Best home renovation investments

Household 6 min read

Renovating your house to make it your home is a fun and escalating process. However, it begs the question, how do you know you’re making smart investments? Selecting the right renovation projects can help your home increase in value while generating the most return on your investment.

The 2019 Cost vs. Value Report compares the investment and retained resale values of almost two dozen renovation projects within 136 U.S. markets. Using the information gathered, we’ve identified the best renovations to assure you receive a future return on the investment you’ve made into your home.

Replace your garage door

While you may want to make the majority of your investments within the interior of your home, exterior enhancements seem to give you the most bang for your buck. Replacing and disposing of your existing garage door and tracks can help you yield about a 97.5% return on your investment. According to the report, replacing your garage door gives you the highest return.

Consider the installation of a new, heavy-duty, galvanized garage door with four sections and windows in the top panel. Swapping your old garage door will spruce up the exterior appeal of your home, and will give buyers the impression that you’re selling a property that’s worth a look inside.

Revamp your entryway with manufactured stone veneer

Another exterior enhancement that will maximize your return is adding manufactured stone veneer to your home’s entryway. Try exchanging a 300-square-foot continuous band of your existing vinyl siding for an adhered manufactured stone. This simple exterior improvement will create a custom, high-end look for your home. The report states that it’s possible to receive a 94.9% return on this renovation project.

However, be careful when selecting manufactured stone. Unlike real stone, veneer stone colors can fade over time and may have highly repetitive patterns that look unnatural. Before making your purchase decision, order samples if possible.

Install a wood deck for extra entertainment space

A wood deck provides a great space for hosting guests while increasing the aesthetic appeal of your home. Whether you select natural wood or a low-maintenance composite deck, there are a variety of styles that can help you achieve the deck of your dreams.

Compared to many other home renovations, decks are relatively inexpensive depending on labor and your materials of choice. Select durable materials so your investment will last for many years to come.

It’s recommended to include a built-in bench and planters, stairs, and wood posts with railings. Installing a deck may yield a recuperation of up to 75.6% of your investment. However, if you select a composite deck option, you’ll see a 69.1% return on your investment.

Give your kitchen a minor facelift

While full kitchen renovations are costly, minor kitchen facelifts can help you recuperate most of your investment. If you have a functional, but dated kitchen you have the option to keep your cabinet boxes and replace the fronts with new wood panels and drawer fronts. It’s also wise to replace outdated hardware or laminate countertops.

If your budget allows, install a new sink faucet and some energy-efficient appliances. Upgrading your appliances will not only give your home a fresh look, it will also help you cut your energy costs. A minor kitchen renovation can aid in the recuperation of about 80.5% of your investment.

When making renovations to any room in your home, you should always keep the buyer in mind. Sticking with a neutral pallet will help you appeal to the majority of prospective home buyers. When you select upgrades that don’t appeal to the general public, it may be harder to sell your home when you’re ready to put it on the market.

Update an existing bathroom

Updating an existing bathroom can be a great way to add value to your home. A minor renovation could include replacing your tub, installing new ceramic tile and flooring, upgrading the toilet, sink or vanity, and purchasing new fixtures. Then, you may want to add a fresh coat of paint to pull the bathroom remodel together. A midrange bathroom remodel can help you recuperate about 67.2% of your total investment.

Remodeling your bathroom can also help you avoid pricey expenses. For example, by replacing leaky faucets or installing a water-efficient toilet, you can save big bucks on your utility bills.

Remember, similar to kitchen renovations, buyers look for well-designed renovations. Even if you don’t plan to put your home on the market right after you update your bathroom, you still want to keep buyer appeal in mind.

Complete budget-friendly upgrades

While many renovations are costly, increasing the value of your home doesn’t have to put a dent in your bank account. You can make budget-friendly improvements that will completely transform the look of your home. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Refresh your rooms with paint

Paint can give your drab walls a new burst of life. Give your home interior a fresh coat of paint and see how easily you can alter the space. You don’t have to be a pro to paint like one. Speak with the paint expert at your local paint or home improvement store, and ask for tips and tricks of the trade.

Also, it’s wise to invest in some decent brushes, drop cloths, and painter’s tape. Most importantly, take your time. A job worth doing is worth doing well.

Install crown molding

Crown molding adds charm and worth to your home. Painting your trim will make the biggest color impact. After you’ve installed the additional crown molding, painting your trim and using a little filler will make your molding look crisp and sharp.

Spruce up your front door

Your front door can either invite homebuyers or deter them from entering your abode. If you want your entrance to impress, try painting the door, updating the knocker or lock, or adding a welcome mat and a wreath. These simple enhancements will make a world of a difference when people enter your home.

Taking the time to create a visually appealing entryway will guarantee that visitors or future buyers feel compelled to take a second glance to view the other warm touches you’ve included.

Increase your window space

If you want your home to make a lasting impression, try installing drapes at ceiling height. This will make each room appear larger than it really is. Longer drapes often give your space a dramatic flair, and tend to appeal to all type of design aesthetics.

Drapes and curtains come in several sizes and the difference in cost between the lengths is usually minimal. Spending the few extra dollars on longer curtains will guarantee that you’re able to capitalize on a necessary home feature.

Swap hardware

Hardware may seem like a mundane portion of your home, but in truth it can be a lot of fun and a great way to incorporate your unique tastes. Swapping out the hardware in your kitchen or on your doors will afford you the opportunity to find pieces that match your taste as well as your furniture and décor.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to make a mark on your home, you can forgo your local home improvement store and try scouring a few antique stores in your area or online. If you want to be intuitive to future buyers, you can store the existing hardware so that you afford them the option to maintain the pieces you’ve chosen or revert back to something simpler.

If budget is a concern, you also have the choice to paint the existing hardware you have. Take a quick trip to your local home improvement store and pick up a few cans of inexpensive hardware spray paint. It will only take a few hours of your time to remove, paint, and reinstall your hardware. However, the time spent will be worthwhile for refreshing a small feature in your home.

Add framed bathroom mirrors

Exchanging your old bathroom mirrors for framed alternatives guarantees your bathroom will appear polished. A few cautions with this concept—don’t invest in mirrors that will easily become warped or damaged in your bathroom. Be mindful of the durability of the mirrors and frames you install, especially in bathrooms that have showers or tubs. You don’t want to replace your mirrors and have them destroyed in a few months because they weren’t suited to a room that must tolerate steam.

Take your time to research and choose mirrors and frames that will not only improve the appearance of your bathroom, but will also withstand the elements.

Transform exterior lighting fixtures

Exterior lighting fixtures, much like hardware, are fantastic pieces that allow you to add flair without huge risk. If your home is still sporting the original lighting fixtures, take the time and set aside some spare money to replace them. It’s unbelievable the difference an upgrade in lighting fixtures will make to the appearance of your exterior.

Again, like hardware, if cost is a concern you can always simply re-touch your existing pieces with some exterior paint. This, too, will allow you to have a fresh feel without a compromised budget.

The bottom line

Whether you’ve saved up and are ready to make an investment in your home, or you’re on a budget and you want to make a few small adjustments, be sure to step back and evaluate the home improvement projects you take on. Assuring you’re making choices that will ultimately guarantee you a return on investment is the best way to approach these projects and will give you a good idea of how to prioritize the improvements you make.

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