Columnist image
Dale Jackson

Personal Finance Columnist, Payback Time


The snow is gone and trees are blooming. That means it’s home renovation season.

Upgrades and additions not only make your living space nicer, but - depending on the project - can also improve the value of your home.

The Appraisal Institute of Canada provides a breakdown of which projects add the most value, dollar for dollar.

Bathroom and kitchen upgrades top the list with a 75 to 100 cent return on the dollar. Adding a kitchen island returns 65 cents on the dollar.

A simple paint job, inside or out, yields 67 cents on the dollar. The number rises if you’re not afraid to pick up a brush and do it yourself.

Energy-efficient projects return 61 cents on the dollar but have the added advantage of generating immediate savings on your energy bill. The best returns come from heating system upgrades such as furnaces, windows and insulation. Surprisingly, the breakdown finds hot water heater upgrades had the lowest returns in energy efficiency.

The study also found hot tubs, swimming pools and skylights have the least impact on resale values.