To Love It Or To List It? 5 Simple Renovations to Help you Decide!

Have you fallen out of love with your Kitchener-Waterloo home, but love your current neighbourhood & are feeling torn as to whether or not to pull the trigger on listing it? Let’s talk about 5 renovations that you could do, so that you will fall in love with it all over again & avoid having to list or move altogether. Watch the full video below for all the good info & a shared secret at the end about where you could have money hiding to fund the renovation for you!

To love it or to list it? That is the question! One of the biggest challenges when looking at your home, is being able to visualize or understand the potential it has to be better. This is one of the reasons why Joel (my hubby) & I started our renovation company, Rider Renovations, back in 2019. We love taking something that’s old & making it new again. More often than not, the layout or floorplan of your home can be adjusted to give you exactly what you need. I know this because we’ve done it a handful of times around the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Let’s dive in!

#1 - a Simple Facelift

This is the easiest one. The layout of your home may already be exactly what you need, but your fixtures, hardware, flooring, tile, paint, cabinetry & other finishes etc are just outdated. Time to GUT GUT GUT. Here you will make a list of all the things that you wish could be better & look to the pros (or to Pinterest 😉) to help guide you to a new design of your dreams that will work within your budget. I’d love to help get you started here, so don’t hesitate to ask! There are a whole whack ton of things you could do to take your home from zero-100, and shocker – if you’re a DIYer or very handy person, projects that you could take on yourself too! Painting & switching out hardware or fixtures are what come to mind first – even ripping out your old floor & replacing it with nice, new vinyl planks, is something you might feel comfortable doing on your own, with the right tools. If not, there are some awesome contractors in the Kitchener-Waterloo area that I could link you up with to get the ball rolling.

To give you an example of how easy it could be, we recently had a client who wanted to update their main floor a bit. They were so happy with the layout, but felt that their kitchen/living space & powder room were giving off those old school vibes. Instead of ripping out their kitchen entirely, they replaced their old laminate countertops with bright calcatta quartz, updated the backsplash from a dark tile to a larger, white finish, tweaked their breakfast bar design a little bit & replaced their sink, faucet & cabinet hardware. The cabinets were in such good condition & although their original thought was to refinish & paint them, or replace them entirely, by the time all was said and done, they didn’t even need to do a thing to them. They brought in modern vinyl flooring that perfectly complimented the cabinets, gave a little paint refresh to the space & even upgraded their front entry powder room by installing new tile, a vanity, some floating shelves & paint. All of a sudden, they viewed their home in a whole new light & it became a space that they loved again for their growing family.

<—— BEFORE**


#2 - Creating an Open Concept Space

Though these aren’t the ONLY house styles that can work with this, bungalows & side splits are excellent contenders. If your house feels closed off with too many divided up rooms, consider looking at which walls are load bearing & which ones aren’t. Once you have determined this, you can create a new floorplan that will open up your main floor space entirely. “Load bearing” doesn’t have to be a scary term. It’s simple really -if you take out a wall that is, you will need to support it with either a beam or posts. A good architect or engineer will advise you on your best options to make that happen. I have an awesome one that I can recommend to you if you need.

There were TWO walls dividing this open concept kitchen/living room space before we started this project! In this case, they were non-load bearing & very easy to remove.

#3 - Expanding Your Kitchen

We see this ALL the time. There’s a wall that has been placed in what seems like a silly spot, making your kitchen feel impossible to expand. Taking the problem wall out of the equation can allow for you to allocate space for more kitchen cabinets, surface area and even an island with a breakfast bar, if that tickles your fancy. Depending on your layout, you may even be able to change up your rooms, to allow your kitchen to either flow into a dining or living room, by creating really cool built-in units complete with a beverage bar. We did this in one our clients homes, & the end result was AMAZING! A good way to keep the costs down, is to keep the appliances & plumbing fixtures exactly where they are & just adding surface area or cabinet space around them, if the floorplan allows for it.

#4 - Taking Space From One Room to Make Another Bigger

Maybe you’ve got a room in your home with unused or unnecessary space that you can reassign to a different room in your home to give you either a bigger master bedroom, closet, ensuite or guest bathroom. Now I don’t mean you will be doing ALL of these things at one time, as that likely isn’t possible. BUT, maybe you have a galley bathroom that’s just not cutting it for your growing family. It is possible that you could take from an existing room or closet to expand your bathroom to fit your needs. OR, to add an ensuite to your master bedroom, if you don’t have one already. This again, depends on your layout & your needs for space, but it is absolutely worth exploring before ruling it out completely. 

#5 - Finishing Your Basement

SO much extra square footage is left on the table with an unfinished basement. And lets be honest, they generally turn into dumping grounds and storage for holiday decorations, unused furniture or household items & more often than not, for things you don’t really need to hang on to. Which makes this one a double whammy – not only will it give you & your family the chance to do a good ol fashion purge and organize the things you want to keep, but finishing your basement will create a whole new living space. You have the potential to create a living room/playroom, another bathroom and additional rooms to be used as either bedrooms or offices, depending on your needs. Creating these spaces are SUPER helpful for families who need that extra bedroom, who need a designated space to work from home, or who want to have an area where there kids can go, so that you can have the upstairs to yourself! You’ll also get more options & functionality within your spaces. For example, maybe it makes more sense for your home office to be upstairs, so now you’ll have the option to shuffle around the bedrooms and give the kids their own living quarters downstairs. Adding a kitchen or breakfast bar area isn’t out of the question either, especially if having an in-law suite has been a big goal for you.

In this basement, we also added a 4 pce bathroom, complete with tub & shower. Not only did this make their basement space much more functional for them, but it increased the value of their home as well. WIN WIN! 

Well, there you have it! You don’t always need to sell your house & buy another to get you everything that you want. Your current house could have all the bones dangling right in front of you, you just need a little help to see it! If you’re struggling to visualize or understand the possibilities, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

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