By: the HGTV.ca Editorial Team
Can’t stand your scary, cobwebby basement one more minute? Is it past time to replace the pink-and-aqua tiles and porcelain in the master bath? Maybe you’re sick of the curling, chipped vinyl floor, the tacky cabinets, and cramped layout of your kitchen. Perhaps you’re trying to convince your partner that the siding is sad and stucco would be stupendous. But your partner wants to build a deck…
What are the best home improvement projects to undertake? It depends on your goals and plans. If you’re trying to sell your property soon for the highest possible price, your priorities are likely somewhat different than if you’re planning to stay for a few years and want to improve your family’s quality of life.
If you’re selling, focus on the renovations a buyer would be most likely to undertake, not those you’re most itching to do. You might dream of putting French doors and a Juliet balcony in the master bedroom, but if your kitchen is twenty-five years old—or even fifteen—you’re better off directing your home improvement dollars there. Buyers generally focus on kitchen and bathroom quality, along with overall living and storage space. Kitchen and bathroom remodelling projects are among the most disruptive undertakings, so buyers especially appreciate upgraded fixtures, appliances and décor in these rooms.
Here are ten worthwhile home improvement projects and the percentage of cost typically recouped at resale (in a seller’s market):
1. Painting – If you’re only going to do one thing, paint. Interior/exterior painting is one of the very few improvements on which you are likely to realize a profit—as long as you choose tasteful, current, neutral colours and the work is very professional. Payback: As much as 300%
2. Kitchen remodelling – Typically one of the most expensive improvement projects, and you can quickly run up a huge bill. Careful planning and shopping will help minimize costs here. When remodelling the kitchen, remember to keep the project in line with the style and quality of the rest of the house and neighbourhood. Just as there’s no point in putting a pricey granite countertop on dated-looking 1970s cabinets, there’s no point in installing a $50,000 kitchen in a $200,000 house. Payback: 68-120%.
3. Bathroom addition – If your home has only one bathroom and is meant to house more than two people, a bathroom addition should be one of your top priorities. If most homes in your neighbourhood have two, three or more bathrooms, and yours has just one or one-and-a-half, you will definitely increase your property value by adding a bath. Payback: 80-130%.