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How to Get the Best ROI in a Kitchen Reno, According to Scott McGillivray

How to Get the Best ROI in a Kitchen Reno, According to Scott McGillivray

Scott McGillivray is a real estate expert and host of HGTV Canada’s Income Property and Moving the McGillivrays.

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Kitchen renovations are not one size fits all. What’s important to one person may not be to another, particularly when it comes to those who love to cook and those who don’t. But when it comes to return on investment, there are certain elements that are essential. Here are a few recommendations on how to get the best ROI in your kitchen renovation.

Neutral Colours
When it comes to kitchens, I always recommend neutral colours. Actually, I insist on it. Bright and bold colours can be a real turnoff to buyers. So, if you want your kitchen to appeal to as many people as possible, neutral colours are definitely the way to go. White, cream, grey, beige and navy are all neutrals and look great in a kitchen. If you want to accent them with bright colours, do it through things like dishes, tea towels and artwork.

Scott McGillivray recommends neutral kitchens

Related: A Neutral Home Totally Transforms Thanks to Bright Pops of Colour

Transitional Style
Like neutral colours, transitional style is the safest bet in a kitchen. Overly ornate or ultra-modern styles will turn off certain buyers, so it’s wiser from a financial standpoint to stick with simple paneled doors that are just short of modern; and stainless, chrome or dark bronze hardware. When it comes to transitional style, keep it simple and approachable.

Semi-Custom Cabinetry
Custom kitchens are great for many reasons; but for people looking for great quality without a high price, semi-custom is the way to go. These types of cabinets are available in standard sizes, but offer customizable features such as decorative accents and interior storage options. Remember that cabinets serve an incredibly important function, so don’t cheap out.

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Simple Tile
Some people like to make tile a feature in their kitchens; but as a general rule, I advise against it. It has always been my experience that simple tile designs in a neutral colour offer the best return on investment. That’s not to say it has to be boring. White marble tile in a honeycomb, chevron or floral pattern for instance, looks great while still being subtle.

Related: 25 Subway Tile Backsplash Ideas That Are Totally Timeless

Quartz Countertops
If you have the budget, nothing beats a quality Quartz countertop. They’re durable, offer a great ROI and look terrific. Since countertops take a lot of beatings – dishes clanging, knives scraping, spills – making the investment in something that won’t get damaged is well worth the price.

Stainless Steel Appliances
Every day I hear from someone who says they hate stainless steel. They want white and nothing will change their mind. Fair enough, but it doesn’t change the fact that stainless steel is currently the most popular finish for appliances and it will get you the best return on investment. So if you’re looking for the best ROI, stainless is the way to go.


The most important thing to remember during a kitchen renovation is that a high return on investment will only be achieved when the upgrades match the quality of the rest of the home. For instance, a high-end chef’s style kitchen won’t add much value if the rest of the house looks dated and dingy. However, when a kitchen renovation is done right and is part of a well-maintained, upgraded home, the ROI can be as much as 200%.

Related: Single-Day Makeovers to Boost Your ROI

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Published November 21, 2018, Updated July 24, 2021

Images courtesy of HGTV Canada



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