Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what home improvement projects are your best investments. Ideally, you not only want to add to the enjoyment of your home but also to your home’s value. Here are some considerations for deciding what home improvement projects are worth your time, effort and money — and which ones might be better to skip.
Remodel kitchens and bathrooms
If you’re looking for a “sure thing” to get a good return on your investment, HGTV says that kitchen and bathroom remodels are your best home improvement projects. In top housing markets, sellers are often able to recoup more than 100 percent of their investments. When deciding on kitchen style, opt for natural floorings such as stone or wood, stone countertops, traditional wood cabinets, and appliances with a commercial appearance. In the bath, installing a walk-in shower is the current trend over a jetted tub, offering a quicker cleanse to meet our culture’s on-the-go lifestyle. You can see some affordable bathroom design ideas here.
No matter how much you invest in the interior of your home, if potential buyers aren’t attracted to the exterior, you won’t get them through the door to see your great upgrades. Choose to lift your curb appeal with a look that is inviting; adding a front porch or replacing your old siding can boost your home’s allure.
Some professionals advise energy-efficiency as a primary attraction for many buyers, especially younger ones. Improved windows and better insulation can be a worthwhile investment in your home’s market value. Not to mention that these types of improvements can also show up as saved money on your utility bills.
Adding a room is another great investment. You’ll find it’s especially important if your home is short on bathrooms; for example, homes with four bedrooms and only one bath can reap big benefits with an added bathroom. Adding general square footage to the home with anything from a sunroom, craft room or exercise room can boost a home’s value nicely, or you might consider renovating an attic into a home office or guest bedroom. This Old House suggests opening up existing floor space to make a home more attractive; removing a kitchen island or non-load bearing wall to brighten space and enhance the flow of your home can be a great investment.
When making big changes, US News and World Report notes it’s important that your new space works well with the rest of the home. Adding a room with a sleek, modern feel, trimmed in metal and with broad expanses of glass to take in a view can actually lower the value of a home built in a colonial style. Remember to keep the overall look of the home in mind when making your decisions.
It’s important to understand that most potential homebuyers will be more enticed by homes that are “move-in ready,” even if some of those nicely functioning rooms have a dated appearance. For example, a roof that’s in dire need of replacement should take priority over upgrading a working but unattractive bathroom.
If you’re needing to get that roof into shape, it’s important to note that scammers abound in the roof repair business. As explained by Angie’s List, “Fraudulent roofing contractors prey on vulnerable homeowners and have become increasingly bold in their tactics.” Beware of contractors who claim to need a down payment up front, as they may take your money and run, or contractors that don’t provide firm pricing. Some scammers even drop by after storms, claiming damage to roofs in your area from wind or hail. Another tactic used by scammers is visiting homes door-to-door and offering a “free roof inspection,” then providing fraudulent photos of roofs or other misleading information to unsuspecting homeowners. Beware of pushy, high-pressure salesmen, and talk with your local building department before hiring any roofers. Good contractors should be able to provide licensing information, references, and will usually have an office you can visit.
Good choices mean improved value
See your home through the eyes of potential buyers and make upgrades that will boost your home’s appeal. Put maintenance ahead of cosmetic improvements, and consider boosting energy efficiency. By making good choices, investing in your home will mean getting the best value from your dollars.