Home Improvement Projects That Are Worth the Money

Home Improvement Projects That Are Worth the Money

Not only will home improvement projects improve your quality of life, but if done correctly, they can actually help to add considerable value to your home.   

For example, if your kitchen that has appliances and cabinets from the 80’s is being compared to a kitchen that has been upgraded in the last few years, you could find your value being much less when the appraiser compares your home to the one that sold next door.

Plus, renovating your home could be a better investment than moving and buying a new home. Often times, it is cheaper and easier to do an addition or renovate the things you don’t like about your home instead of moving and purchasing a brand new one. 

What to know what projects are likely to pay off? The 2021 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine (www.costvsvalue.com) ranked the cost and resale value of various home remodeling projects. While cost is something to keep in mind, it’s important to know that you could gain back a significant portion of the money spent by adding to your home’s equity.

Here are four of the top projects:

Replace vinyl siding with stone veneer 
Cost recovered: ~92.1 percent.

Exterior projects often hold their value well because "curb appeal" and "first impressions" hold a lot of weight in real estate. If the exterior of the house is in disarray, potential buyers immediately start to downgrade what they are willing to pay for the home. Refresh your exterior with a modern facade by replacing your old vinyl siding with a stone veneer on the lower third. If stone doesn’t match with the look of your house, replacing your vinyl siding can also pay off in the long run. Refreshing outdoor paint on siding, trims and doors where needed will also boost your curb appeal significantly. 

Minor kitchen remodel
Cost recovered: ~72 percent.

You might be surprised to find out that minor kitchen remodels actually provide more of a return on investment than major or luxury kitchen remodels, especially if your home is mid-size or price. The best way to spruce up your kitchen without a full renovation is to replace countertops with a solid surface material ie: Granite, Quartz or some other man-made product. While marble is beautiful, it is the most porous and therefore tends to stain. Quartz is a great countertop material because it won’t stain and doesn’t require any sealing or on-going maintenance Paint or reface cabinets and drawers and install new pulls and update the backsplash with new tile. Replace floors with resilient flooring and install new light fixtures and recessed lighting. Not only will buyers like the upgrades, but you will probably get 70-75% back in the value of your house.

Deck Addition
Cost recovered: ~66 percent

Outdoor living spaces have become very popular, especially in areas where the weather is nice for a considerable amount of time each year. Any amount of work you put into your backyard will be worth it in the end, helping to increase your home’s usable living space. Decks with a composite decking material are more expensive upfront but require very little maintenance and lasts much longer than wood. Dress it up with decorative planters and lighting.  Outdoor fireplaces and paver walkways help tie in landscaping and make for an inviting space. can add usable outdoor living space to your home. 

Minor Bathroom remodel
Cost recovered: ~ 65 percent

Just as minor kitchen remodels provide a better return on investment than major, the same is true for bathroom remodels. All bathrooms are different in size and types of fixtures. The best thing to do is to update all the fixtures, including the toilet, sink, faucets and light fixtures. A fresh coat of paint and a new framed mirror is typically all that’s needed to bring your bathrooms up to par with comparable homes in your neighborhood, but refinishing your tub, or installing a new vanity can also go a long way if needed. 

Other Renovations yielding a high cost to resale value ratios include:
•    Garage Door Replacement: 94 percent
•    Vinyl Window Replacement:  69 percent
•    Entry Steel door replacement: 65 percent

The data shown is based on a national average but could differ depending on your specific home and location. At the local level, it is best to obtain construction cost estimates from reputable local remodelers and talk with an experienced Realtor. To see how data in your region stacks up, visit www.costvsvalue.com.

Thinking about remodeling? Contact your local loan officer to learn more about how you can use your home’s equity toward renovations, or how to obtain a renovation loan. 

“© 2021 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2021 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.”