Calgary Home Renovation 2024 – a Complete Guide

Calgary homes for sale under 500 kWe all know 2023 and 2024 are excellent times to be a home seller. With inventory in Calgary at or near an all-time low, home sellers are demanding premium prices. Realtor.ca as of January 11, 2024 lists 2,384 homes and condos for sale. If you filter that search, Calgary only has 1,036 houses for sale with only 38 under $500k!

In the SE, there’s only 1 home for sale under $500,000. Keep in  mind, realtors sometimes underprice a home to trigger a bidding war. There are only 3 listings under $550k and those listings are less than 8 days old. SO!…

With Calgary home prices out of range, buying a house within your budget and renovating it may be your only option. A funny thing about mortgages is that you may only qualify for $500,000 but right after, finance $70,000 in renovations (the lender world doesn’t always make sense). Here’s the story of a home buyer who purchased a home in the SE of Calgary for $410,000 and then did $70,000 in renovations. This is as detailed a renovation diary as you may see in Calgary with the ups and downs of the process.

Four of our contractors were involved, with the home owner hiring a couple of his friends’ referrals  (which didn’t always work out). In the end, he hold us he wished he had hired us from day one and let us be the general contractor for the entire renovation. What followers are the home owners photos and commentary.

Calgary duct cleaning company July 26, 2023

The list of renovations included:

  • gutting the basement
  • interior paint
  • basement drywall including ceiling
  • new basement bathroom shower, toilet, shelving, and floor & wall tile
  • new electrical panel and about 8 new outlets and lights including new wiring
  • new furnace and hot water tank
  • HVAC including reworking airflow for furnace and hot water exhaust
  • washing machine box
  • new carpet and underlay main floor, basement, and stairs)
  • new kitchen (cabinets, quartz counter, floor tile) including repair of floor
  • kitchen plumbing including new water lines and sink
  • improved attic airflow with two additional air vents
  • a long list of smaller repairs including air duct repairs, duct cleaning, smoke/CO2 detectors to city code etc.
  • landscaping
  • new washer, dryer, dishwasher, and fridge
  • and more

This was a lot of work for $70,000. I think you could say that we gave him a good deal.

vinyl siding interior basement May 26, 2023 Calgary renovation before and after

Home before purchase. May 26, 2023

This house in Calgary SE was very unique to say the least. The basement walls were covered in exterior vinyl siding and, as you can see, even the outlets were framed. No one we show this picture to has ever seen such a thing. The carpet was old and poorly installed. The next few photos will show when so much renovation was needed.

buying a home in Calgary home inspection June 23, 2023 crazy electrical fix for leak over electrical panel

Home before purchase. May 23, 2023

With a thorough home inspection including a home inspector and a plumbing inspector, the owner was confident in the cost of repairs. The photo on the left is probably something that would cause concern to the Calgary Fire Department and the City. The renter or previous owner fixed a leak by running plastic over the electrical panel. Unbelievable! This was a fire waiting to happen.

Home purchased and reno begins. Calgary basement renovation contractor July 19, 2023

Home Purchased, Reno Begins. July 19, 2023

Once the home owner bought the house, we began our renovation work. The first step was to tear out the old basement. We removed the drop ceiling, the vinyl siding, and the carpet. Once everything was exposed we say the need to also remove the basement bathroom tub as it had been installed backwards by the previous renovation company. The improper installation caused water to leak behind the wall so we cleaned that up too. Also, you can see disconnected ductwork which caused a lot of heating inefficiency in the home.

drop ceiling removal duct repair and wallboard removal Calgary basement renovation contractor July 26, 2023

Basement Renovation in Calgary SE – July 26, 2023

At the top of this photo you can see a disconnected head duct. Instead of heating a room, the air was blowing above the drop ceiling in the basement. You can see the wall board, drop ceiling, and vinyl siding trim – this house had the interior made up of left overs from other projects.

wall panel removal Calgary basement renovation contractor July 26,2023

Basement Renovation in Calgary SE – July 26, 2023

A photo of the same joist going the other way. The basement will be rewired for LED pot lights. Six lights will be installed on the ceiling you see and 2 more behind.

drop ceiling Calgary basement renovation contractor July 26, 2023

Basement Renovation in Calgary SE – July 26, 2023

One advantage of taking out a ceiling is you get to have a god look at the condition of the floor above. Plus, you get easy access for renovation. There were only two areas that needed to be repaired and with the ceiling gone, plumbing and kitchen reno was much easier.