We regularly help our clients make decisions on whether renovating prior to selling a home makes sense.  In some cases, renovating and enjoying the improved home for a number of years before selling is actually the best option.

We have lots of experience with what appeals to buyers due to the  umpteen thousand different homes we’ve seen in our work with our clients.  In case you didn’t know, “umpteen” is an actual value – it falls somewhere between “a wee bit” and “a pile” in the measurement scale.

Despite this practical experience in what constitutes a worth-while renovation for an eventual sale, we’re not contractors, architects, electricians or plumbers.  As such, we rely on the expertise and skill of such professionals to undertake the work or to speak to the feasibility or cost of any renovations.  At the same time, we love to learn and we’ve found a resource from the good folks at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) that we often share with clients.

The Renovator’s Technical Guide is a way of approaching renovation projects, using the House-As-A-System approach developed by CMHC.  The House-As-A-System approach considers how all the systems in a house interact — and how a renovation to one system can affect another.

While the guide was last updated in 2007, it still remains a fundamental resource that can help you think through how a home works and what renovations make sense for you and your family.  We’ve linked to the full PDF of the document below, but let’s give you a taste of some of the topics it covers.

Interior Renovations

  • Secondary Suites
    Secondary suites can provide affordable living space and intensify urban development without adding new buildings. This article explains what the homeowner should consider before building or renovating a secondary suite.
  • Renovating Your Kitchen
    Conduct a pre-renovation inspection and prioritize the most desirable features for your new kitchen.
  • Renovating Your Basement – Moisture Problems
    Creating a clean, dry and healthy living space is a critical first step in this renovation.
  • Renovating Your Basement – Structural Issues
    Fixing foundation problems before renovating is essential to preserve the durability and structure of the house.
  • Renovating your Basement for Livability
    Find out about common problems that can be fixed, as part of the renovations, to make your basement a healthy living space.
  • Flooring Choices
    Things you should think about when choosing resilient, laminate, and wood flooring, as well as carpet and ceramic tile.
  • Renovating Your Bathroom
    Bathroom renovations offer the second highest financial payback rate and are one of the most common home improvement projects.
  • Hydronic Radiant Floor
    Heating Radiant floor heating is a method of heating your home by applying heat underneath or within the floor
  • Buying a Water-Efficient Toilet
    Tips and advice on buying a water-efficient toilet using current toilet rating programs.
  • Replacing Your Furnace
    This fact sheet provides you with information on replacing your existing furnace with a new one.
  • Assessing the Comfort and Safety of Mechanical Systems
    How the mechanical systems interact with other appliances is critical in keeping your home’s indoor environment healthy and safe.

Exterior Renovations

  • Garden Suites
    Introductory information on garden suites for seniors or persons with disabilities.
  • Before You Start a New Addition
    Identify the features you need and inspect the current structure and mechanical systems to be sure they can support the new addition.
  • Repairing or Replacing Exterior Wall Materials
    Repairing or replacing exterior wall finishes will protect and preserve the durability and structure of the home.
  • Repairing or Replacing Roof Finishes
    Learn about the key factors that will determine whether you should repair or replace your roof.
  • The ABC’s of Windows
    Information to help you understand and select window performance levels appropriate for your climatic (and geographical) location and exposure conditions.
  • Understanding Window Terminology
    Helpful guidance on buying the right type of window for your home.
  • Window and Door Renovations
    Before repairing or replacing windows and doors, consider all of the factors outlined in this fact sheet.

General Renovations

  • Assessing the Renovation Project
    If you plan carefully, you can renovate your home to make it look better, work better, last longer and be more comfortable.
  • Canada’s Housing Construction System
    Understand the elements of the system of construction and operation of buildings and houses in Canada.
  • Hiring a Contractor
    Make sure you get what you want and pay for when hiring a contractor.
  • Sample Renovation Contract
    A detailed written contract between you and the contractor you hire is essential to any renovation or home repair project, no matter its size.

Energy-Efficiency Renovations

  • Energy Efficient Upgrade — Mechanical Systems
    Before altering these, it is important to understand how the overall performance of the house will be affected.
  • Energy Efficient Upgrade — The Building Envelope
    Improving the building envelope can result in a better insulated, more airtight home that is easier to heat.
As you can tell, there is a tremendous amount of useful topics covered in the Guide and you’re welcome to download the full PDF by clicking on the image below.  Happy renovating!

If you want to talk specifically about your home and what we would recommend as work to be done that will add value for your eventual sale, then we’d be happy to come give you our opinion.  Get in touch with us to arrange a time!