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Home Renovation Blog

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.


  • 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 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 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.


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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Home renovations that increase the value of your home

The real estate market has never been hotter in so many areas across the GTA. Competition can be stiff, and a few home improvements can make or break the sale of your home. The right home renovations can increase the value of your home and knowing which home renovations will give you the biggest bang for your buck, is key.

Why Renovate?

Certainly, making home improvements can be for your own enjoyment but when it comes time to sell, whether that be in five years or twenty-five, it's a bonus if those same renovations can add value to your home and increase its saleability. The right home renovation can set your house apart from other comparable homes in your neighbourhood.

Is It Worth Putting The Effort In?

Kitchen renovations remain your biggest investment. While a kitchen reno doesn't come cheap, you can expect to see a rate of return when it comes time to sell in the range of 75-100%. Providing a house for sale in a market where top quality renovations are the standard, will increase the chances of selling that home faster.

Should You renovate The Bathroom?

Bathrooms come in a close second when it comes to the rate of return. Again, this is another reno that your average home buyer doesn't want to have to tackle after purchase. Along with a great rate of return, a bathroom renovation will see your home spend less time on the market.

What's Trending In Modern Homes?

Flooring and fixtures are the new trends in high-end renovations that will increase the value of your home. Natural floors, such as hardwood and bamboo continue to be leaders in the flooring market. Fixtures are considered décor items and trends in fixtures change often. Providing a home on the real estate market that is on trend with fixtures will gain more interest and ultimately sell more quickly, at a higher asking price. Both flooring renovations and fixture renovations will provide a 60-75% rate of return.

Does your home have an income?

Both income suites and solar add cold hard cash to the homeowner and ultimately the buyer of your home. Spending your renovation dollars on a solar plant for the house or an addition to the living space of the house will increase the market value of your home. Any new owner will be getting a house with an income. A house that in part, pays for itself will surely increase it's worth and open the sale of your home to a wider market of buyers.

Don't underestimate the value of other, low-cost renovations. Providing a great rate of return is painting, new rugs, and wallpaper at 50-100%. Basement renovations and new windows both make great home renovation projects and provide a good return on investment at 50-75%.

Remember, even the most modern and expensive renovation will be considered dated in fifteen years. It is certainly difficult to anticipate how much return a homeowner will indeed reap when the time comes to sell. Although it's important to know the facts about which home renovations will bring in the most return when it comes time to sell, it is equally important to consider which of these home renovations will gain you the most pleasure. Keep in mind, until the day comes when you sell your home, it is you and your loved ones that will be enjoying that investment.

It may be more beneficial to bring in a professional home contractor to work on your house so renovations can be finished efficiently and on time without the need for you to do any of the heavy lifting. Contact Artisan Contracting to speak with a friendly representative about home renovations to increase the value of your home.

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Save Room By Including Under Stairs Storage in Your Basement Renovations

If you are planning a basement renovation, you will no doubt be looking forward to more storage. Storage solutions might be at the top of your list of needs for a basement renovation Often you'll find this extra storage right under your nose or this case, under your stairs.

Creating a space under your stairs in the basement will provide the storage you never thought possible. Without taking up existing square footage in your basement renovation, planning and building storage under the stairs is genius.

The Possibilities are Endless

If you are the collector of books, some built in bookshelves will provide loads of room for storage. This will have your extensive collection out in the open where you and your company can enjoy. The right configuration of shelves can add design quality to your basement renovation.

With the angular structure that a staircase provides, cubbies can be created in a horizontal manner that will compartmentalize your things. These compartments might include a space to hang out of season clothing, winter /spring coats, and shoes.

While designing your basement renovation, consider a cozy reading nook. With the right fabric, a bench can be created with shelves for books. Storage can even be found under the bench.

A great use of the space under your stairs in a basement renovation and a great visual as well is to hang a bike or two under those stairs. This gets your bikes inside and out of the elements while freeing up space in the garage.

With the creation of shelves under your stairs, your basement renovation will be complete when you utilize these new shelves to create a photo collage. Adding this personal touch will complete any great basement reno.

You might consider using that space, as living space. Storage can be had in other places while freeing up room under your stairs for actual square footage. A well-appointed staircase can be used to increase the living area in the room it shares. Open staircases are great for this.

Everybody loves a good game of hiding and seek. Why not include a little something for the kids in your basement renovation. Design and build a cubby with a door. Kids love small places and under the stairs, storage could include storing the children. What a unique hiding spot.

If space under your stairs allows, consider including a kitchenette or wet bar in your basement renovation plans. A small counter with sink and stove top aren't what the neighbors will be expecting but they will no doubt enjoy this little creative twist.

If functionality is what you're looking for, consider an office space. The space under a full flight of stair is enough room for a desk and some built in shelves. If you choose materials that match the wood your stairs are made, this office space will look like it was always there, not just another add on.

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination when it comes to finding storage solutions under your stairs. If a basement renovation is in your future, don't forget about the unique space under those stairs.

Planning a basement renovation or other home renovation? Check out our Other Blogs filled with tips and advice on getting the most out of your Home Renovation.

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