At Laurysen we are often asked, “What renovations can I do to my home that will raise the value and give me a high return on my renovation investment?”

Although there are many variables, the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) has produced a free 9-tip list which provides us all with good advice and highlights what they see as being the best areas to renovate – and what projects to avoid.

1)    Choose Improvements with Long Life Expectancy

Roofing, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and windows that provide you with energy savings and an improvement in look and convenience are at the top of the list. Renovations with benefits will last you 10 to 15 years are ideal. Remember, regular maintenance is important to protect that initial investment.

2)    Invest in Modern Updates in High-Traffic Areas

Update the core rooms such as your kitchen and bathroom. This can be as simple as changing the knobs to refinishing doors, replacing fixtures and upgrading countertops.

3)    Don’t Underestimate the Value of Inexpensive Updates

A fresh coat of paint, updated light fixtures, light landscaping or gardening may be inexpensive, but go a long way to improving the value of your home. How about upgrading your front door handle? It does not have to cost a lot of money to make these simple changes and get the desired look.

4)    Consider Energy Efficient Renovations That Have a High Return Relative to Cost

Energy efficiency translates into reduced operating costs over time, and these types of renovations are considered to have the highest pay-back relative to cost.

5)    Be Careful About Over-Improvement

Consider your neighborhood and buyers’ expectations in your area when you are planning a renovation. Investing in an expensive project may only be partially recognized by home buyers.

6)    Think About Your Personal Needs

How much you spend depends on how long you plan to live in your home. If you are thinking short term then smaller inexpensive improvements may be your best bet to recover your investment.

7)    Be Sure to Get Building/Renovation Permits

Take the time to obtain the proper permits. This is a good step to ensure that the renovation work complies with the building codes in your city.

8)    Hire a Designer, Architect or Contractor

Speak to a professional when you are at the planning stage. They can help you draw up plans, provide advice or assist in the construction. This will add to the quality of the renovation and go a long way in preventing cost overruns.

9)    Consider Unique Features with Care

Unique designs or improvements that are uncommon for a particular market may impact the salability of your home. This is where the expert advice of a real property appraiser can provide an objective perspective on the marketability of your property. You can visit for more information.

Did you do any renovations that made a big impact when you sold your home? We’d love to hear about them – just add them to the comments below.