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  • Writer's pictureJen Bedard

8 Best Ways to Add Value to your Home Before Selling

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Home owners love to give their home a facelift from time to time, but often end up spending huge amounts of money that may never bring a return on investment.

It’s all good and well to splurge on increased comfort and functionality, but there are some investments that place your home way above all the others when viewed by potential buyers. Here are some renovation tips that will not only make your home beautiful and functional but will also add value.

Whether seeking advice from me (your Realtor), your contractor or your family and friends we will all agree that the two best rooms for renovations are the kitchen and bathrooms. This is where you are most likely to recoup most of the money spent.

Below I will examine the best renovations for these specific rooms as well as few others which I, and most experts agree, will add the most value to your home. I will also look at the latest trends and approximate costs.

​1. Renovating the kitchen

Kitchens need to be functional and spacious, and buyers prefer them modern. A very old kitchen may need a complete make-over, with new cupboards, countertops and appliances, but sometimes homeowners can get away with making a few minor changes, like cabinet resurfacing, replacing counter tops and changing handles and knobs.

Trends for 2019:

  • White is over, bold colours are in for cabinets as are two toned cabinets (I still think white and grey are smart neutral colours that will appeal to most buyers)

  • Mint green has been in since 2012 and continues to be a stylish choice. (It also happened to be all the rage in the 70’s)

  • Natural materials like wood and stone will be everywhere

  • Matte black appliances that can also be connected to Wi-Fi

  • Counters are clutter free and ventilation is going hoodless

Renovation costs:

  • Countertops: $20 - $250 per square foot

  • Backsplash: $800 -$1000 per square foot

  • Cabinets: anywhere between $100-$500 per linear foot

  • Flooring: Wood costs $8-$10 per square foot with other materials costing half

Average total cost of complete renovation depending on materials and electrical equipment: $20,000 -$ 35,000

2. Updating your Bathroom

Bathrooms nowadays are all about luxury. If your bathroom is looking old and tired, you have the opportunity to give it the feel of a luxurious spa. This may not need to be a complete renovation. If the tub is still looking good, go with new tiling around it or change the vanity and taps. Adding another bathroom to an unused space within the home can also add tremendous value, even if you only have the space to include a shower, toilet and basin.

Trends for 2019:

  • Ledges are used everywhere, including in the shower, to hold toiletries

  • Open bathroom designs might not be for everyone, but they are all the trend

  • It is fashionable to expose piping under basins in an industrial fashion

  • Concrete and plaster are replacing tiles and enamel baths, showers and sinks

  • Simple tiles in one colour are in

  • Wall to wall mirrors are not so big this year, think unique, interesting and bold

  • Marble is everywhere, especially grey and white

  • Statement art and wall designs are making bathrooms stand out

Renovation costs:

  • Small bathroom renovation will not include plumbing and changing the bathtub: $3,000-$12,000

  • Medium bathroom remodel could include new flooring, upgraded fixtures and bathtub or shower conversions, or, new sink toilet and vanity: $10,000-17,000

  • Luxury remodel will be a complete overhaul which will transform the bathroom. According to the choice of materials, costs can range from $15,000 to $30,000.

3. Freshen up the paint

A fresh coat of paint on the interior and exterior is one of the least expensive ways to add value to your home. It is best to stick with white or neutral colours if painting your home to re-sell, but if you are painting to freshen up and to add value take a look at what’s in for this year.

Make your home eco-friendly by choosing low-VOC paints.

Trends for 2019:

  • Dark green with a bit of grey in it

  • All tones of muted pastels

  • Tinted grays with deep undertones of purple, blues or greens

  • Mushroom (a beige with less brown and more gray)

  • Exterior wall colours trends include white or dark colours with white trims, GREIGE (a mix of beige and gray) and all tones of neutral colours

Painting costs:

Exterior: Single story of 500-1,500 sq ft. - $1,000 -$3,000

Two story of 1,500 -3,000 sq ft. - $3,000 - $4,500

Three story of 3,000 - 6,000 sq ft. - $4,500 - $6,000+

Siding will cost anywhere from $400 - $2,000 all round

Interior: Single story of 1,500 sq ft. - $2,500 -$3,500

Two story of 2,500 sq ft. - $4,000 - $5,500

Three story of 4,000 sq ft. - $6,000 - $8,000

Interior painting is more expensive because there are more surfaces e.g. ceilings; extra caution needs to be taken to protect carpets, furniture etc. and are more laboru-intensive as many surfaces require spray-painting or need to be done by hand.

4. Make the home energy efficient

If your heating and cooling system is dated, than replacing it with newer units will make your home more energy efficient. Energy efficiency can also be achieved by making cheaper repairs that include: attic insulation, replacing older doors or windows with new energy efficient options and sealing air leaks around doors and windows. Replacing all light bulbs with LEDs, insulating pipes and installing timers to heating systems are all cheaper ways to have an energy efficient home and all add value the home.

Trends for 2019

Create a smart home system where everything is controlled through Wi-Fi. Lights, appliances, and cooling and heating systems can be turned on and off according to the family’s needs.


  1. New HVAC system: $10,000 - $12,000

  2. Basic hardwired smart system where smart appliances can be added or removed and installed by a professional: $3,000 - $15,000.

5. Light up your home

Don’t let the dark get to you. Lighting a dark home need not be an expensive project. Use overhead lighting or under cabinet lighting for darker areas or opt to bring in some sunlight with the inclusion of a skylight or sun tube for natural light.

Trends for 2019:

  • Industrial light fittings are all the trend now, and LED bulbs have come out in beautiful shapes with lighting that gives any room a warm glow

  • LED strips are easy to install and can be included to many areas of the home as concealed lighting

Lighting costs vary according to the type of fittings and bulbs chosen but are relatively inexpensive.

6. Curb appeal adds value to every home

The maintenance of your yard and garden over the years might seem costly, but is worth it in the end as the home maintains its value. If you have neglected your garden, consider that an attractive interior won’t appeal to a buyer if the exterior is unattractive. Get the lawns going again, do some landscaping by adding interesting plants or features and remember that the threshold to your home is its front door. It should be well lit and freshly painted.

Landscaping trends 2019:

  • Low maintenance gardens are all the rage and include perennial and indigenous plants

  • Creating outdoor living areas where the family can gather

  • Backyard focal points and secluded areas

  • Highlights and special features at the entrance like seasonal planters, interesting walkways, planting colours that complement the front door etc.

  • Creating landscapes with edible, seasonal fruits and vegetables

  • Irrigation systems that make sure you don’t waste water while maintaining the yard while you are away


  • A 1,200 sq ft. yard complete makeover will cost approximately $13,000 and includes the design.

7. Add an income

One of the best ways to add value to your home is to create a space that can bring in an income. This can be the conversion of the basement into an apartment, or another unused floor or area within the home. If your backyard is big and the building regulations in the area allow it, a free-standing apartment can be added on the property. This can help cover part, or all of the mortgage payments or can generate a cash flow for a home that is already paid off.

Construction costs:

  • The average construction cost in Canada is $200 per square foot and can reach $300 if expensive materials are used.

8. Flooring

Finally, the installation of new flooring or restoration of older hardwood flooring will have an immediate impact on the value of your home.


  • Refinishing a hardwood floor can cost from $1.5 - $4.00 per square foot

  • New flooring can cost from $3 - $14 per square foot, depending on the type of wood chosen.

Whether you are selling or wanting to make improvements for your comfort, I suggest you consider at least one or two of the above value adding renovations for your home. For more information about how best to add value before selling your home, give me a call at 289-213-7031. I’m Jen Bedard, and I know Niagara real estate.

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