Canadian Contractor

John Bleasby   

Top 10 renovation projects for 2016: a coast-to-coast analysis

Canadian Contractor

TrustedPros national study uncovers where Canadians spend reno dollars

Our friends at TrustedPros have compiled a fascinating and extremely complete breakdown of not only 2016’s  Top 10 renovation projects in Canada, but how each province had its favourites and how budgets varied.

Canadians continue to spend big bucks on renovations of existing homes, in fact over $70 billion in 2015. It’s a viable alternative to selling and re-buying a home. TrustedPros couldn’t wait for Statistics Canada to come up with their numbers, so they decided to mine their own data for 2016, sourced from over 2 million TrustedPros users, and create their own study of projects and average budgets from each province in the country.

More than 1/3 of renovations across in Canada in 2016 involved either bathrooms or basements.
(data and graph courtesy of TrustedPros)

Look what’s on top!
Viewing at the country as a whole, bathroom renovations top the TrustedPros list, making up nearly one in five projects. This is not entirely surprising, since many claim that owners can expect a 100% return on their bathroom investments. Looking at the numbers on a province-by-province basis, it looks like bathrooms rule in Ontario and westward to the coast, while decks and bathrooms share the glory from Quebec to the Maritimes.

Bathrooms were followed fairly closely by basements at 15%. Saskatchewan was notably basement-crazy; 34% of renos in that province were below-grade improvements! Taken together bathrooms and basement made up more than 1/3 of all renovations nationwide! (Anyone care to comment on our 21st century lifestyle?)


Here are some other highlights gleaned from the TrustedPros study

While Ontario and points west love their new bathrooms and basements, those in Quebec and the Maritimes trend more towards decks.
(data and graph courtesy of TrustedPros)

Energy-saving reno’s not at the top
Nicole Silver of TrustedPros notes in her report that despite the energy savings promised by new windows and doors, they only made up 6% of renovation projects in 2016. “Windows and doors add little to change a room’s appearance,” she suggests. Perhaps she’s right; maybe fashion trumps function in Canada. Even so, climatic differences in the country seem to have an impact on door and window budgets. Budgets in cold weather provinces Manitoba and Alberta were over $9,000, whereas budgets in milder Nova Scotia came in at only $4,000.

Roofs remain out of sight and often out of mind
There’s nothing particularly glamorous about a new roof, at least not in terms of bragging rights with friends and neighbors. Budgets across the country averaged just under $5,000!

Floors and tiles make an impact
Other than a new paint colour on a wall, nothing matches new flooring for changing the ‘feel’ of a room, be it tile, wood or laminate. Together, new flooring and tiling represented about 15% of renovations in Canada, making it clear that appearance counts!

Making homeowners happy in 2017 is ‘Job One’ for Canadian renovators

Hold the mayo! Kitchens slip in rank!
Surprisingly, kitchen reno’s came in at only 8% in 2016, according to the TrustedPros study. Average reno values of course vary hugely depending on scope and cabinet/countertop materials, but an national average of around $14,500 was calculated. Demand for kitchen reno’s in fact dropped in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. Has all the action moved to the bathrooms and basements of the nation? Please tell us, in confidence of course!

Fences & decks represent nearly 1 in 4 projects
Making one’s home one’s castle today often means adding privacy and comfort to the space out back. Fences and decks were very popular outdoor reno’s in 2016, each with average national budgets in the $4000 range. For many, that’s a great bang-for-the-buck in terms of personal enjoyment, curb appeal, and re-sale value!

There’s much more data charts and graphs in the TrustedPros study, including excellent budget estimates and province-by-province breakdowns. Have a look and see if it gives you any marketing ideas for your business going forward in 2017!

follow John on Twitter @john_bleasby



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2 Comments » for Top 10 renovation projects for 2016: a coast-to-coast analysis
  1. Michael says:

    What about stats on home additions and large scale renovations?

    • Avatar photo John Bleasby says:

      The HomeStars analysis obviously covers small and medium sized renovations, but is current to the end of 2016, which makes it very valuable, not to mention more reliable data given the data source. As for larger work, we must wait for a while until Stats Canada or a building organization comes up with analysis. It’s too early for 2016 information from those types of sources.

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