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3 Renovation Investments You Won't Regret

Having trouble deciding which parts of your home are worth the upgrade? Here are our top picks on projects that are worth the time, effort and money.

Photo Credit: Elmwood Design Centre | Elmwood Group

Renovations: the ultimate test of your decision-making skills and your ability to survive on takeout for weeks. While some projects are more of a luxury, there are certain parts of your home you shouldn’t fear investing in. Instead of embarking on a game of the renovation edition of ‘Guess Who’, we’re here to help you eliminate the uncertainty with three reno’s you can’t go wrong with.

Backyard Oasis: Invest in the Outdoors

It might not seem like the first obvious choice, but upgrading your outdoor space is one of the best investments you can make. Outdoor kitchens being the big one.

They’re not just for impressing your friends with fancy grills and Instagram worthy photos (though certainly an added benefit). They’re also a smart investment. Incorporating an outdoor kitchen into your home can be equivalent to adding an addition. With increasing livable square footage, it can provide anywhere from 50% up to a 200% ROI. Those numbers are hard to say no to.

If you’re curious about where you might land in that percentile, take climate, surrounding neighbours and way of living into consideration.

Let’s start with climate. If you live in Florida, you’ll have the luxury of utilizing an outdoor kitchen all year round which will certainly get you your moneys worth. But like us lucky ones in "Canada eh?", we only get to experience that warm weather 3-4 months out of the year. This can leave a shorter window for true summertime enjoyment.

On the other hand, if you really are a true Canadian, you know you’ll be enjoying that plus 5 Celsius weather in your crocs on the patio, right up until the snow makes it’s first appearance. That brings us to a solid 6-8 months of outdoor oasis enjoyment which puts you on the higher end of ROI percentile.

If you’re interested in resale value, it’s important to take note of your neighbours. Do you live in the average “kids playing hockey in the streets” neighbourhood? Or are you on Hollywood Boulevard, fighting for your life to keep up with your neighbours landscaping. If the latter best describes you, we guarantee buyers will start bidding wars for your home with that outdoor kitchen. If you’re better aligned with the first description, then the investment might not see the biggest up front return. While we still believe it’s worth it, our recommendation is to be a little more choosy with your accessories and finishes.

Sometimes the return on investment isn’t solely reflected in the numbers (if you’re a stock broker you can stop reading now).

Let’s paint a picture for education purposes:

Just imagine…

You’re sitting on your freshly painted deck, enjoying a glass of merlot after devouring every last morsel of that medium-rare sirloin steak, grilled on your Traeger.

Watching the sunset with your family (or pet… they’re family too), you have no worry about dragging all your dishes inside because you know they’ll be safely rinsed and tucked away in your weatherproof cabinetry. You have no worry about the chance of rain because you upgraded to a built in patio cover. You have no worry about cleaning up two kitchens because all of your prep and cooking was done outdoors. And you have no worry about getting up off your patio sofa to grab dessert from inside because there’s ice cream in the built-in outdoor fridge two feet away from you.

P.S. - You don’t need a bowl, just grab a spoon.

Get the picture?

At the end of the day, it’s all in how you choose to look at the investment. We’ve laid out some solid numbers you can trust in but ultimately if you know upgrading your outdoor space is going to increase overall quality of living and bring you pure enjoyment, we think that takes priority over everything.

Free Standing L-Shape Backyard Oasis Outdoor Kitchen
Photo Credit: NatureKast | | Shaker: Fossil Grey

A Reimagined Kitchen: Invest in the Heart of the Home

There's a reason why the kitchen holds that title. It's where we whip up culinary masterpieces, host gatherings and spend most of our time. So why shouldn't we prioritize making it the most spectacular room in the house.

We can't think of any reasons.

The average kitchen remodel has an ROI between 49% and 96%. A good rule of thumb is the more you decide to upgrade, and the more high end those finishes are, the lower the ROI. Either way it's one of the top projects to prioritize and a personal staff favourite.

A kitchen can come with what seems like endless upgrade options. But like we've said before, it's important to think big picture and plan everything all at once instead of upgrading slowly over time. Replace old cabinetry, upgrade worn laminate to quartz and switch out your backsplash all in one go. You'll save time, money and stress tackling your projects this way.

Just like you probably wouldn't "wing" your wedding day, you should avoid doing the same with your kitchen renovation.

If you're feeling lost on which design route to take, a team of professionals (like us!) can help kickstart your project. Our recommendation: Stick to timeless choices to maintain a high resale value down the line. Hopping on trends can be fun but if you don't plan on keeping it your forever home, those dark blue cabinets may not appeal to your next buyer.

Photo Credit: Elmwood Design Centre | Elmwood Group

Exterior Upgrades: Curb Appeal & Energy Efficiency

The unsung hero of renovation upgrades. You might be thinking, "Why should I care about the outside when I spend most of my time inside?” But hear us out, these upgrades not only make your home look magazine worthy, they also can save you some serious cash on energy bills and increase total resale value.

If you're stuck on where to start, here are some top picks with juicy ROI percentages.

Let's start with the crown of the home: the roof.

Replacing your roof might not sound like the most thrilling project. Really, who gets excited about shingles? (Actually, we can think of quite a few people). But you might be surprised to learn that a new roof can give you up to a 107% return on investment! That's right, your roof can pay for itself and then some.

Think of it as your home’s hat—protecting it from the elements while simultaneously keeping it stylish. Plus, a well-insulated roof means you’re not letting heat escape in the winter or letting it in during the summer. Your wallet will thank you, and so will your house.

Next up: windows and siding.

With so many options available these days, vinyl siding remains the most popular. Cost effective, low maintenance and long lasting, it's what we recommend most to our clients. With up to a 63% return on investment, it’s like buying a suit that makes you look sharp and pays you back for wearing it.

If new vinyl siding is like the Armani of suits, then windows are the oxfords that bring the whole 'fit together. And you wouldn't wear $20 Walmart loafers with a designer suit (or at least we hope you wouldn't).

Replacing those old, drafty windows with new, energy-efficient vinyl ones is like giving your home the much needed makeover it deserves. With up to a 61% ROI, not only will your house look more polished, but you’ll also reduce those annoying drafts and continue to cut down on energy costs. But with any renovation, it's important that the installation is done right. This is key in obtaining those reduced energy bills, so put your interviewer hat on and make sure you hire the right contractor.

If we haven't already convinced you enough, us Canadian New Brunswickers have the added benefit of qualifying for rebates through NB Power! Most exterior renovations (if not all) should be eligible for the Total Home Energy Savings Program which can help save you money on your upgrades and on your long-term energy bills. All you need to do is register here, schedule an evaluation to determine eligibility and wait for your rebate!

We've given you our top exterior upgrades but our final recommendation: go all in. Which is exactly what we specialize in!

Upgrade your siding, windows, roofing and other finite details all in one shot. Choosing this route will ensure the most aesthetically pleasing design, a reduced reno timeline and ultimately save you money. Your home will thank you for it's cohesive new look.

Photo Credit: Elmwood Design Centre | Elmwood Group

Hopefully at this point we've helped eliminate some worry around your decision making-skills. It's hard to go wrong with any of these upgrades but whichever investment you choose to take on first, make sure you consult with the pros (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Remember to think big picture and ultimately choose the one that makes you the most excited!

Renovating doesn't always need to be a burden, start with what you and your home needs most and watch the investment dollars come rolling back into your pocket.



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