Home Improvements With The Highest Return
When it comes to home improvements, there are two important things to consider when deciding where to put your money. Whether the home improvement will increase the value and enjoyment of your home while you live in it and whether it will increase the value of your house to buyers when you sell it. While it is hard to ascertain a dollar amount for the value the first adds, the second is backed by market research and sales. The most economical home improvements are those that allow you to recoup a large portion of the cost thus increasing your home’s value in fair relation to the amount you spent.
So, where should you spend your home improvement dollars? Here are the home improvements that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Upgrade the Garage Door
Replace your garage door with an upgraded model. Consider upgrades that will improve its looks, operation, safety, and durability. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2021 Cost vs Value report, doing this will yield you 98.3 percent of your investment with even higher returns in some markets. Today’s best garage doors offer springs that are safer, R-values are as high as 18, and they need less maintenance. High-end hardware gives your garage door a more sophisticated look increasing the home’s overall curb appeal.
Garage doors play a critical role in protecting your home, especially if you live in a hurricane-prone or high wind region. Prior to 2006, there were no requirements for wind-rated doors for homes built outside of Florida. and even today, some areas have not yet adopted a modern building code. An IBHS survey found that 80%–90% of garage doors away from coastlines are not labeled properly for their wind resistance, or at all.
The second most common entry point for home burglars is the garage door, so upgrading the door’s security with an ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt lock and an automatic opener that uses rolling code technology are great selling points.
Install Manufactured Stone Veneer on the Exterior
Curb appeal matters when you’re selling your home. The more appealing your home’s outside, the greater the chance it makes a good first impression with your buyers. Enhancing the exterior of your home with manufactured stone veneer offers a 92.1% return on your investment. Also known as faux stone, manufactured stone veneer is a manmade material designed to replicate the look of natural stone. It’s a great way to boost curb appeal and update an old or boring exterior. Even doing just a portion of your home (such as the area around your front door) is enough to see an increase in property value.
Stone veneer offers all the beauty and color of real stone but at a fraction of the cost and environmental damage involved. This decorative yet durable exterior is pre-engineered for easy installation. Usually cut 1″ thick, it weighs just a few pounds per panel and doesn’t need an additional support structure to be affixed to a wall.
Do a Minor Kitchen Remodel
The kitchen is a major selling point and often can make or break a sale. Since many people want an upgraded kitchen without having to pay for it after purchasing a home it is a big consideration when determining if a home is worth its asking price. A minor kitchen remodel is the third most cost-effective renovation. You will recoup about 72.2% percent of its cost, while a major upscale kitchen remodel will recoup only about 57.4 percent of its cost. If you plan on selling your home within the next five years, keep potential buyers in mind before you start on any major remodel; many people won’t pay for a fancy, deluxe kitchen.
There are several valuable home improvements you can do that will bring you the biggest rewards for your expenditures, from putting in energy-efficient, stainless steel appliances and installing new countertops to painting and replacing cabinet fronts. Also, install a midpriced sink and faucet, new resilient flooring, and finish by painting the walls, trim, and ceiling.
Remodel The Bathroom
The bathroom is another key selling point when buyers look at your home. A mid-range bathroom remodel will bring a return of 60.1 percent nationally. And just like the kitchen, doing more doesn’t equal getting more. An upscale bathroom remodel is only going to get you a 54.8 percent return. A new bathroom addition just 53 percent.
Updating the space to be wheelchair-accessible with flat-panel electrical switches at sitting level, putting support bars, and installing a walk-in shower will turn your standard bathroom into a universally accessible bathroom. While this won’t bring you as much return (57.9% vs 60.1%) it may help you make that sale. Thanks to the aging of Baby Boomers, the 65-and-older population has grown by over a third (34.2% or 13,787,044) during the past decade. If you’re not sure want to DIY something like this do a search for bathroom remodel near me and you’ll can a reputable contractor that will know how to best make these changes.
Even a modest renovation, can add new life to your bathroom and generate a higher return for a smaller investment.
Add a Wood Deck
Another home improvement for the exterior of your home. They seem to give you the biggest bang for your buck. When adding a backyard deck or patio, wood is best. A composite deck or backyard patio won’t give you as much return as wood (65.8%).
Remodeling recommends adding a “16×20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4×4-inch posts anchored to concrete piers. Install pressure-treated deck boards in a simple linear pattern. Include built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. Include stairs, assuming three steps to grade. Provide a complete railing system using pressure-treated wood posts, railings, and balusters.” Depending on the size of your house and yard you may need to adjust the size to best suit your site.
Replace Siding and Windows
You want your home’s exterior surfaces to look clean and inviting. Old, damaged, or deteriorating siding and windows don’t do that. On average you will recoup 67 to 69 percent of your investment.
Replace your home’s old aluminum siding with new vinyl or fiber-cement siding. At 69.4% fiber cement siding, a resilient mix of wood pulp and portland cement, gives you good looks, durability, easy maintenance, and affordability with the highest return on your investment.
New windows can dramatically lower your home’s energy bill. Low-energy vinyl window replacements provide a pretty similar return to vinyl siding, 68.6%. Regardless of whether you install vinyl, wood, or aluminum windows, you’ll want Low-E glass. It will help with heat loss, protect fabrics and carpet from fading, provide glare control, and of course reduce heating and cooling energy costs. These windows typically cost about 10% to 15% more than regular windows, but they reduce energy loss by as much as 30% to 50%. And, buyers know this!
Make Green Upgrades
Spending a little bit of money to have a professional energy use assessment done will help you prioritize what needs to be done to make your home more energy-efficient. Updating your home to save energy doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and can make your home more appealing to potential buyers. Add extra insulation to your attic, seal cracks, install CFL light bulbs in all light fixtures, The U.S. Department of Energy (USDE) estimates that the average house has enough leaks to equal a 3×3 foot hole in the wall.
If you don’t have one, install a programmable thermostat. If your hot water heater is old, consider spending a bit extra to purchase a high-efficiency water heater. Homebuyers know these water heaters can really trim energy bills.
Fresh paint, in neutral colors, can go a long way towards updating the look of your home. Plus, paint is relatively cheap. Using low-VOC paint will make your home more eco-friendly. Plus, you and your family will avoid breathing in dangerous chemicals, like benzene, that off-gas from regular fresh paint.
Basic updates add the most value to your home. Keep up with the maintenance. It keeps your home from deteriorating over time. Buyers want a healthy, solid, safe home, and they look carefully for signs of routine maintenance.
If you decide to hire a contractor, shop around before you choose someone to work with. Get at least three quotes, with specifics, from the contractors you interview. Thoroughly check references before you agree to a contract or work order.
Whether your thinking of adding a bathroom, updating your old kitchen, or want to build a new master suite, you’re not alone. With the huge increase in the cost of lumber, it’s evident that plenty of homeowners have been taking on home improvement projects this year. We’ve been looking at national data, specific upgrades may have more or less value depending on where you live. Do your research to find out what will give you the biggest return on your investment where you live.
The right home improvement projects can not only boost your enjoyment of your home but also its value. The more money you make on your home’s sale, the more you have toward your new home.
Looking to Get Your Home Short-Term Rental Ready while you’re waiting for that sale? Check out our post for some awesome tips to do it.