal gaps around a window is an inexpensive way to improve their performance. Before you start, remove any existing caulking to ensure proper adhesion. When selecting weatherstripping, speak to an expert at your hardware store about what to buy. There’s a range of products available, and you’ll want to choose the best one for the type of windows you have. 

Film or window treatments. Applying a protective film that can help block the sun’s rays and insulate against cold weather is a good way to upgrade your existing windows. Insulated blinds or curtains can also update a room’s look while improving energy efficiency.

4. Door installation

Why it adds value

As the focal point of a home’s exterior, a front door can have a major impact on the curb appeal of a property. Making your door look attractive and ensuring it’s in good repair can help create a positive first impression for visitors — and future buyers.

How to do it for less

Paint. Once again, paint is a winner when it comes to an economical way to update the look of your home. A bold pop of colour for your front door can make your home more eye-catching, while fresh coats of paint on your interior doors can make your entryway feel new again.”

Accessorize. New hardware like door handles or a cute door knocker can increase the appeal of a property. You can also hang up a seasonal wreath or add big, attractive planters on either side of the front door.

Customize. Use moulding or plywood to create a custom look. For example, you can enhance your flat doors by incorporating molding or trim to make them look more sophisticated. You can also give a plain door an expensive paneled look by attaching strips of plywood with a nail gun.


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