Is my renovation a good investment? 

Royal Lepage—Daniel Archibald
Is my renovation a good investment? 

That is a common question many homeowners will ask themselves at some point. The answer depends on numerous factors: the spaces being renovated, the quality of work, the legality of the renovations, the total costs, and the neighborhood.

The most valuable renovations to be done to a home (from a resale perspective) include the kitchen, bathrooms, painting, and updating décor (e.g. worn flooring, countertops, lighting and plumbing fixtures).

Typical recoverable values, when properly performed, for some common projects are: kitchen renovations (75-100%), bathroom renovations (60-100%), bathroom addition (65%), floors (50-150%), painting (60-100%), converting basements or attics to livable spaces (75%-85%), re-roofing (50-100%) and replacing doors and windows (50-75%). If renovations are not performed correctly (or legally) then these investments may never be recovered. That means it is important to find good quality contractors and obtain any necessary permitting.

A rule of thumb is that major kitchen renovations should not exceed 10%-15% of the home’s total value. For a $400,000 home that equates to 40-60k, (minor renovations or small kitchens should be less). Bathroom renovations should not exceed about 5% of the home value ($20,000 on a $400,000 home) per bathroom. Remember to keep your receipts for prospective homebuyers!

When looking for good reliable contractors, try the following tips: Use contractors that you or your friends know have done good work in the past (Realtors® can also help here), find members of trade organizations (e.g. Canadian Roofing Contractors Association, Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating, Ontario Electrical League), conduct interviews with prospective contractors, check out their references, and ensure they have any relevant permitting and insurance (e.g. lists licensed electrical contractors).  Also, get any contract you make in writing with a clearly defined payment schedule.

To ensure the legality of your project, a simple call to the local Permit Office will prevent any nasty surprises later on (for Cornwall call: 613-930-2787 ext. 2355).  As a rule, the replacement of existing worn out, non-structural home features will not require a building permit (windows, flooring, plumbing fixtures, roofing, HVAC).

Best of luck on your home renovations!


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