scott mcgillivray

Scott McGillivray on easy reno projects to tackle while stuck at home

Three easy ways to refresh a space from the income property expert

Scott McGillivray is a real estate investor, contractor and entrepreneur who has been helping homeowners for more than a decade. In his latest HGTV Canada series, Scott’s Vacation House Rules, he helps homeowners unlock the rental potential of even the most uninspired properties. Tune in Sundays at 9 p.m. 


Being stuck inside while the weather starts to turn is never ideal, but there are ways to take advantage of this mandatory at-home time with little projects around your property. These projects will help keep you occupied and increase the property value. Win-win. Here are my tips for the simplest renovations to take on this spring.

Start outside

Gardening and landscaping are always a good idea. They show pride in your property and impress your neighbours, visitors, and in-laws! Consider planting a garden in the backyard, or flowers alongside the house, and even digging up those pesky weeds.

If self-isolation is getting to you, gardening can also be very soothing and relaxing. If you listen to your favourite music or podcast while in the garden, you can really get lost in the activity and give your brain a mental break.

Your family can also participate — get your kids involved in pulling weeds or planting their favourite vegetable. Keeping the lawn neat and tidy also gives a sense of organization to the whole property. Think about it — you feel much more welcome when you pull up to a friend’s driveway and their lawn is in order as opposed to when it is a disaster.

A quick refresh

Painting is an easy way to refresh a space. One new coat can make all the difference. If you want to start small, consider an older piece of furniture that you love, but looks dated. Take it outside and give it one good coat of paint. You may be surprised at how it can change the entire piece.

Baseboards are also often overlooked, and these can be fairly easy to touch up. For those who are more adventurous, try tackling a full room. However, my tip here is to make and adhere to a timeline. Having an open-ended project during this time of self-isolation may not be good for your mental state, or that of your family’s — no one wants to be living in the middle of a mess right now.

Outdoor chores

Another way to make use of your time and take advantage of some fresh air is cleaning your outdoor spaces. Think about your deck, porch, or even a balcony. If you have been neglecting them, now is the time to give them some attention. Chances are they need at least a good sweep.

Also look at any outdoor furniture that may need to be replaced, repaired, or cleaned in time for the summer season. Do your balcony windows need a wash? Is there an old cracked planter in the corner by some cobwebs? By giving your outdoor spaces a little TLC, you will also have a reason to get out of the house. That being said, remember to stay on your property and maintain proper physical distancing.

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