The 3 Principles of Profitable Home Renovations

You may have heard from appraisers and home renovation experts in the media about how much a given renovation will return on the money invested. The reality is that most renovations deliver far less than 100% ROI. You may have heard that kitchens can get you 75%, but a new roof only gets back 50% of what you put in. 

The reality is there are no guarantees when forecasting what return you’ll get on a given renovation. There are simply too many variables and unknowns involved in home improvements to accurately forecast this. The more reliable approach to profitable home renovation is based on principles, not tactics. We advocate three basic principles to consider for every home renovation you do: Quality, Consistency, and Market Value Alignment. 


When it comes to home renovations it’s very important to consider the long term. You want your improvements to stand the test of time, especially if you’re not thinking about selling in the near future. That’s why quality is paramount with any type of home improvement. 

Keep in mind that newer is not necessarily better if it doesn’t have quality as its foundation. There’s an inexpensive version of every type of home improvement, however going the inexpensive route may not save you money in the end. You’re likely to pay more for the labour involved in installing it both in the short term (installing poorly made materials usually takes more time and effort) and the long term (maintenance and replacement costs when these materials break down). 

When it comes time to sell your home these short cuts will usually get noticed by inspectors, and if there are enough of these deficiencies spotted you may get a lot of lowball offers and fewer offers overall. So always go for top quality in any home renovations you do. 


Consistency within your living space is another essential factor. If you put a modern high-end bathroom into an otherwise dated or neglected home don’t expect to recoup your reno costs (let alone profit) from the new work. However, when that updated bathroom is accompanied by modern finishes and upgrades all consistently found throughout the home, there will be synergies among all the elements and the total package will be worth more to buyers. With renovations the whole is definitely worth more than the sum of the parts. 

Market Value Alignment 

The third key to maximizing your ROI on home renovations is ensuring your home improvements align with the property’s market value. So your best bet is checking out recent solds in your immediate area and considering what upgrades the most comparable properties to yours had, and how much they contributed to how much these homes sold for. 

If you want an accurate sense of your home’s worth, ask a local real estate agent, even if you aren’t in the market to sell. You can also hire a licensed real estate appraiser. Professional appraisers look at directly comparable properties in your neighbourhood and then use a standard-deviation sheet for adjusting for the differences between properties. Having appraisals from both an inspector and realtor is ideal. 

Once you`ve got a sense of your home`s true market value you can make informed decisions about the scope of your planned renovations, and how much you want to spend in total. 

Making home improvements aligned with the value of your property and properties in your immediate area, and what buyers want in those homes is essential to getting the highest return on your home improvement investments. 

Trina Stewart

Trina Stewart is the Editor of HOMES+ Locale Magazine. Originally from Cambridge, Ontario, Trina loves exploring the area and embracing the activities, events, and local businesses.

Trina Stewart

Trina Stewart is the Editor of HOMES+ Locale Magazine. Originally from Cambridge, Ontario, Trina loves exploring the area and embracing the activities, events, and local businesses.