Renovation considerations

If you’re considering giving your home a makeover, you’re not alone. Desires to modernize and renew your home may increase as the years go by and trends and styles change.

There are plenty of options to make your home feel fresh as well as increase your enjoyment while in your home. Before you begin, there are two considerations that might cross your mind: “how much of a budget do I have?” and “what upgrades recoup the highest percentage of the cost if I decide to sell my home after I make the improvements?”

First, have you been saving for renovations? It is very important to create a renovation budget to fit your financial picture, and then stick to it. Even modest improvements can meet your needs, so don’t be tempted to go beyond your initial plan or over budget.

When renovating/upgrading your home, consider the long term resale value. Today’s designer trends could become tomorrow’s designer don’ts. Whether you’re planning a minor kitchen upgrade or planning a major addition, design experts have often recommended that home owners consider substance and function over style.

Before working on your home, Mark Anderson (2011, The designer discount. MoneySense, 13(1), 63) discusses the need to consult with a professional designer to assist you in your renovations. He suggests that many home owners who design their own spaces tend to focus on what’s trendy at the time without consideration of the fact that most trends are short lived. The longevity of the freshness of your upgrades can depend on your improvement choices.

The most sought after home improvements have typically been in the kitchen. The kitchen tends to be of major focus because it is a room that many people use as the hub of their lives. You might observe that trends are increasingly transforming the kitchen from a meal center to a lifestyle center by centralizing one’s daily activities around the room (as can be observed by adding shelves, built-ins, and computer desks as well as removing walls between the kitchen and other rooms). When updating the kitchen, experts warn not to go overboard as modest upgrades are often enough to increase your enjoyment.

When selling a home, curb appeal is always a consideration. So it’s no wonder that home owners typically go for the facelift equivalent by updating the exterior by replacing exterior doors, windows and siding. Not only can new exterior doors, replacement windows and siding give your home a fresh and modern look, these items could possibly add to your home’s overall insulation efficiency.

So, now that you’ve spent your money, you’re probably wondering “how much can I get back if I decide to sell my home?” Remodeling Magazine ( publishes an annual “cost vs. value” report that provides regional estimates and averages of improvement costs and the estimated average amount that could be recouped if the home is sold at time of improvement. The magazine estimates that for our region, a minor kitchen upgrade could cost around $20,000 and might recoup about 74% of the cost at resale; while a major kitchen upgrade could cost about $55,000 and only recoup about 68.7% of the cost. Additional recoup estimates include: 102% for the cost of a front door; 72% for the cost of new siding; and about 71% for the average cost of replacement windows.

by Dan Krell
© 2011

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