The Goods

These home renos will give you the biggest bang for your resale buck

Contractor Darren Voros weighs in on where to save and where to splurge

Contractor Darren Voros weighs in on where to save and where to splurge

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The most common question contractor Darren Voros hears is "what renovations should I do to increase the value of my property?" Everyone is looking for a return on their investment. A good reno will pay you back in dividends by adding value to your home, but sometimes the to-do list and price tag seem too daunting to even get started. That's why Darren stopped by The Goods to share his insights on where to save and where to splurge when renovating your home for resale. Let's jump in!


Windows are great from an appearance and energy efficiency standpoint, but you'll never recoup the cost upon selling your property. This is a SAVE because windows are so expensive – about $1000 a piece installed. So if you did an entire home, you're looking at a cost of $20,000 to $30,000, and homeowners will never recoup that cost upon sale of the property. Sure, they look great and are less drafty, but they're still not much of a selling feature. Instead, let the next owner do the windows if they feel so compelled.


Generally kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, so this is a SPLURGE. For the most part, every dollar you put into a bathroom you will get back. Adding in good flooring and an eye-catching vanity will also go a long way. Install tile surrounding a tub to really elevate the look of the bathroom, but there is usually no need to replace the tub unless it's in bad shape. If that's the case, consider using a company that can put a new surface over the existing one without tearing everything apart.

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You have to think about the amount of dollars you're going to spend on a reno versus what you get back for your investment, so this one is a SPLURGE. Painting is one of the least expensive things you can do to increase the appeal of your home. You might love the intimacy of a room with dark paint, but not every buyer will. So paint it white or another light colour to brighten and open up the space.

Furnace and hot water tank

It's a great selling feature, but this won't increase the resale value of your home for what you're going to spend. A brand new furnace or hot water tank will run you $10,000 to $12,000, and you're not going to get that back during the sale of your house. This is definitely a SAVE. It all comes down to comfort and efficiency, so it's not top of the list. But, if you do want a new heat source in your home you can rent a furnace or hot water tank for about $50 to $70 a month and the new buyers can take over the rental agreement upon sale of the house.


Yes, kitchens and bathrooms definitely sell houses but you can spend way too much on a kitchen renovation so this is a SAVE – with a caveat. Kitchen renos can cost $25,000 to $50,000 and you might not get much of a return on your investment. Instead, take a cosmetic approach – worry about things that will increase the value of the kitchen in terms of what it looks like, such as painting the cabinets and changing the countertops. Don't tear everything out, because you should keep existing (and expensive!) appliances and cabinetry. Refresh the sink and faucet to give it an easy facelift, and add a classic but affordable tile backsplash for visual interest without being obnoxious. Always make decisions that suit the existing space because new homeowners want to inject their own taste anyway.

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This is a SPLURGE. But before you spend, try refinishing old hardwood floors first, rather than dumping them in the landfill. You can also cover existing flooring. If you have an old tile floor you need to get rid of, you can lay vinyl plank flooring, laminate, or other similar material on top for a cheap and easy way to put a new surface down without making a huge mess. Changing up the flooring is definitely a great way to spruce up the value of your home without spending a lot.

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