Your home serves as shelter and a place for you to relax and enjoy your family-but don’t forget that your home is also an investment. You want the value of your home to appreciate over time, so when it’s time to sell, you can make a sizable profit (and an upgrade in your next living arrangement). If you choose a home in a good neighborhood with good prospects for the future, this should happen on its own-but you can also increase the value of your home with renovations and home improvements.
The problem is, these renovations all cost money, and some are more valuable than others. Some may only increase the cosmetic appeal of your home without increasing its objective market value, while others offer a sizable return on your investment (ROI).
So which projects are the most valuable to pursue in 2017?
Best Projects to Improve Home Value
These are some of the most cost-efficient projects you can start to improve your home value:
1. Replacement windows.
If your windows are more than 20 years old, they likely aren’t up to the energy efficiency standards of today’s windows-and they probably don’t look as nice, either. Replacing windows is a big job-usually several thousand dollars, depending on how many windows you’re upgrading and what windows you choose-but the job carries a high ROI for the value of the home. As an added bonus, according to Crown Remodeling, new windows can save you up to $700 a year in energy costs, making it possible for them to pay for themselves during the course of your home ownership.
2. Interior and exterior painting.
Painting isn’t as intensive as replacing your windows, but it carries tremendous value. Painting the interior or exterior of your home can make it look brand new, cover up damaged areas, and provide more aesthetic value. The paint will only cost you a couple hundred dollars, and the labor won’t cost you much more than that (unless you have a major area to cover). You’ll be able to increase your asking price accordingly, and odds are, your home will sell faster too; never underestimate the power of curb appeal.
3. Kitchen remodeling.
Kitchen remodels can be intensive and expensive, but they’re often worth it. According to HGTV, a kitchen remodel is capable of returning more than 100 percent of your investment costs to the value of the home. Obviously, this depends on how much of your kitchen you’re replacing, the products you’re replacing, and how much you’re spending on the project, but it’s definitely worth considering if you want to bring more overall value to your home.
4. Bathroom remodeling.
Bathroom remodels work just as well as kitchen remodels for beautifying and increasing the value of your home. These are both rooms with several built-in fixtures that are subject to wear and tear, so they’re two of the most vulnerable rooms of the house for new owner impressions. New flooring, showers, tubs, toilets, and sinks can instantly bring your home value up $10,000 or more.
According to Old House Web, a new siding job yields an average ROI of 86.7 percent-and that’s just onto the value of your home. Depending on what type of siding you choose (fiber-cement is one of the most popular choices today), you may also earn the benefits of improved insulation and greater resistance to natural elements. If your siding is more than 20 years old, or if it’s showing significant signs of wear, it’s probably time to upgrade your siding anyway.
6. Deck and patio upgrades.
According to House Logic, you can build or upgrade your patio for anywhere between $8 and $35 per square foot, which is far cheaper than trying to add a full new wing to your house. Still, adding a deck or patio can improve the value of your home as if it were a new wing. If you have handyman skills, you may even be able to build one yourself, cutting costs and greatly increasing your home’s value.
Finding the Right Contractor
Unfortunately, these jobs alone aren’t enough to ensure that you see a return on your investment. You’ll need to spend some time researching different products and contractors in your area to get the best deal. Not only will your research likely find you a candidate with a better price, you’ll also guarantee that the work will be done to the proper standards, so you don’t end up paying more for repairs and adjustments in the future.
If you’re looking for a resource, Angie’s List is a good place to start, or you can ask your neighbors and community members for personal recommendations. Get at least three quotes before finalizing your decision.