Renovating a House on a Budget

Posted on August 3, 2021

There are so many benefits to remodelling your home, and Canadians know it! In fact, right before Covid-19 devastated the economy, the Canadian home renovation industry was pulling in over $50 billion in revenue annually!

However, when we think of home remodels, we think of breaking the bank. Luckily for you, it doesn't have to be that way. Small, cosmetic changes and DIY can save you a fortune and still make your home look brand new! Let's talk about some great ideas for renovating on a budget to get the best value out of your home!

What Renovations Increase Home Value The Most

Obviously, a $30,000 kitchen remodel will do more to increase your home value than painting your shed. However, there are plenty of great renovations you can do on a tighter budget that will increase the character and the value of your home in no time!

Outdoor Structures

Decks, fire pits, pools, and patios can go a long way toward improving your home value. There is plenty you can do yourself, and many of them even cheap!

A patio might need a crew to get it done right, but you and potential buyers will only see it as a great place to have a barbecue! Just make sure you know how to set up a safe backyard barbeque!

Adding a fire pit is no problem! You can buy a fancy one that will fit the aesthetic of your home, or you can just get some bricks or stones and make one yourself! Add some cement to make it a permanent fixture! If it looks good, this will definitely help future homebuyers envision their time in the backyard with only a couple of hours of work!

Got a shovel? Great, buy a liner and grab some stones. If you have the right yard, you could dig a pond for koi fish, ducks, or whatever you want! Keep in mind that this may deter families with small children, but it can add plenty of charm and value to your yard for other buyers!

Building an above-ground swimming pool is surprisingly affordable, and if your budget allows for an underground one, that'll be even better. However, both will surely increase your home value.

Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels

Kitchen and bathroom remodels are super popular and for great reason. Not only will it add so much more life and function to your home, but you should also expect around a 75% return on investment (ROI) when it comes time to sell. Depending on the size of these rooms and what you're looking to do, you'd be surprised at how affordable they can be.

As a general rule of thumb, your maximum budget on this should be about 15-20% of the value of your home. That's about what these remodels are worth.

Replacing Old Windows and Doors

Old windows stand out. Our windows are there for our way of viewing the outside world, and if they look old, it really makes the whole house look old. Unfortunately, this isn't a DIY kind of project. The smallest mistake can damage the structure of your home, the risk for injury is high, and mistakes are quite costly.

Inside doors are important to replace. They act as the main contrast to your walls, which makes them pop out in our vision. However, even more important are our outside doors. The first thing you see in the centre of a house when you look at it is the front door. Make sure this looks like it's meant to be there on your specific house.

Adding bigger windows will increase appeal, same with adding new ones. Try adding skylights for a nicer, more unique aesthetic and to bring more natural light into your home.

If you have a side door or a shed door that's visible from the front, that will also go a long way for curb appeal, which is important for selling! If you don't like the look of a house from the outside, why would you bother going to look at the inside?


Another great way to increase the curb appeal is to fix up the property, and this is really easy to start. You don't need to be an expert to improve your property. Add a brick or stone walkway, add some bushes in the front, or start a garden!

This is a great hobby to get started on to keep you outside and active over the long term, and it will secondarily increase your curb appeal and overall home value

Add Technology

Smarthome remodels are the newest luxury feature that homebuyers look for. Adding these technologies is surprisingly affordable, and it will add a huge convenience to your time living there while increasing the home value!

Carports or Garages

Here in Canada, people tend to get pretty sick of scraping off their cars every morning for most of the year. The solution? Don't let it get snowed on.

Garages are obviously a more valuable choice, as they are more versatile and can be heated, but a carport is more affordable and will get the job done! Both will add plenty of value to your home.

Home Renovation Tips

We can talk about specific renovations to start all day. Your options are endless. However, if you're really interested in starting some DIY home improvements, then there are a few key things to keep in mind!

Start Small

If you're new to DIY renovations, start small and work your way up! If you're not too handy or don't have much experience with tools, check out some YouTube tutorials or sign up for a class!

However, even without any fancy skills, there are still a lot of changes you can make to your home that will go a long way toward improving the appeal and even the value of your home!

Even hanging decorations, painting your cabinets, and putting display windows on your shelves can add up to a lot of increased value in your home. If you start small and never get to bigger renovations, they will still add up over time, and you'll get enjoyment out of all your different projects.

If you keep upping the ante and start making bigger renovations, you'll watch your home value skyrocket!

Don't Settle

Don't just buy something because you think it's the only option. We live in a world where it's never been easier to find deals if you want them. Shop around for the best deals you can find on building materials, additions, installation costs, and more. If there's something you really want, find the right store or the right crew to give it to you.

You can also find cheaper alternatives to your ideas. Use recycled materials for certain projects, if you can! That's great for your wallet and for sustainability. Get rid of your wallpaper and opt for paint! It'll save you and future owners a lot of maintenance. Look for opportunities to save money across the board, and especially over the long term.

Renovate with Long-Term Value in Mind

If you're keeping your ROI in mind, then that's a good start, but there's more to it. Other things to consider include depreciation (or appreciation) on your investment, when you plan to sell your home, and if the investment will offer you any benefit for the rest of your time living there.

For example, adding new appliances is often a great investment for increasing your home value. Upgrading your fridge, washer, drier, oven, and more will not only increase your home value but save you money on utilities as newer models tend to be more efficient.

Set a budget before you get started with anything. Once you have it in mind, you're good to get started. As you make purchases, just keep in mind hidden expenses like installation fees, interest if you're taking out loans, and materials. However, you should also keep in mind the potential ROI for what you're purchasing, as this will help you make a decision if a purchase is worth it!

Think about how each renovation will hold up over time. Ask yourself before each purchase: "How long does this paint last?", "What alternatives are there to this?", "Does this fit in with the aesthetic?"

If you don't see any personal benefit to your remodel, don't just do it for someone else. If you plan to live there for several more years, you'll want to get some enjoyment out of your remodel.

Is Renovating on a Budget Possible?

To put it simply, yes. We've all had some idea of our dream home, and even if you're renovating on a budget, you can make the one you're living in now into just that! Just start small and work your way up from there. Keep up to date with our latest homeownership news, find out how to get it all insured, and get to work!

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