Renovation Costs For A GTA Home

GTA Home Renovation Costs

When you're searching for a home, be it a renovation project or something move in ready, you're still probably going to want to complete some renovations.

But how much are these going to cost you?

Knowing what is and is not in your budget is essential when it comes to buying a GTA home, there is no point in buying a home you want to renovate it realize you can’t afford to complete the needed work.

This allows you to establish a budget and work within it when not only buying but understanding what costs will be incurred when you start the work.  That mean you can walk away if the numbers don’t work and keep looking for a property that does.

There are some parameters that should be set, one is size, these are based on a 4 bed detached home with 2 bathrooms excluding any basement renovations or finishing.  The cost to renovate a 3 bed townhouse will not be the same as a 5 bed detached home.  The other variable is location, these prices are based on GTA Real Estate prices.

A breakdown of general repairs.

Small Face Lift $25,000 - $45,000


  • Painting, inside and outside
  • Kitchen cabinet refresh
  • New kitchen counter
  • Landscaping
  • Refinish hardwood floors or new broadloom

Medium Renovation $45,000 - $75,000


  • Painting inside and outside
  • New mid cost kitchen
  • Bathroom renovation (1 main bathroom and 1 two piece powder room)
  • New flooring throughout (Laminate/broadloom or lower cost hardwood all possible options)
  • Landscaping

Major Renovation $75,000+


  • Painting inside and out
  • New kitchen - Mid to high end
  • Bathroom renovations
  • New flooring
  • Landscaping
  • New roof
  • Finished basement
  • Major repairs such as foundation/water & sewer/electrical/masonry work.

What to avoid

What you should be wary of is a property that has major issues such as foundation problems, leaky basements or subsidence unless you're prepared for a Major Renovation.

Biggest bank for the buck

Looking to find the biggest bang for your buck when renovating?  Then look for properties that are sound structurally but need some or all of these new floors, paint, bathroom, kitchens, appliances and landscaping.  These are the things that add the most value when you sell.  It may cost you $5000 - $10,000 to replace the electrical wiring in a home or $5000 for a new furnace but they likely won't add that much value to your home if that is all you do.  Another way of adding value is to buy a property with an unfinished basement and finish it to a high standard.  A good finished basement will cost you about $10,000 but will add about $20,000 to the resale value, add another bathroom down there? That’s another $3-5000 added.  Or why not make it onto a livable apartment with an extra bedroom and kitchen?  That’s going to add at least $30,000.  How about making it into a legal accessory apartment that you can rent out? (you need to check city zoning rules and follow very strict building and fire code regulations to have this as a “legal” basement) that's going to add $50,000 or more!

To get a detailed list of individual costs download my ESSENTIAL Home Buyers Guide and I have listed them for you.

How to make savings

One way you can reduce costs is to buy the items and materials you need when they are on sale, also look for end of line products but make sure you buy enough to complete the project.  There are also clubs and warehouses you can become a member of that often have big savings over retail stores. They will have a membership fee but if you’re renovating a whole home then it would be well worth doing this.  If you’re using a qualified general contractor choose carefully as they should be able to pass savings onto you as a good general contractor should be able to get lower rates because they buy in bulk.

What's the return?

The one thing you will want to know is “if I do this work will my home gain in value”? And the answer is, if you stick to the basic principles, yes.  So what are the principals…

  • Only complete the work you can afford
  • Don’t buy a home you can’t afford to complete ALL the renovations needed
  • Make sure you keep to time limits
  • Completes ALL work before selling (don't get bored/frustrated halfway through)
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Pay most attention to the main “Return On Investment” areas (floors/kitchens/bathrooms)
  • Try to avoid homes that need major structural attention, leave those to the builders
  • Don’t forget curb appeal


So long as you think about these when you're buying and renovating a your GTA home you should get a great return.  The average return is for every $1000 you spend you should increase the value if the home by an average of $1800!  

Rob is a Toronto Realtor offering something a little "different", ask him about his Cashback and Zero Commission Listing programs.  

Contact him today for more details.