We’ve all heard that bathroom and kitchen renovations add the most value when you sell your home.


But what about other types of renovations such as landscaping?


“Freshening up is the best way to get more bang out of your landscaping buck,” says Tony Colavecchia, owner of Toronto-based Edan Oaks Landscape Contracting. This means concentrating on the visual things, like planting or pruning shrubs, mulching, tidying, and removing clutter.


Figures published at the Do-It-Yourself website suggest that you’ll get back as much as 50 per cent on “soft” landscaping costs, particularly if your plantings provide privacy.


On the other hand, many “hardscaping” features involving stonework such as driveways or walkways or a pool, for instance, pay back only around 25 per cent of what you spent, according to the website.

One exception is a patio, which can double or even triple the payback. “Some kind of living space outdoors is important, since a lot of people are staying home to relax rather than buying cottages,” says Daniel Marc, one of the owners of DS Stoneland Landscape Construction.

What is also important is to plan for the whole job. Avoid a piecemeal approach, since this can result in expensive rework and an uncoordinated look.

How about a fireplace?

Most people love the way a fireplace looks in their home, and having one is seen as a plus on the real estate market.

If you spend $3,000 updating a fireplace, you’ll probably get about 75 per cent of your costs back when you sell, according to the figures published in te Do-It-Yourself website.

A gas fireplace insert is the choice of most people. “Gas will add the most value to your home because it is easy to use, and you can demonstrate it during a house showing,” says Lowell Bower, operations manager at The Fireplace Shop.

Whichever type of fireplace you have, beautifying it never hurts. “If you have a brick fireplace, use marble or slate to disguise the brick and raise the value of the home.”

“Buyers will notice new windows, but it doesn’t make much difference in the selling price of the home,” says Jimmy Melo, of JRM Aluminum and Glass.

In older homes, windows are the major place where heat is lost, so new windows can help decrease heating costs, however, he added.