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10 Renovation Dos and Don'ts to Increase the Resale Value of Your Home

March 31, 2022

Things to consider if you plan to sell your home in the future

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Understanding how to increase the value of your property is an important part of home ownership, whether you intend to sell it soon or sometime in the future. And did you know? Renovation is one way you can do so.

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Setting your home apart from the other cookie-cutter units in your neighbourhood — for instance — or reducing the perceived need for any further renovation works can help to increase the pool of potential buyers, thereby yielding a higher return on investment (ROI). On the flip side, some renovation works may in fact cause potential buyers to be less interested in your home. To help you out, here are five popular areas to upgrade that are more likely to provide a higher ROI, as well as five that may not.

1. DO a kitchen renovation

Kitchen improvements are an excellent way to increase the value of your home. Upgrades such as installing kitchen cabinets, kitchen islands, replacing the flooring, sinks and faucets, for example, will likely see the most ROI and give your kitchen an updated, modern look.

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The materials you select for your kitchen countertops, floor tiles, and backsplash can also influence a buyer's decision. For the countertop, natural stones such as quartz, marble or granite are going to give more ROI because they won’t date themselves as quickly. For backsplashes, ceramic and porcelain tile are preferred over glass, stone, and quartz.

2. DON’T invest in extravagant upgrades

Expensive upgrades like unique or ornate light fixtures (such as a chandelier as pictured below), designer wallpaper, state-of-the-art stainless steel fridges, or water features like fountains are great ways to spruce up your home, but they are among the worst upgrades in terms of ROI.

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While you may think that high-end upgrades are a unique feature of your home, others might not feel the same way. So stick with affordable items that are both functional and beautiful.

3. DO visually ‘increase’ your home's square footage

The size of your home can have a significant impact on its value. And since increasing the square footage of your home is rarely an option, make your home look larger instead, by replacing heavy curtains and draperies with sheer curtains, roller blinds or shutters. This will allow more natural light to enter the room, making it appear brighter and more spacious.

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You can also add more recessed lights to a dark kitchen or hallway, or use elegant sconces to brighten up a formal dining or living room. This will make your home feel warmer and more welcoming to potential buyers while also increasing the value of your property.

Explore: A Guide to Selecting Window Treatments for Your Living Room

4. DON’T install a built-in aquarium

A built-in home aquarium can enhance the appearance of a home, but it must be maintained on a regular basis. Similarly to extravagant upgrades, not every prospective buyer will want to care for a large tank of fish or pay for the associated maintenance, and removing it will cost them extra money, discouraging them from purchasing your home.

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Instead, opt for a standard fish tank to avoid losing a potential buyer should you plan to resell your property in the future.

5. DO invest in built-in storage units

If you want to increase the value of your home, invest in plenty of storage space. Aside from offering storage, built-in cabinets or shelves can help to create a unified look and turn an unused space or awkward corner into something useful. It can also contribute to an uncluttered appearance, which is essential for a positive viewing experience.

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A prospective buyer is also drawn to a home with built-in storage units because many people do not want to spend additional money and time on home improvement projects after going through the lengthy process of purchasing a home.

6. DON’T install built-in high-end electronics

Spending thousands on the latest electronics, such as a cinematic surround sound system, projector or smart trainer, can turn your home into a high-tech oasis, but don't expect a good return on investment. That’s because there will always be a newer version of what you installed within a year or two, rendering your upgrade obsolete. Built-in technology, in particular (as seen on the built-in speaker and TV below), can be difficult and costly to remove, upgrade, or replace in the future, which may deter potential buyers.

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This isn't to say you can't have the most latest high tech gadgets in your home; just don't make them permanent fixtures. Choose items that are simple to remove or replace so that you can return your home to its natural, neutral state when it comes time to sell.

7. DO enhance your bathroom

Bathroom renovations are another excellent way to increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. Many people nowadays want their bathrooms to be a place of luxury, where they can relax and unwind in a spa-like environment. Even if you're not in a hurry to sell, a bathroom makeover can provide you with the best experience possible during your time as a resident.

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Explore: 8 Minor Tweaks That Can Turn Your Bathroom Into a Luxe Retreat

Bathroom updates such as replacing an outdated vanity, changing light fixtures, retiling old floors, adding storage space, replacing old showerheads, replacing old sinks or toilets can increase the value of your home and its appeal.

Tip: If you want to increase the value of your home, renovating your bathroom to include both a shower and a bathtub will appeal to a wider range of buyers. Families, in particular, require a bath for small children; however, the convenience of a shower is also important!

8. DON’T add a bespoke wine storage unit

If you're considering converting a dead corner (such as the space beneath your stairs) into a wine storage unit, you should think twice before investing. While this bespoke extra may improve your lifestyle, it is unlikely that it will increase the value of your home, and its presence may even put off future buyers, particularly those who aren't wine drinkers. Instead, consider converting this area into a multipurpose storage space.

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9. DO upgrade to energy-efficient features and appliances

Replacing outdated appliances or fixtures with energy-efficient products will not only make your home more enjoyable to live in now but will also appeal to buyers if you decide to sell the property in the future.

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When purchasing appliances such as refrigerators, air purifiers, televisions, or air conditioners, look for products with a 5-star energy rating sticker (as seen on the refrigerator above). These appliances use less energy as compared to standard appliances and they can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. You should also consider replacing your existing light bulbs with energy-saving upgrades such as LED lights. They last much longer and use less energy, which saves you money on your electric bill.

You can also go the extra mile by sealing air leaks in and around your home's windows. When your windows and doors are properly sealed, your appliances use less energy to operate, resulting in lower energy costs.

10. DON’T merge two bedrooms to create a bigger room

Extending an existing bedroom to create a spacious master suite or a walk-in closet may seem like a good idea, but it is a bad ROI if you plan to sell your home in the next few years. Multiple-bedroom homes are in high demand in the real estate market, and when homebuyers see a house listing, the first thing they want to know is how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has.

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Even small bedrooms add value to a home because most families want their children to have their own rooms but don't mind if they're small. Instead of knocking down walls to make a larger room, try simple tricks by adding a large mirror or incorporating an open storage system to avoid the room from feeling too cramped.

Explore: How to Make The Most of Your Small Bedroom Space

Looking for professional help to renovate your home?

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