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3 renovation ideas to increase your home’s value

Last updated on August 5, 2022

In collaboration with Desjardins Insurance

Renovating your home before putting it on the market can pay off. In addition to winning over potential buyers, some renovations will give you a good return on your investment. To avoid wasting your time (and money!) on unnecessary improvements, here’s how you can add value to your home while getting the most out of your efforts.


In real estate, there’s no point in trying to dazzle buyers. While renovating to make your home more attractive to buyers is a good reflex, the first renovations you should consider are not aesthetic.

“To protect the value of your home and not be forced to lower your price, it’s important to fix any structural issues,” advises Martin Desfossés, real estate coach at DuProprio. Even if the results are often invisible, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you are selling a property that is in good condition.

Desjardins tips

If you're planning renovations, don't forget insurance!

Notify your insurer before starting any renovation projects. By asking you a few key questions, they'll be able to determine whether your current policy provides the right amount of coverage. For example, will your house be unoccupied while the work is being done? Will these renovations significantly increase the value of your home?

Other tips before you take the plunge

1. A solid structure

A solid structure is vital. Before selling, make sure the roof, windows and foundation are sound. If you discover a problem, you may need to call an expert, but consider this an investment. The work will protect your home’s resale value and limit how much buyers can negotiate following an inspection.

Note that it is preferable to have any work done before putting your home on the market, so that there aren’t disruptions or unfinished work during visits. Do the necessary work first, then focus on selling.

2. The rooms that really count

It’s true that some rooms are more valuable than others. Often, these are the spaces we tend to spend a lot of time in, like the kitchen. Because they are used daily, bathrooms are also important.

While a kitchen or bathroom remodel will cost several thousand dollars, the potential return is very high. In some cases, you will be able to get 100% of your investment back. Not to mention that these renovations will attract buyers looking for a move in-ready home.

If your kitchen is already quite functional and in good condition, a simple refresh may suffice. However, if your cabinets date back to the 70s, the countertops are damaged or the ceramic tiles look dated, it’s worth considering more extensive work. As for the bathroom, avoid moving the plumbing unless absolutely necessary. The cost of your renovation project will shoot up if it involves moving pipes.

Man installing a new mirror in the bathroom

Renovations worth considering

  • Kitchen and bathroom – Two rooms that need to be functional, in good condition and timeless.
  • Quality floors – Avoid floating floors. It’s worth purchasing hardwood floors for a few more dollars per square foot. Existing wood floors can also be sanded down and varnished for a fresh new look.
  • Storage – Create optimal storage spaces, which buyers are sure to appreciate.
  • The front door – As the main way visitors enter, the front door says a lot about your home. Make sure it is in good condition as it will give a good (or bad) impression in those critical first moments.
  • Finish all rooms – Open walls or ceilings and hanging electric wires will discourage future buyers. Take the time to finish this work, even if it is in the basement.

Be consistent

One of the common mistakes homeowners make is not being consistent. Avoid using low-quality materials to save money. On the other hand, don’t put high-end materials in an otherwise ordinary home, like a granite kitchen island on a floating floor. The secret is to achieve a balance between quality, durability and aesthetics.

Desjardins tips

Update your home insurance file

You should also contact your insurer once the work is done, so they can update your file.

  • Some renovations, like building an addition, may increase the value of your property and require changes to your coverage.
  • Other types of work, like replacing your old plumbing or roof, could reduce your risks—and your home insurance premiums!
  • Or, if you've finished your basement, you might want to add optional coverage against sewer backups and floods, in some conditions.

Learn more about home insurance

3. Inexpensive improvements

Your home needs to make a good impression, from the outside and on the inside. Without spending a fortune, put all the odds in your favour by following these tips for getting your home ready to sell. Remember to replace burnt-out light bulbs, repair a leaky faucet, fix doors that don’t shut properly, oil squeaky hinges and change any broken mouldings.

The good news is that most of these improvements don’t require specific expertise. However, if you don’t feel comfortable, you can call on a professional. Or you can ask for advice, for a painting project, for example.

Create a neutral space

Can visitors tell that you love dachshunds or sailing by your decor? Unfortunately, not everyone will share your passion. When renovating to sell, it’s important to think of the future owners and to avoid imposing your style. Potential buyers must be able to see themselves in the space and feel comfortable in it.

A bright and clean home

Neutral colors bedroom

Give your walls a fresh coat of paint to brighten up your home. In addition to camouflaging small imperfections on the walls and ceilings, it will liven up the entire house. Be sure to choose warm, neutral colours.

Besides regular cleaning, a well-maintained, decluttered home inspires trust and sells faster.

Recap of the 3 types of renovations worth doing

Smart ways to preserve the value of your home

While it is generally advisable to renovate according to your tastes, this does not apply when planning to sell. There’s no point buying a ton of new decor. First, you have to make sure that the home’s structure is sound, by inspecting the foundation, walls and roof.

Next, observe, think and calculate. Should you renovate the bathroom, kitchen or master bedroom? Are the doors and windows in good condition? Is there any work left to do in the basement? Of course, if you have neither the budget nor the energy to embark on a renovation project, sometimes it’s wiser to sell as is.

The final step is the simplest, most accessible and least costly. If you’re lucky and your home has been well maintained, all you have to do is remove the irritants, do some minor repairs and freshen up the rooms.

Be realistic

Of course, any work you do won’t allow you to double your asking price. At most, you will be preserving the value of your home to avoid having to lower your price. Planned renovations and tasteful furnishings will simply help you get the amount you’re aiming for.

Once the renovations are finished, you can put your home on the market with complete peace of mind and get the best return on your investment. Talk to our advisors about your needs or watch our informational webinar to learn more about our services:

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This article was written in collaboration with Desjardins Insurance.