Renovating your home is an investment in your family and your future. Many homeowners in the Calgary area are looking to add value to their homes when it’s time to sell, but the life of the renovation (when done properly) can give you enough time to enjoy the updates while you’re still living in the house.
Planning a renovation takes a carefully laid out plan to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Whether your kitchen, bedroom, en-suite bathroom, basement or exterior need an update or you’re thinking of adding an in-law or income suite, you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely.
Keep reading for a breakdown of each room and what can yield you the best return on investment (ROI).
- Kitchen Renovation
- Bathroom Renovation
- Changing the Function of a Room
- Finishing the Basement
- Exterior Renovations
Updating your Kitchen
After binge-watching home reno shows you might be taking a second look at your kitchen. After all it’s where your family gathers at the end of a long day and shares in the highlight reel over a meal, so it needs to be somewhere you enjoy spending your time.
Before you start swinging a hammer, let’s make sure it’s the right investment. Homeowners are starting to look for an open-concept kitchen, living room, dining room flow. If your current floor plan allows, this can be a great option but can be more costly and requires the know-how of professionals. Sometimes those view-blocking walls are essential to the structure of your home.
If you’re considering an open floor plan, this can take some serious work to make sure your load-bearing walls are properly reconfigured. This will likely result in a different layout for your sink, stove and fridge, which will require moving hidden mechanical systems.
When you call Melanson, we take a look at what you currently have and make suggestions on how you can best use the space with options for your new layout that include design aspects.
Check out this kitchen renovation project where we transformed an outdated home into a modern & spacious open floor plan.
What does your dream kitchen look like? Does it include a new French doorway to an outdoor deck, brighter windows above your kitchen sink, brand new appliances and granite countertops? When we make these plans with you, we also consider what’s appropriate for your neighbourhood. While top-of-the-line finishes may be the dream, they can often price you out of your area and make it more difficult to sell your home down the line.
Completing a full kitchen renovation can get a return of 70-78% of the cost of the renovation. We recommend completing the renovation while you still live in the home so you can enjoy it yourself and make the most of the updates.
Partial Kitchen Renovation
Sometimes less is more and when you want your budget to spread throughout the home, a kitchen update might be in order. Keeping the same layout as your current kitchen can make your budget go further.
Adding new countertops, updated cabinetry with modern finishes, contemporary sinks and faucets or even building that island you’ve been wanting can help give your home a whole new look and feel.
Smaller renovations can potentially return more on your investment with an expected 70-83%. While these won’t make as big of an impact on the entire home, they will show that care has been put into your home.
When looking at what you should budget to complete your kitchen renovation, the general rule of thumb is 15% of the home’s total worth. Knowing what your home could potentially sell for will help inform the amount you should spend on updating your kitchen.
Redoing your Bathroom
When some older homes were built, bathrooms seemed to be an afterthought. Small, cramped or poorly organized bathrooms can be a big headache, not to mention there just might not be enough of them in your home.
Adding Another Bathroom
The addition of another 3-piece bathroom to your home can do wonders for its value. For families, it gives parents and children more room to get ready in the morning without stepping on each other’s toes. Even an additional 2-piece can fit your needs.
You might be thinking, where can I fit another bathroom? While we don’t want to compromise on the number of bedrooms in the home, sometimes there’s room to add a Jack-and-Jill bathroom between two existing bedrooms. Even more surprisingly, with the right infrastructure they can fit under staircases.
Southern Alberta home buyers tend to look for a minimum of 2.5 bathrooms in a home, so adding a bathroom can go a long way with an approximate return of 86%.
Retrofitting an En-Suite
Your bedroom is your own personal sanctuary, but that outdated pink toilet sitting in your en-suite might not have you feeling relaxed. As a direct extension from your bedroom, your en-suite bathroom should feel carefully considered.
Replacing an old shower with a new glass-walled, double-headed shower can make the room feel larger and give it some added luxury. The same can be said for extending a vanity and adding two sinks or replacing the previous flooring with clean, fresh tiles.
Reconfiguring an Existing Bathroom
If your feet are in the tub while you’re brushing your teeth, it may be time to reconsider the layout of your bathroom. If the current layout isn’t working for you and your family, you have the option to move things around.
Removing an unused tub and replacing it with a shower, building custom storage to increase the floor space or even installing a different sized toilet can all enhance the use of your bathroom.
When updating a bathroom keep clean and classic styles in mind. The pink toilet may have seemed like a great idea when it was installed but that time has long passed with new low-flow toilets taking the throne (read more on energy efficient options). This will help maximize the extent of your ROI at around 70-78%.
We all want to replicate that hotel-spa feel in our bathrooms but this can be a room that’s easy to overspend on. Budget for 5% of the home’s worth for each bathroom and make sure it’s actually adding value by speaking to one of our experts. [link to contact]
Changing the Function of a Room
If you’re thinking about the function of your bedroom instead of falling asleep at night, it might be time to renovate! Is your partner’s unsightly clothing pile on the floor the trigger for those sleepless nights? Don’t worry – there is hope for you!
Consider the way the room works and flows, if putting away laundry into overstuffed drawers isn’t working, adding or expanding a walk-in closet may be needed. Perhaps your en-suite isn’t large enough for the two of you to wash your face at the same time but your bedroom has a lot of wasted space – expanding the bathroom into the bedroom a little bit will solve that problem.
As you look forward to your future in your home, consider whether your current bedroom will still be accessible into your golden years. If the answer is no, then think about moving your bedroom to the main floor. This can take some reconfiguring but will ensure your longevity in your home.
Keeping walls squared and the shape of the room relatively square (rather than a long rectangle) will best suit your furniture placement.
When making decisions about the number of bedrooms in the home, keep in mind that Calgary’s market lends best to 3-4 bedroom homes. If you’re in need of more or less, use the rooms for another function without changing their ability to be bedrooms when the house sells. Overall, renovating a master bedroom could return 86% of your investment.
Converting a Bedroom into an Office
Working from home can be a great option for many parents. It allows you to be closer to your kids or available for appointments when needed, but when your desk is located in the middle of the action, it can be hard to focus.
If you have an unused bedroom or den, you can easily convert the room into a home office. A mix of natural and artificial lighting will create an effective work environment, which may require adding or enlarging a window or rewiring the ceiling for potlights. You also want to make sure you have the proper hookups for all of your technology needs, and that you have enough room to store it all. Minor renovations can ensure the room works for your needs.
Adding a home office in the right neighbourhood can add between 61-72% ROI. Not as high as some of the other renovations to your home, but as long as the room remains versatile, it will hold value.
Separating a Playroom
Vacuuming around a plethora of toys should be an Olympic skill, if you can avoid stubbing a toe you go straight to claiming the gold. Giving your kids their own space means that you can enjoy family space together and they can keep their toys organized (or at least swept away into another room). When converting a space specifically for your kids, it gives you full creative reign on making it special to them. Adding a dance stage, a climbing wall or even practical storage for all of their arts and crafts can make the room fun and usable. Since kids will be kids, it’s also important to make sure the furniture is properly anchored to the walls and the furniture is their size to avoid climbing on high stools or chairs.
The addition of a playroom can extend the usable living space in your home and you can expect up to an 84% ROI. Make the renovations based on your wants and needs but make decisions that allow you flexibility to update the room as your children grow.
Making the Basement a Part of Your Home
Homes often come with unfinished basements or have been so long forgotten that they simply aren’t welcoming. Finishing or redesigning a basement to fit your needs can be a great investment.
How will you use your basement?
Making the basement functional should be first priority. What will you use the space for? Is it an entertainment room for Friday night movies? A space for your guests to unwind on their own? Or a home gym and spa combo?
Whichever your preference, keeping the space open-concept with additional storage will undoubtedly add value to your home.
Renovating basements also comes with special considerations that our team at Melanson can help you with. Ensuring the foundation is water-tight, the flooring is appropriate, and the proper utilities are up-to-date and to code like your water heater, furnace and HVAC systems. While hidden, these items will add value to the resale price and will ensure your home runs like a well-oiled machine.
Basements often produce less ROI for your home in the range of 65-75% and that’s because the market isn’t often considered when completing the renovations. If the plan is to sell the property right away then this might not be where your money is best spent (consider your kitchen or bathrooms instead). However, if you plan on using this space for years to come then making it specific to your needs will reap more value.
In-law or Income Suites
The basement can be a great go-to for adding an income or in-law suite, especially if you have a separate entrance. To keep this to code and to make it a legal suite, it’s essential to work with a contractor like Melanson Homes who know the local bylaws for Calgary, Cochrane, Okotoks and Airdrie.
Knowing the rental market for your area is also important. It will help you price the suite and decide on the quality of finishes you’ll need to install to appeal to those renters. Designing a beautiful space that will attract quality renters while keeping the project on budget is a delicate balance that we can help advise on.
The addition of an income suite, when done thoughtfully, can pay for itself in as little as two years. You gain the opportunity to make money off the suite while you live there but it also adds value to the home when it’s time to sell.
Get Inspired! Check out this cozy guest suite designed so that the in-laws can have their own space when they visit from out of town.
Enhancing Curb Appeal
One of the first things you notice as you pull up to the front of your home is the exterior. As part of your home renovation plan, don’t forget the outside of your house.
Replacing the Roof
Aside from protecting your family from harsh Albertan weather, a new roof can contribute to the visual appeal of your home. There’s nothing that makes a new homebuyer feel more insecure about their purchase than loose shingles that make them wonder if the roof is leaking.
The potential ROI of replacing your roof is around 72%. But if this is the difference between your home and the one down the street, it can make a big impact for potential buyers. Not to mention the protection against water and weather damage.
Adding insulation to your attic will increase your energy efficiency; keeping heat in during the winter and cool air from escaping during the summer.
This is an excellent investment that you’ll see returns on immediately when paying your utility bills. So excellent, you’ll see the highest ROI at 116%!
Garage Door Replacements
Replacing your garage door not only updates the look of your home but can add security by syncing to your alarm system and adding more insulation to your home. Similar to insulating your attic, you’ll see an instant return on investment reflected in your energy bills.
Another one of the highest ROI items, replacing your garage door can return around 92%.
Entry Door Replacement
Your front door is one of your first impressions on your visitors. These can provide privacy or add more light to your entryway. Be sure to pick one that complements your house and adds security and efficiency to your home.
Depending on the type of door you choose, your ROI will vary. For fiberglass you can expect 82% and for steel 91-100%.
Replacing Home Siding
Damaged or outdated siding can compromise the integrity of your home. Cracked siding allows moisture to penetrate the foundation of your home, which can cause long-term issues.
Protecting the integrity of your home with engineered siding can produce an ROI of 79%, 73% with vinyl or 93% with manufacture stone.
New windows can dramatically enhance the look of your home indoors and outdoors. They also seal your home from the outdoor climate and keep your home’s temperature under control.
Replacing your windows will immediately return on your energy bills and also provide and average of 77% ROI.
Extend your enjoyment of the summer season by making your outdoor space useful. Adding a deck to the exterior of your home will make you the host of the season, add in a little BBQ and you’ll have a hard time getting your friends to go home.
The potential ROI for adding a deck is 83%, manicure your lawn and you’ll see even more return.
It’s not surprising that a well-taken care of lawn gives the impression that the inside of the home is just as cared for. By landscaping your lawn, you extend the square footage of useable space on your property.
Landscaping your outdoor spaces can result in a whopping 105% ROI.
Where to Start?
Now that you have all of the facts, where do you start on your home renovation? Download our home renovation checklist and start dreaming!
Look at the spaces in your home you want to enjoy more. Renovating is about adding value to your time spent in your home, not just about selling it down the road. So while you may not see 100% ROI on each and every project, it will increase the livability of your home.