U.S.-based Remodeling Magazine publishes an annual report comparing the renovation cost to resale value for different types of renovation. The report (you can access it at www.costvsvalue.com), which breaks data down by region and even city, unfortunately doesn’t report on Canadian markets, but probably can still provide clues to Ottawa-area homeowners seeking to determine whether their proposed renovation project makes economic sense.

cost per value report

You’ll note a general downward trend, with the best returns arising from minor kitchen renovations and the addition attic bedrooms (there are more categories on the complete report, and I’ve elected to take a screen shot here of the renovations from top to bottom in average cost — you can request different variations.

Although it is dangerous to extrapolate national US Canadian data to a particular Canadian market, I thought I’d also look at a relatively close and similar sized city in the US — and chose Syracuse, NY.  Here is a copy of that report. (You can, again, select reports on a diversity of communities and regions throughout the U.S.)

syracuse report

It seem the resale value returns in Syracuse aren’t quite as high as in other parts of the US — but backup power has become a worthy addition.

Obviously you shouldn’t read too much into these US-based statistics in planning an Ottawa-area renovation, and you should consider other variables including your own needs, the immediate neighbourhood, and local renovations.  However, undoubtedly, this study can provide you with insights into your renovation priorities.

© 2015 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www. costvsvalue.com.