What Renovations You Should Invest In (And Three You Should Avoid)

If you are planning a renovation to increase your home value, there are a few places that you should invest your time and money. Here are four renovations that will return on your investment and three renovations that are better left undone.

Redo Your Kitchen

Ask any expert and they will tell you the same thing: kitchens are the heart of the home. Kitchens are where families gather, where friends are entertain—renovating your kitchen should be at the top of your list.

Upgrade your appliances, install granite countertops and add in more storage space by giving your cabinets a face lift. The devil is in the details and making these seemingly small changes can make all the difference.

If you are looking to make a more substantial change, consider opening up your space completely. Say goodbye to a wall or two and connect your living room to your kitchen, giving the space a more open and spacious feel.

Upgrade Your Bathroom

As the second most important room in any house, investing in your bathroom is a great way to increase the value of your home. If your tile is outdated or your toilet and fixtures have seen better days, it’s worthwhile to tackle those renovation issues.

Another way to boost your home’s value is by ensuring your bathroom has plenty of natural light. Extend the existing window or work in some overhead lighting to illuminate the space.

Kick it up a notch by turning your one bathroom home into a two bedroom home. Consider adding a three-piece bathroom—you’ll see a dramatic increase in the market value of your home.

Reconsider Your Flooring

Never underestimate the importance of flooring. Carpet, tile, hardwood flooring—every flooring has its place.

The installation of hardwood floors will immediately increase your property valuation. If you already have hardwood floors, consider refinishing the floor to restore it.

Replace dingy carpet with some new, fresh and stain resistant carpeting. For the bathroom, tile is all but necessary and retains its value very well.

Finish Your Basement or Attic

 If you have an unfinished basement or attic, it’s well worth the effort to capitalize on the square footage. Whether you are turning your attic into a spare bedroom or your basement into a games room for the family, adding more livable space to your home will help increase the value of your home.

Don’t Put in a Pool

While it may seem like to dream for a family, the realities of a pool are much different. Pools come with a lot of liability and a lot of regular maintenance. Especially in southern Ontario (think Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville and the GTA), where pools will only be functional for 3 months a year, the investment will not be worthwhile.

Don’t Convert a Bedroom

Never underestimate the value of an additional bedroom. Taking a bedroom that you may not be actively using and turning into a room that is specific to your interests—think wine cellar, library, or craft room—is a risk. Because the next owner may not see the value in having their own library or wine cellar, the space becomes less valuable.

Don’t Redo your Garage

A large, open garage might scream opportunity to you. You may see family rooms, play rooms or an adult game room. But before you start renovating, consider that most people want to be able to use their garage for its intended purposes. Especially in the GTA, with winter weather, it’s important to be able to have a place to keep cars safe and to store lawnmowers, sn

This Stunning Kitchen Renovation Will Leave You Speechless

When we renovate a kitchen, we know we're doing more than just renovating a room. The kitchen is more than just another room in your home. It is the life blood, the hub, the center of your family's universe. 

And so when we started to renovate this Ancaster kitchen, we knew we had an exciting, important project ahead of us. We wanted to make the most of the space while giving the family a modern kitchen that was both chic and functional. 

White counters paired with white cabinets gives the kitchen a clean, modern feel, while details such as double kitchen islands, pendant lighting and bronze decorative lamps give the kitchen a personal, homey feel.

And the icing on the cake, so to speak: a dedicated wine fridge (and some cheese to accompany of course!).

Seven Questions to Ask Your Contractor before Starting a Renovation

Renovating or remodelling your home is a huge undertaking. There seem to be hundreds of things to consider—your budget, your style, your timeline and most importantly, your contractor.

Finding the right contractor can be the deciding factor on whether or not your renovation is a success. You’ll be spending a lot of time with whomever you choose and you’ll be living with their work for a long time to come.

When you’re interviewing contractors, be prepared with questions that will help you make an informed decision. After all, this is your home you’re welcoming someone into—you want to be comfortable with them and confident that they will give your project the attention it deserves.

1. Can you provide references?

This question is about more than just seeing past projects and work—although that is important. You want to really dig into your potential contractors past to ensure they are properly licensed for the work you’re requesting. You’ll also want to find out if the contractor has ever declared bankruptcy or if anyone has ever taken legal action against them

A great way to ensure your contractor has all the appropriate business licences is to go with a RenoMark™ member. Members are required to be legitimate businesses and to subscribe to the association’s general Code of Ethics plus a renovation-specific Code of Conduct.

It’s important to ask for references and contact those references to get their honest opinion of the contractor and their work. Try to get references with relevant experience—if you are having your kitchen redone, it would be most beneficial to speak with someone who also had their kitchen redone, as opposed to their master bedroom.

2. Who will be on site each day?

Depending on the size of the company and the size of your project, the answer to this question will vary greatly. Ask your potential contractors who will be responsible for supervising the site during the day, who will be your direct contact and who will be opening and locking up the site.

3. How will we communicate?

In a world where we can text, email, call and direct message, it’s important to understand how you’re contractor will communicate with your on a daily basis. Most contractors will have an established method of communication that they prefer to use. Be sure you understand and are on-board with how you will communicate with one another before choosing your contractor.

4. How will I reach you in case of an emergency?

While you can’t expect your contractor to be available for every small issue that arises 24/7, you do need a way to reach them if there is an emergency. Exchange numbers to ensure that whether they are having an emergency or you are, you can both reach one another.

5. Can I get it in writing?

This is essential. A contractor needs to provide a written contract with all of the details of your project including costs, dates and what you expect from the project. If a contractor isn’t willing to provide a written contractor, simply put, move on to your next prospect.

6. Do you foresee any problems with my project?

You’ve set out a meticulous plan of what you want your renovation to be. But you’re hiring a contractor because they are an expert in their field—if there is something in your project that sets off alarms for them, it’s better to get it out in the open early. You can run worst-case scenarios and troubleshoot before the possible issue becomes an actual problem.

7. What do you need as a down payment?

A down payment is standard practice. The industry benchmark, established by the Contractor’s State License Board of Canada, is a 10% down payment. Remember that a stable company won’t need to take a 50% deposit from you to actually get the work done.

Now that you’re armed with the questions you need to ask your contractor, why not give us all at Attard Construction. We’d be more than happy to answer these questions and any others you may have.