Return On Renovation Investment 

Paint the interior $1,000 50-100%
Replace carpeting with affordable laminate $2,000 (for 1,000 square foot space) 50-75%
Install new light fixtures $2,000 60-70%
Groom the exterior landscape $2,000 25-50%
Replace knobs and hardware $2,000 75-100%
Update the entryway $3,000 50-75%
Replace carpeting and laminate floors with hardwood $5,000 (for 1,000 square foot space) 50-75%
Build a fence/deck $5,000 50-75%


Install an additional bathroom on main floor Under $5,000 80-100%
Renovate bathrooms $5,000- $8,000 75-100%
Renovate kitchen $12,000 – $15,000 75-100%


Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC) provides a worksheet to help measure the expected costs of a renovation against the expected return: Complete Worksheet


Ascending Order of Cost:

PAINT:  Adding a new coat of paint can freshen up a house and make the interior look like new, not to mention more spacious and also demonstrates a level of care taken in the home. For homeowners looking to sell in the near future, updated and neutral colors are most preferred.

FLOORING: Today, hard surfaces are all the rage. If genuine hardwood exceeds the budget, laminate works well, but I would suggest only in small condominiums. Buyers like to see hard floors throughout, so if possible, think about tile for areas where there is water such as bathrooms, entries, laundry rooms and kitchens.

LIGHT FIXTURES: Old or builder-grade light fixtures and light cover plates can easily date a house. To modernize, install well-designed light fixtures and replace plugs-ins, toggles and plates if they are dirty or painted-covered.

CURB APPEAL: The old realtor adage, you never get a second chance to make a first impression is very true when it comes to selling a home and especially so in the age of on-line viewing. To increase curb appeal and entice buyers, ensure front lawns are tidy. While there is no need to go overboard and plant an expensive tree, adding some standard shrubs and flowers will add to the curb appeal.

STAINLESS STEEL: Similar to the issue with light fixtures, update cabinet knobs, hood fans and backsplashes to update the kitchen inexpensively. Sleek, stainless steel still have a positive impact on homebuyers.

FRONT ENTRY: An elegant entrance enhances a prospective buyer’s first impression of the house itself.

HARDWOOD FLOORING: To see an even higher return on investment, replace old flooring with new hardwood. While a range of qualities, textures and colors exist, it’s best to opt for a medium tone wood color to accommodate the widest possible array of tastes and décor.

FENCE: Building a fence and a deck instantly boosts a home’s appeal. Fences provide the back and side yards with a sense of being finished.

MAIN FLOOR BATHROOM: A bathroom situated on the main floor is increasingly seen by homebuyers as an essential fixture in their next purchase. While some older homes were built with bathrooms only on the second floor, many homeowners are resorting to transforming closets or adding new rooms to accommodate two-piece powder rooms.  

ENSUITE FINISHES: Today’s homebuyer prefers bathrooms that have spa-style tubs and modern faucets. Granite is now readily available and can be purchased at relatively affordable prices.

KITCHENS: While prices can vary greatly when renovating a kitchen, one thing is certain – updated kitchens bring one of the highest returns on investment. With homeowners spending more time in the kitchen than any other room, it’s no surprise they want the best possible style and functionality. Stainless steel appliances, ceramic sinks and clean lines on cupboards rank as the more preferred finish options. Since kitchens and baths can be such a personal space, it’s wise not to select a dramatic style or color scheme since your tastes may not be the same as the next owner.