According to the RE/MAX 2021 Renovation Investment Report, pandemic living has changed the way Canadians think about renovations: more than half of us renovated our homes last year for living there. Only 16 per cent of us renovated specifically to increase our home’s market value. Still, nearly 60 per cent of the Canadians surveyed said that they still considered return on investment, no matter what the main reasons for renovating were. If you’re considering renovating your home this year, what would be the best kind of job to tackle? RE/MAX crunched the numbers and found that it varied from one market to another. However, there are some projects that are worth it no matter where you live. Here are the home renovations with the highest return on investment in 2021.
Kitchen renovations, such as kitchen counter upgrades, are among the top three renovations with the highest return on investment in 27 of the 31 housing markets in the RE/MAX study. These renovations typically have a home improvement return on investment between 75 and 100 per cent.
When it comes to cheap ways to increase your home’s value, you can’t go wrong with a fresh coat of paint. It was chosen as one of the top three renovations for return on investment in 18 of the 31 housing markets in the RE/MAX study, including in Toronto. Typically, fresh paint can give you a 60 per cent return on investment. The caveat is that the job should be done neatly and professionally, in colours that aren’t too crazy.
Related: 10 Painting Myths Busted
A bathroom makeover is one of the best renovations to do before selling, since it typically has a 62 per cent return on investment. According to the RE/MAX study, it was one of the top three renovations for return on investment in 17 housing markets, including both Toronto and Vancouver. The best way to decide where to start with bathroom renovations is to see where your eye is drawn to when you enter the room: the bathtub? The shower? The tile backsplash? A window?
New flooring was one of the top three renovations for return on investment in 14 of the housing markets in the RE/MAX study. As long as you avoid the rookie flooring mistakes, new flooring can have a return on investment of between 100 and 150 per cent. The secret to a fabulous floor is not so much the material as it is the quality of installation, so it’s best left to the professionals to do.
A finished basement was chosen as one of the top three renovations for return on investment in five of the housing markets in the RE/MAX study. However, you don’t even have to give the basement a complete makeover. If you’re wondering how to add value to your home without extensive renovations, remember that anything that will save the next owners money over time, such as ways to prevent a flooded basement, should be at the top of the list. This type of renovation typically has a 75 per cent return on investment.
Open Concept Rooms
In the RE/MAX study, open concept rooms were among the top three renovations for return on investment in three housing markets, including Calgary and Edmonton. An open concept design can improve flow and give the illusion of more space, so it’s especially good to consider if you have a small home. However, be careful about knocking down walls in an area where more people are working from home and may prefer separate rooms to use as home offices.
In two of the housing markets in the RE/MAX study – Victoria and Winnipeg – a new roof was one of the top three renovations for adding value to your home. A new roof can have a return on investment of as much as 75 per cent. Considering how much a new roof costs – on average less than $5,000 – it’s well worth the investment if the current roof is nearing the end of its lifetime.
Landscaping was one of the top three renovations for return on investment in two housing markets in the RE/MAX study: Ottawa and Barrie. In other markets too it can be one of the simplest ways to modernize your home’s exterior and boost its value: the secret lies in getting rid of clutter so that the new owners have more room to bring their own touch to the garden.
Exterior upgrades was one of the best home renovations for return on investment in only one housing market in the RE/MAX study: in Muskoka. However, since these upgrades are typically not very expensive and still have a return of investment of about 50 per cent, they’re well worth considering. A shoddy job with exterior upgrades like trims, gutters or siding can significantly reduce your home’s curb appeal, so it’s best to get professional help.
It was only in Muskoka that the RE/MAX study found that new windows were one of the top three renovations for return on investment. However, windows count as one of those items that can save the new owners money in the long run and can have a return on investment of as much as 75 per cent. If it’s clearly time to replace the windows, it’s a good idea to invest in quality, energy-saving solutions.