The Secrets to Renovation Success

With a lumbering real estate market, it’s a great time to consider trading up or changing locale.  I can’t see interest rates going anywhere in a big hurry, so it’s not panic time and if selling your home in current markets is not optimal, then renovation is a smart way to go.

I asked Andrew Williams, an excellent realtor (and awesome defenseman on our hockey team), for his views on what improvements make a house sell.  He pointed out that buying decisions tend to be based more on visual impact, rather than hidden improvements such as new wiring or adding insulation.

Open up a cramped kitchen and consider adding an island (pictured above), which might conjure up images of cooking and entertaining in the minds of buyers.  I designed the above kitchen island for a client to also accommodate dining.  Andrew suggested that if your budget is limited, then consider painting the existing cabinets and adding a new granite countertop.

New hardwood flooring gets easily noticed.  Engineered hardwood flooring is a great alternative to solid, while laminate flooring just looks & sounds cheap and today’s sophisticated buyers aren’t easily fooled.


Who knew?  I know, baseboards don’t scream sexy design, but Andrew points out that new baseboards are an inexpensive way to add a crisp, luxurious detail to rooms.  Crown mouldings also add interest to otherwise humdrum spaces.


Often overlooked, lighting can completely change the look and feel of a room.  Built-in halogen or LED lighting with dimmer switches allows you to control the ambience of a room.  Floor lamps also provide great ambient light and a favourite of mine is the Toio light, designed around the concept of using a car headlamp as the light source.


Have a design dilemma?  Email me at and I will do my best to answer your questions and maybe feature the topic in an upcoming blog.

Andrew Williams is a member of Remax Realty Services and can be contacted at

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