Want to know the best home renovation projects that pay for themselves?

Canadians love improving their homes, with 45 per cent of homeowners undertaking a project this year.

According to a recent poll, the trend is toward smaller, lower-priced renovations, with the average cost falling seven per cent to $11,000 in 2018.

Homeownersin Ontario will spend an average of $13,600on home improvements this year, with boomers spendingtwice as much as younger Canadians, to address wear and tear and increase the value of their home for an eventual sale.

A basement is a top renovation that pays for itself.

According to a survey by Royal LePage, a finished basement has the potential to increase a property's value between 2.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent, depending on the investment.

READ: What To Do If Your Home Floods And How To Prevent Flooding In Your Basement

No matter how much you spend, the important thing is to make sure you get a decent return on your costs.

There are several renovations that actually pay for themselves when it comes to resale value. They might seem like intangibles, but painting, updating fixtures and putting in a perennial garden can all add to the bottom line when it comes to a home’s final sale price.

Bigger ticket items can also deliver payback to homeowners, but it’s important to stick to a budget so the return on your investment.

Quick Fixes


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Landscaping is considered one of the best investments you can make.

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If you spend $500 to $2000 on landscaping, the value it adds to a home is estimated between $5,000 and $15,000. That's a whopping 650 to 900 per cent ROI.

Not bad since it’s one of the cheapest improvements you can make, especially for DIYers who can save on labour costs and spend more on ornamental trees and shrubs.


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People love turning their garages into liveable spaces, perfect for a home workshop or a den. And one of the best ways to make it more comfortable is to put down a solid subfloor.

READ: HGTV Buys ‘Brady Bunch’ House To Duplicate ’70s Look From TV Show

There are excellent subflooring products available that are easy to install in a few hours and this do-it-yourself solution raises and insulates your garage floor, protecting furniture, electronics, woodworking projects or whatever else you have in your garage.


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Again, this is a low-cost improvement that adds significantly to the appeal, and therefore value, of your home.

Two areas where painting not only improves but transforms your home are painting wooden panelling and outdated kitchen cabinets.

At an average cost of $500 to $1,000 per project, this adds a value of $5,000 to $10,000 while instantly brightening up your home and updating the interior.

Updating bathroom fixtures

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Do not underestimate the difference that changing the hardware in your bathroom can make.

Trends in bathrooms often revolve around the fixtures (and lighting too for that matter). And updating to the latest trends is an inexpensive way to get your bathroom back to magazine-worthy condition.

This easy fix costs around $500 to $750 but will add about $5,000 in value to your home, netting you a 600 to 900 per cent ROI.

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Bigger Fixes

Beautifying the Basement

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Homeowners in need of more living space should look no further than downstairs.

Basements offer a viable solution without the cost of an expensive addition, and stats show that more and more Canadians are considering basements when planning their home renovations.

READ: Bryan Baeumler’s Top 5 Tips To Remodel Your Basement Like A Pro

The key to a basement remodel is a good subflooring product to lift the floor off the concrete, creating an air pocket that will both insulate and protect the floor from moisture and mould issues.

Once that is done (and it can be completed in an afternoon in many cases), more improvements can follow. In a matter of days, you can be adding furniture and electronics to create the living space of your dreams.

Hardwood flooring

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New floors have a massive impact on how your home is perceived, instantly upping the wow factor.

It has an ROI of 100 to 150 per cent, depending on which type of flooring you choose.

Hardwood can cost from four to six dollars per square foot, with a two-dollar per square foot installation fee.

Laminate is cheaper, but should also be professionally installed, costing one to three dollars per square foot, with an installation fee of $1.50 per square foot.

Kitchen Or Bathroom Redo

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The home decor magazines want you to turn your bathroom into a spa, and your kitchen into a Food Network-worthy workspace.

These big projects don’t have to be as expensive as they might seem. Adding modern elements like glass showers, interesting tiles or natural stone can help create a peaceful sanctuary-like space in the bathroom.

If you have the room to put in a soaker tub and a seating area, all the better.

Prices can go anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. The ROI is not as great as other rooms, at around 65 per cent. But consider this an investment in your own relaxation and pleasure!

Kitchens are the hardest working rooms in the house. As such, they experience wear and tear like no other. And as a result, kitchen renos are among the most highly valued improvements, typically getting a 75 to 100 per cent return on the investment.

Just be mindful of not overdoing it.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid putting more than 10 to 15 per cent of your home’s value into the kitchen to be sure to get back what you put in.