for sale sign houseIt can be difficult to be sensible when you first start thinking about renovating your home. Although it’s fun to dream about everything you could possibly want, when it comes right down to it, two things can stop you in your tracks, or at least make you slow down a bit: budget and resale.

If you think you’re going to be in your current home for a long time, with resale only a distant speck in the far-away future, maybe you can skip that part.

But if the impact a renovation will have on the actual monetary value of your home is important, there are things to consider. And with the cost of even a modest renovation starting at perhaps $10,000, the numbers do count. Will this truly be an investment that will translate into profit some day?

A realtor is probably the first person to talk to about the return you might get on your renovation. You will probably be told it will depend on the location of your home, the price of other houses in the area, and the market in general, present and forecast.

Professional renovators might suggest that no matter what, you start with the basics: an efficient furnace, good windows, and a sound roof. Most will tell you the best money is spent on kitchens and bathrooms, with current styles and trends in mind – styles and trends that typically change every five years or so.

Other good features to consider are fireplaces and finished basements. Hardwood floors and granite countertops are also excellent choices. High-quality finishes are timeless. Of course, there’s always “curb appeal” to think about: a tasteful entryway, well kept lawn and attractive landscaping.

One thing they all agree on is this: make sure the work is first-class. No “quick” jobs allowed. Get references, and hire a professional, ideally one who carries the RenoMark® logo. Your best selling feature, they say, is quality work and products.

Renovating is a big undertaking. It’s a good idea to add where you’re headed, and what you really want, into the “dream” factor.

Writer Francie Healey is Ottawa Renovate’s editor.