How to upgrade your cottage AND increase its value

Rustic Model Bathroom

Unless the cottage you purchased was completely renovated from top to bottom, there are probably some personal touches you want to add. The question is: how do you increase your property value at the same time? Well, there are certain areas that are notorious for holding value. They are: kitchens, bathrooms and flooring.

The first thing you want to do is find out the property values of the other cottages on your lake or in the surrounding community. Once you have done that, you will have a better understanding of what upgrades should be done on your cottage. A $50,000.00 kitchen does not belong in a $100,000.00 cottage. That may be an extreme example, but you get the point.

Once you have established your budget there are certain target areas that will increase property value:


The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, which is why investing some money into it can increase the value of your cottage. Make sure that the plan for the new kitchen has lots of storage and counter space and newer appliances. If the appliances are outdated, potential buyers will wonder what else has been untouched and could lead to repairs in the future.

The general rule is not to invest more than 10-15% of the value of your home into updating the kitchen unless you are renovating the kitchen for personal use and plan to live there for more than 5 years; then, you could spend 15-25%.


The washroom has a very basic and important role in the household. You can spend quite a bit of time in a bathroom. If you have invested the money into creating a tranquil, peaceful space, you will be able to recoup quite a bit of your investment.

Small upgrades like replacing your faucet or a fresh coat of paint can make a huge visual difference. If you are planning on changing your toilet and shower, choose the low-flow versions to appeal to buyers who are eco-conscious.

Small luxurious touches to the bathroom like a soaker tub and heated flooring can go a long way to impress potential buyers. Above all, make sure that your bathroom is clean, functional and fits the price point for your neighbourhood.


Ripping up carpet and installing hardwood floors has been known to increase the value of your cottage. As carpeting has fallen out of style; hardwood, laminate and tile are all styles of flooring that offer a clean and stylish look to the cottage. New flooring materials like bamboo and cork are also becoming popular choices.

Once you figure out what upgrades you prefer for your cottage – remember to apply for the right permits and seek professional advice. If the renovations are done poorly – they may end up costing you money.


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