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Home Renovation Blog

Renovations that Boost Your Home’s Value

The most important question every homeowner should consider is whether a renovation will pay off and boost the value of their home. Although you may not be planning to sell your home anytime soon, remodeling projects do add value to your home, improve your family’s quality of life and attract future buyers.  The payoff varies since some home improvements are determined from neighborhood to neighborhood and regionally as well.

You do not want to have an overblown renovation project that makes your home the most expensive house in the neighborhood. It’s important that the style, size, and quality of the renovation fit the rest of the house. If you plan on selling your home within the next five years, keep potential buyers in mind before you start on any major remodeling job.

So, what are the top-ranking home improvements?

Kitchen RENOVATION

Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is the single most important room in the house relating to valuation.  According to HGTV, kitchen and bathroom improvements increase the value of your house more than most renovations. It’s essential that you invest in a modern, fresh and desirable kitchen.  Modern cabinetry, under cabinet lighting, backsplash tiling, upgraded countertops, modern faucets and new appliances will all significantly increase the value of your home.

ROI is 75-100%

Bathroom

Similarly, bathroom renovations are the second most important room in the home in terms of return on investment. Today’s trends lean toward people remodeling the space into a spa-style bathroom. The bathroom can be one of the most expensive rooms in the house to renovate because the costs depend largely on the design, products, types of additions and accessories you want to add. In addition to the expensive elements involved, such as cabinetry, tile, and fixtures, there is the cost of hiring a professional contractor who is knowledgeable about design, plumbing, tiling and electrical work.

ROI is 75-100%

Alternative Renovations

There are other top-notch home improvements that add to a home’s value, such as replacing old elements like doors, windows, and siding. These improvements, in general, yield a better financial return on investment.

Front Entry

When a buyer or appraiser looks at your house, the first thing that catches their attention and focus is your front door. Upgrading your front entry can give your house the appearance of solidity and quality. This feature has a positive impact on their opinion of the home and increases its value. Adding French doors leading to the back yard or deck can also increase home value.

ROI is 96.6%

Windows

Windows are an expensive proposition, but if your windows no longer enhance the facade of your home, shield it from the elements or filter out noise, then it’s time to update them. Today’s windows are energy efficient and can help you save on heating and cooling costs. They can decrease your costs by up to 25% while improving the aesthetics of your home by complementing your home’s theme and design. They are relatively low maintenance and more durable than wood.

ROI is 80%

Siding

Although siding may not be glamorous, it is one of the best home improvements for adding value to your home. Here is your chance to make a great first impression by updating your old siding, or adding new, because the exterior look sets the tone of what potential buyers will find inside the house. Vinyl siding is an affordable solution to sprucing up the exterior of a tired looking home.

ROI is 92.8%

Competitive Market

In today’s competitive housing market, renovations offer a relatively affordable means to boost the value of a home. Whether the upgrades are do-it-yourself projects or professionally done renovations, remodeling will make a house not only more appealing to buyers but also offer a great return on investment.

See more of our home renovation blogs and optimize your return on investment.

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Lower Your Monthly Bills With Energy Efficient Homes

Our houses provide shelter, protection and a place to call home. All this comes with a price. One that is often higher than it has to be. Energy efficiency in our homes can be achieved. Finding ways to make our homes more energy efficient will make living in our homes even more enjoyable.

Windows

Windows are often the first go to when it comes to energy efficiency. You could be losing loads of heat in the winter and letting in a lot of heat in the summer if your windows aren’t doing their job. Today’s vinyl windows with triple glass are more efficient than ever. If you haven’t already invested in new windows, you can be assured that making this investment will ultimately save you money for years to come. Add in the extra bonus of government funded rebate programs and new windows make a whole lot of sense. If new windows aren’t in the budget, consider caulking or wrapping those old windows. This can go along way in making those inefficient windows, perform a little better until a more permanent solution can be made.

Doors

Often the number of doors in a house will greatly determine how much they can affect the electricity and gas bills. Make sure your doors close properly and provide a good seal. You’d be surprised how much heat is lost to no longer form a proper seal when closed. If new doors are in your future, consider fiberglass. They insulate a lot better and feel just like their steel counterpart. Adding a screen door can cut down on the loss of heat as well.

Furnace and Air Conditioner

Today’s furnaces and air conditioners are highly efficiencient. If you are in the market for a new heating or cooling unit, these newer models will definitely lower your bills. In lieu of making a large purchase to make your home more efficient, take good care of the furnace and air conditioner you do have. Schedule an appointment with the professional on an annual basis to have these units cleaned, inspected and tuned – up. This alone can greatly improve the efficiency of your house. Also, keep your air ducts clean. A dirty air system will restrict flow and make your furnace and air conditioner work harder.

Solar

Many of today’s homes incorporate solar. A little solar will go along way in providing higher efficiency for your house. Solar energy can be installed on the roof and provide energy all year long. With a battery, excess energy can be stored and used later, when needed. Solar energy has become a reality for many homeowners as the price of installation comes down. 

Light Bulbs

Replacing those old bulbs with LED or any other high-efficiency bulbs can save a whole lot of money. Try replacing them all at once and compare electrical bills before and after. You will be delighted with the energy you have saved. This investment is a small one. It’s also an easy way to make your home energy efficient.

Making and keeping your home energy efficient might look like a combination of solutions. Find the ones that fit your budget and mades the most sense for you and your home.

Check out some other money saving tips in our blog section.

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6 Top Home Repairs to Make Before Listing Your Home

If you're thinking of selling your house, you’ll want to make sure that it’s in tip-top shape to attract buyers. In addition to a thorough cleaning or staging, fixing minor problems, making repairs or upgrades, will help you polish your home’s overall look and appeal. You want to make a good first impression for potential buyers so they will see the good qualities of your home as opposed to its flaws, just make sure to avoid the most common home renovation mistakes

Most real estate agents will tell you that buyers are usually interested in a property that they can move into immediately. If your home looks like it’s in need of obvious repairs or upgrades to operate optimally and efficiently, they will look elsewhere. If your home is up-to-snuff and shows signs of consistent maintenance and loving care, this appearance improves your property’s value and increases the chances of a quick sale. Your home will be more attractive to prospective buyers and potentially lead to a higher net profit.

Here are some of the most common repairs before you list your home.

A Fresh Coat of Paint:

This is a relatively cheap and easy way to spruce up the inside or outside of your home. Painting not only freshens up the look, it can help hide other problems, such as water marks or smoke stains. Make sure to repair any nail holes in the walls ahead of time and use light-coloured, neutral tones. These lighter colours appeal to the widest range of potential buyers and help make rooms appear more spacious.

Flooring:

  • In today’s real estate market, wood floors are a major draw for buyers. Having wood floors in your home can add an average of 6 percent to the selling price of a home. If there are any scratches on your floors, give them a facelift with any of the numerous products on the market to hide markings.
  • If you have carpet over your wood floors, it’s worth the effort to remove the carpeting and spruce up the wood flooring.
  • If you have carpeting, have it cleaned by a professional company and pay close attention to removing any stains, (pet or otherwise) that will detract from your home.

Lighting:

Lighting is an effective way to show off your home.  It can create an ambient atmosphere that welcomes prospective buyers, so turn all the lights on to show how bright and airy it can be. However, make sure that all of your lights are working properly and replace any expired light bulbs. For displaying your home in its best possible light, install light bulbs with a higher wattage in dim areas of the home to make them look more inviting.

The Kitchen:

The kitchen is the heart of the home so you want to showcase it in its best possible condition.  Make any necessary repairs, like fixing drawers, cabinets, damaged laminate on the countertop, chips, hinges, leaking faucets and replacing old sinks with new. If your countertops are old and seen better days, consider replacing them with something trendy, like granite.

Bathrooms:

Bathrooms are big attractions for possible buyers and where family members spend a lot of time. It’s important that everything in this space is working properly, so replace or repair, old leaky faucets or even consider replacing with something more contemporary. Replace the grouting around the tub, shower, sinks or toilets if necessary. If you have tile in the room, repair any damaged or chipped pieces on the floor, wall, ceiling or other surfaces.

The Exterior:

This is where first impressions are made, so take a good, hard look at your exterior to boost your curb appeal.

  • Repair any cracks in the driveway or sidewalk in front of your home.
  • Repair fences and consider repainting them or replacing them if necessary.
  • Make sure all door knobs and locks are working properly and do not appear rusty.
  • Plant fresh flowers for a colourful, visual appeal.
  • Roof repairs should be taken care immediately, particularly before inspection time when you get an offer to buy.

Final:

By making any necessary repairs or replacements either inside or outside, you have a much better chance of closing the deal and getting good market value for your home.

Check out the rest of our blogs for more home improvement tips!

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Top 10 Home Renovation Mistakes

Completing renovations on your home can be really exciting: you get to pick out new fixtures and appliances, new paint colours and potentially all new furniture. In order to get the maximum return on your investment, it’s important to make sure you avoid these 10 home renovation mistakes.

Incorrectly Measuring for Cabinets

This is one of the most common mistakes made: people order new cabinets and have them installed only to realize the appliances they also ordered don’t fit where they should. To avoid this, you should print out the specifications for the appliances you have ordered, or are going to use, and bring them with you when ordering cabinets. The company or contractor can ensure everything will fit as it should.

Going with the Lowest Priced Contractor

The lowest quote you receive doesn’t mean the work will be comparable with the highest bidding contractor; this is an area you shouldn’t cut corners on especially if it includes plumbing or electrical. Choose the best you can within your budget.

Underestimating your Budget

There will almost always be surprises, especially if you’re completing major renovations or completely overhauling a room. It’s important to keep a contingency for that situation.

Being Dead Set on Granite Counters

It is a popular option, but don’t forget that it isn’t the only option. By selecting a different material you might be able to save some money in this area and still achieve your desired end result.

Not Changing a Room’s Layout

Moving appliances and fixtures isn’t as much work as you might think. Don’t live with an awkward set up you don’t like - move the toilet, sink or shower and make it work for you.

Picking the Wrong Floors

Most people assume they want hardwood floors but that doesn’t mean they will suit your lifestyle. Make sure you select the type of flooring that’s right for you; hardwood is popular but that doesn’t mean it’s best for you.

Choosing a Kitchen that is Too Trendy

Renovations are pricey, and the bolder your design, the more quickly it will be out of style. The kitchen is an expensive area to change up every couple years when something new comes in, so keep that in mind when selecting finishes and appliances.

Cutting Corners on Things you can’t see

If you’re renovating a bathroom, things like a floor membrane to keep tiles from popping are a great investment, but they aren’t cheap. This kind of investment can guarantee you don’t have problems with mold down the road so keep in mind that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t important.

Forgetting about the Drain in the Laundry Room

Technically, by code, the laundry room has to have a drain. If the hose ever breaks or slips, you could flood your entire house. This one drain, which hooks into your home’s main drain system, will help avoid that. This, though, will need a plumber to make sure all of the water exits the house and doesn’t end up coming up through another faucet.

Ordering just Enough Flooring

It’s highly recommended to order 20% extra of your flooring material just in case you measure incorrectly or if there’s some waste. Flooring can get expensive so many people will order just enough to get them by. While companies usually carry regular inventory there’s always a chance you won’t be able to get your exact flooring should you need more. When placing the order, include the extra; you won’t regret it. 

Now that you know what NOT to do, check out our blog section and read up on what the pro home renovators recommend doing.

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