Top 10 Renovations to Increase Your Home's Value

When talking about possible home projects that will increase value and return your investment should you decide to sell, the answer is almost instinctive: Kitchens and bathrooms have topped the list not only in Canada, but in the United States as well, for at least a decade and probably longer. Details may vary from one year to the next, but homeowners are enthralled with their cooking spaces and their private spaces.

What Is Popular Today

In surveys across Canada over the past two years, respondents cite kitchen islands, eating counters and seamless countertops, either natural stone or manmade, as some of the most popular features for desirable improvements. Additional counter and cabinet space and better lighting are also frequently specified improvements.

In the bath, aside from simply modernizing the space, additional storage is seen as a bonus, and a spa tub in a master bath, with a separate shower, are favored renovations, as are dual vanities.

Finishing out a basement space vies with landscaping renovations for third place on the list of favored projects; both score well on their ability to add value to the home as well, with expected return varying depending on locale and on actual dollar expenditure.

A final area of concentration to add value to an older home is on the exterior. New roofing, energy-efficient windows, and new exterior doors are all seen as value-boosters, rounding out the top 5 of home improvement projects.

Modernize or Add Space?

Cosmetic renovations -- replacing flooring, removing walls, adding storage and renovating to alter the use of space -- represent another aspect of "home work" that can increase a home's value. Especially if those projects are undertaken in bedrooms, family rooms or dining rooms, they are viewed as beneficial.

Interestingly, home additions do not rate highly, for the most part. Perhaps because adding space is viewed as more difficult than redoing space, most owners are reluctant to embark on such projects. However, for families who have outgrown a small home and like a neighborhood, an addition may be the best course of action.

Rounding out the top 10 is the addition of an in-ground pool, a somewhat surprising choice, since it is generally conceded by professionals that the cost almost always exceeds the value.