The Renovations that Add Value to your Home


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Home Renovations

The renovation market is popular in Vancouver, especially with the number of older building requiring reno’s in some of the cities most desired neighbourhoods – including Kitsilano. Kits has a large number of older buildings that could use a renovation, whether it’s modernizing the kitchen or tearing down walls to open up the space.

Take a look at our advice when it comes to hiring contractors and project managers for renovations!

What to renovate in your home depends on the space, your budget and how long you plan on living in the home before selling. If you plan to live in the home for quite a few years before you sell, then do what makes you happy since in 10 years, some of your renovations may seem out dated to the new Buyer. There are certain intangibles that last, including good lighting, nice floors and outdoor space. Obviously there are differences in what to renovate in a home versus a condo, and I’ll detail some of those differences below.

What to Renovate to Add Value:

The renovations that add value to your home include:

  • Kitchen and bathroom renovations: new cupboards, counters, fixtures and extra lighting
  • open concept living spaces
  • Hardwood or good quality laminate floors
  • Finished basement (for houses)
  • Landscaped yard & outdoor patio space
  • adding in suite laundry (if possible, for condos)

The renovations and extra features that don’t always get you a return on value can include:

  • sound systems
  • eliminating a bedroom
  • carpet
  • really unique colours, fixtures and styles that may only appeal to a smaller number of buyers

A renovated condo. New flooring, lighting and kitchen.

What to Renovate in a Kitsilano Condo?

Condos in Kitsilano have a variety of floor plans and spaces, and these differences affect what renovations you do and how much they may add value to the unit. Ensure that you get strata permission to make any changes to the suite, otherwise the strata can ask you to remove the additions if they’re discovered at a later date. Most Buyers would like the assurance that the renovations were done properly and with the right approvals so they won’t run into any problems later.


This condo could use new flooring, extra ceiling pot lights and a new kitchen to modernize the space.

Condo Renovations: In Suite Laundry

Given that not every building allows in suite laundry in Kitsilano, if your building does and you don’t already have laundry, this will be one of the biggest value additions to the home. Many Buyers don’t bother looking at units that don’t offer in suite laundry so you do limit your potential sales options if you don’t have it. In order to install in suite laundry, you’ll need enough space to do so (typically a front hall closet will suffice) and proper venting. Many people these days are installing the ventless European washers and dryers since they are an easier install.

Condo Renovations: Flooring

Higher value condos have hardwood floors, but good quality laminate will do the job in many Kitsilano condos. Condos, especially smaller condos, with consistent flooring throughout can feel bigger and more airy thanks to the look of continuous flooring. Lighter colours also make the space feel bright. No Buyers are looking for carpet these days, and the ones that want carpet in their bedrooms can get an area rug.

Condo Renovations: Kitchens and Bathrooms

Many older Kitsilano condos need a bathroom and kitchen makeover. In the bathroom, a new vanity, light fixtures, shower fixtures and tiling (both on the floor and in the shower) make a big difference. If the tub is in good condition, you can get it re-finished without needing to buy a new tub. Most people, especially in 2 bedrooms units, want to see a tub in one of the bathrooms.

A lot of older condos in Kitsilano have kitchens that are more closed off than others and would look great after removing a wall (or cutting a large hold in the wall) to create a sense of flow between the kitchen and living space. Otherwise, new fixtures, appliances, counters and cabinets, and extra lighting go a long way.

What to Renovate in a Kitsilano House?

The type of renovation you can do on your Kitsilano House can depend on the type of home – character home, contemporary – and how large a renovation you’re doing – full scale or in part.

House Renovations: Kitchens

Kristi_adjusted 5

A modern Kitchen in a craftsman style Kitsilano home.

Of course, modern kitchens and bathrooms as always desirable to Buyers, though keep in mind that you should marry the architecture style of the house with the interior design, so a nice character house would look great with a new kitchen that matches the craftsman design style. Installing good appliances always makes your kitchen look better, but don’t blow your budget expecting to get a ton of added value back from these updates. Many appliances can be bought for discount prices these days so shop around before purchasing.

House Renovations: Bathrooms and Bedrooms

Kristi_adjusted 4

A new bathroom in the basement of a Kitsilano craftsman style home.

Especially given Kitsilano’s older character homes, adding a bathroom (whether adding a Master ensuite or a basement bathroom, often adds value since many older floor plans don’t have enough bathrooms to satisfy the demands and lifestyles of new Buyers. Keep in mind that Buyers won’t exchange a bedroom for an extra large bathroom, so ensure that if you’re adding a bathroom, that you still maintaining useable bedrooms. Most young families these days want all of their children to sleep on the same floor as them, so ensuring that there is a good number of bedrooms “up” is also very important – 4 bedrooms upstairs is ideal, and try not to go lower than 3 bedrooms up.

House Renovations: Basements

Finishing the basement in a house can add a lot of value – either in giving the home extra space, or adding a potential income or nanny suite. It is a long time before you make back the value through a rental.

House Renovations: Curb Appeal and Landscaping

Curb appeal is still a worthwhile update you can add to your home. Adding proper paths from the driveway or street, great, easy to maintain, plants and trees, along with nice lighting make a big difference when it comes to the look and feel of a home. Entertaining backyards are also in high demand from Buyers – indoor/outdoor spaces, large patios (maintaining some grassy area for the kids) and adding trees and plants for privacy can make your home look great to potential Buyers.

If you’re interested in selling your home, and are wondering what you can do to add value prior to selling, give the LiveKitsilano Team a call or fill out our Kitsilano home evaluation form. We’re happy to walk through your property to give you tips on what you can do to make your home show as best as possible.

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