Have you thought about renovating your home recently? Haven’t we all! Sometimes being a home owner feels like you are constantly going from one to-do list to another. If your list of renos is a mile long, where do you start? With a complete bathroom makeover, or slapping a fresh coat of paint in the bedroom? Are you aware that some renovations illicit a higher return of investment than others? You might be surprised at where your money is best spent and when you should shy away from a potential home renovation project.

backyard swimming pool


  • If you were dreaming about a new swimming pool during the heat waves we experienced this past summer, think again. Adding a pool to your property will net you one of the lowest returns on your investments – from 10-40%, if you are lucky
  • Likewise, that skylight that you might be coveting right about now, when sunshine is at its lowest, won’t bring in the big bucks either – only a 0-25% return. Ouch!
  • Now who am I to poo-poo a designer kitchen? No way, but before you order all that granite, take a look at your neighbourhood and assess whether that new built-in wine bar will really add much value, compared to what else is on offer around you. While a kitchen upgrade certainly is one of the top runners for returns on investment, if your renovation includes over-the-top items like a walk-in fridge, Vulcan oven or ornate columns, don’t expect that you will recoup your costs for the project. The same goes for pretty much any top of the line renovation projects, so take a double-think about ordering that golden toilet, just so you can feel like royalty. If you put the Joneses to shame, you will quickly find that it just don’t pay.
  • What about adding a layer of asphalt to your driveway? While you will certainly appreciate the look of it, a potential home buyer won’t look twice at your dream driveway. Neither will they be blown away by an interlocking brick path or drive, wood fence or even landscaping. All your hard-earned money will only net you a 25-50% ROI.
  • Even projects that you consider a must-do, might not amount to an increase in your over-all home value. A new roof doesn’t bring much return, even though it might be necessary. People just expect it to be there. Same thing goes for central air conditioning. While it is certainly appreciate on hot days, no one even thinks about it in the dead of winter. That isn’t to say that you should not tackle these home improvement projects. Completely the opposite in fact, but just don’t expect that it will increase your home’s value and the likelihood of it equating to a higher ROI isn’t great. Sorry!

Remember that deciding to tackle a home renovation project is a personal decision. Ultimately, if you feel a project adds value to your home for your uses, then go for it. While you are living in your home, YOU are the judge. But if you are thinking about a move in the near future, then do a little research before you shell out the big bucks for a home renovation project.