While spending more time at home over the past two years, many homeowners looked around them and weren’t happy with what they saw. Spending on home remodelling jumped 66 per cent as Canadians sought to improve their living spaces.
If your Pinterest account is full of renovation ideas for your own project, you aren’t alone. But narrowing them down to ones that make sense for your long-term comfort can be a tough proposition since so much has changed about how we spend time at home. In addition, you still want to consider how changes impact your home’s value given the current housing market.
Here are seven renovation options and trends we see adding value and unique appeal to homes in Vancouver.
1. Make Your Home Smart
Your Alexa or Nest is just the tip of the iceberg of what can become a huge project that brings convenience and savings. Motion-sensing faucets and smart lighting are at the top of most homeowners’ wish lists but do not stop there.
Smart appliances keep you informed and in control. A wi-fi-enabled fridge monitors its temperature, lets you see inside to confirm that you do have milk, and lets everyone contribute to the virtual shopping list on the door’s touchscreen. A smart washer/dryer set sends a notification to your phone when a load is done, while your coffee table can turn into a device hub with speakers and USB charging ports.
Once you have all your smart devices, you might consider adding a control panel on a wall to supplement the app on your device. Consider choosing devices that all speak the same language to make them easy to control via a hub or single app.
2. Home Office Space
The kitchen counter or den sofa works fine if you only work from home on occasion. But long-term work requires a dedicated space. Homeowners have gotten creative by converting a bedroom, closet, or even space under the stairs to get a private work environment.
When you consider converting an unused room or space, there needs to be a reset of that space’s function. Your renovation might include adding acoustical insulation or building a workstation. Video calls require good lighting, while a door with a lock gives you more privacy.
3. Living Area Updates
Anticipating spending more time together at home means updating and adding functionality to living spaces as well. One interesting trend is the addition of a built-in bar area complete with fridge, sink, and shelving. It’s a great use of odd nooks and corners.
Upgrades to home theatres mean not just having the right electronic equipment but also the right setting. That might mean adding acoustical insulation and custom-built shelving to get the best sound and functionality.
4. Add a Laneway House
If you have the space, you might join the growing trend in laneway houses or what’s sometimes called a coach house. These typically include a complete living space with a kitchen and laundry.
They’ve become more popular as options for multi-generational housing for aging parents or young adult children. But they also make great spaces for guests or a potential income stream. Vancouver’s laws have changed in recent years to no longer require that these structures have an attached garage, but you do need to provide a dedicated parking space.
5. Build a Basement Suite
Finish out or add functionality to your basement to turn it into a full suite. This offers similar flexibility as a laneway house without taking away from your yard or drive. It is usually a self-contained unit within the house with its own entrance, kitchen, and bath.
Along with laneway houses, basement suites have gained in popularity as a mortgage helper. Vancouver is a desirable place to live, which means lots of potential tenants but also higher rent and housing prices. Renting out your basement can offset mortgage payments and taxes.
6. Outside Living
In the Vancouver area, outdoor improvements from landscaping to kitchens are proving to deliver great ROI for homeowners while adding greatly to the quality of life. An outdoor cabana with a full chef’s kitchen is the top fantasy renovation for Canadian homeowners. A great outdoor kitchen can include anything from a built-in grill to custom cabinetry to a sink and fridge.
Along with outdoor kitchens, decks, pergolas, and playgrounds are finding their way into yards. A quarter of homeowners cited a desire to create more functional and fun outdoor spaces because they are spending more time at home these days.
Improvements to landscaping are one of the more popular outdoor projects since many homeowners feel comfortable taking them on themselves. Adding beds, borders, and lawns showed the biggest growth in popularity.
7. Energy Efficiency Upgrades
When it comes to regrettable renovations, most BC homeowners point to projects that focused solely on looks. Instead, use a remodel of the kitchen or bathroom to piggyback upgrades that improve energy efficiency or make the home more eco-friendly. It’s a valuable project locally, as Vancouver homeowners placed a much higher value on energy efficiency renovations done to homes they purchased.
Consider adding insulation, swapping out old windows, and rewiring to handle the demands of an LED or solar lighting. There’s a high demand for reclaimed materials to be worked into remodels as well. Eco-flushing toilets and EV charging stations are so new that you are likely to have the first ones on the block.
Have Some Great Renovation Ideas?
Whether you want to improve the livability of your home or increase its overall value, any of these popular renovation ideas are worth considering. Adding smart home tech or revamping for better energy efficiency makes an older home more appealing while carving out space for a dedicated home office makes it easier to work from home.
Curious how remodelling ideas might impact your home’s resale value? Contact us to discuss the home renovation trends we’re seeing that are helping homes sell in Vancouver.