Best Home Improvements to Deliver Return on Investment


As you prepare to sell your home, you may want to do a number of home improvements in the hopes of increasing your home’s list price. However, not all renovations are worth wasting your time and money on. For example, if you may think that adding a luxury master suite will create a real estate auction war, it is essential to remove personal opinions from the home improvement equation.

Resources such as Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost / Value Data on Value-Adding Home Improvements can provide vital information to ensure your renovation projects deliver a significant return on investment. The Remodeling Magazine report compares 22 projects in more than 100 US markets to detail the average cost of labor and the overall value of the project for sale. You should be aware that the cost of labor versus cost recovered can vary widely across the country (they can vary by region and city).

Is remodeling a good investment?

Even when your remodel job is an attractive upgrade to most buyers, it adds little value if done to your liking. “You may want a room in your house shaped like a cat or mouse, but can you find a buyer who wants it?” says Gopal Ahluwalia, director of research for the National Association of Home Builders. “You must be thinking in the back of your mind that one day you will have to sell.”

If you live in a Craftsman gem and want to add an addition to a family room, for example, keep the layout in keeping with the original look. This applies to both the height of the ceilings and the style of the windows and trim. “You don’t want to lose the integrity of the house,” says Bobbi Chasin, a real estate agent in Evanston, Illinois. “Putting a large box in the back of the house will spoil the whole look.”

The same goes for small projects. For example, when choosing kitchen cabinets, countertops, and flooring, aim for classic or neutral colors and styles. “Years ago, I had a client who wanted a purple kitchen to match the purple grout on his fireplace,” says Mark Scott, a renovator in Bethesda, Maryland. Scott strongly objected to this, but the landlord insisted that he planned to stay in the house for the rest of his life. If you can’t make that kind of commitment, don’t expect someone else to pay for your unique and incredible options.

To help you overcome the confusion so that you can dedicate your time and resources to the right projects, we have created this list of the top five ways to increase the value of your home.

The top 5 most valuable home improvements

1. Add curb appeal with stone veneer

Think about the first impression potential buyers see when they visit your home. Enhancing your curb appeal with stone cladding sets your home apart from others on the market. The name can be misleading because stone cladding is not a natural stone. The stone veneer is made of “fake” stone. According to Cultured Stone, a leading stone veneer manufacturer with more than 50 years in the industry, manufactured stone veneer often costs one-third to one-half the cost of natural stone for the same project. When fabricated stone is installed correctly, sellers can expect an impressive return on their investment with an overall national average of 95%.

The total national projected cost of adding stone siding to your home improvement list is $ 9,357, with a recovered cost of $ 8,943. This translates into a 95.6% return on investment.

Experts don’t recommend that you try a DIY stone cladding project because improper installation can lead to water damage to the home and the potential for mold growth.

To inspire you, Pinterest has examples of stone siding for all types, sizes, and styles of homes.

2. Upgrade your garage door

Not all garage doors are the same. While garage doors can be considered utilitarian, an upgraded garage door is a great example of value-adding home improvements. What does the exterior of your home convey to potential buyers? Is it a simple replica of all the other houses in your neighborhood? Upgrading your garage door adds character to help your home stand out from the competition.

The approximate cost of replacing a 16 × 7 foot garage door and tracks with a striking new door that features top pane glass windows, galvanized steel hardware, and a lifetime warranty is estimated at $ 3,695 with a value of $ 3,491 resale. The result? A national average of 94.5% of costs recovered.

While it may be tempting to save money by opting to do some home improvements, you should leave the garage door installation to the professionals. If you decide to try removing your existing garage doors and installing your new and improved door set, find out if the warranty is voided on new DIY garage door installations.

Garage doors can add personality to your home, from farmhouse and craft styles to minimalist styles.

3. Do a minor kitchen remodel

The kitchen is the heart of the house. When choosing home improvements, many homeowners look to kitchen improvements. However, there are levels of investment in a kitchen remodel, and unfortunately, some may not be worth it. Large projects, such as adding a gourmet kitchen with custom cabinets, commercial-grade appliances, and new flooring, only provide an average return on investment of 53.9%. In contrast, the estimated ROI for a small kitchen remodel in the United States is 77.6%.

Smaller, more manageable kitchen renovations will provide better returns. Cosmetic enhancements such as painting walls, trim, trim, and the ceiling are inexpensive enhancements. Opt for kitchen cabinet resurfacing and new hardware rather than a costly complete teardown. Replacing old appliances with energy-efficient ones is another selling point that will be of great help to potential buyers.

Go online to find remodeling tips and ideas.

4. Replace your siding

Old, shabby coatings can leave a bad first impression. The good news is that replacing vinyl and fiber cement siding is great value for money. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 cost/value study, replacing fiber cement siding will cost more than vinyl, but the return on investment will be slightly higher. Leave siding removal and replacement to the professionals, especially for two- and three-story homes.

Fiber cement siding is thicker than vinyl siding. In comparison, vinyl siding, made from lightweight plastic, offers an average return on investment of 74.7%. While vinyl siding is easy to install, inexpensively priced, and requires little maintenance, it is important to note that the plastics in vinyl siding emit harmful chemicals.

The average labor cost for a Hardie Board delivery is $ 17,008. Replacing vinyl siding costs about $ 14,359, on average.

Once you’ve decided on a fiber cement or vinyl replacement, your next task will be choosing the color and style of the siding.

5. Replace your windows

Home efficiency is an important factor for new and existing homeowners. If your window seals have seen better days, your energy costs can skyrocket. The new vinyl windows offer additional benefits such as improved energy efficiency, noise reduction, and UV protection to prevent fading of carpets and murals. While you may want to do a DIY window replacement to save on home improvement costs, improper installation can lead to unnecessary hiccups.

If your home has older single-pane windows, now is the time to assess whether a vinyl double sash window replacement project is part of your renovation budget. On average, you will get an ROI of 72.3% and the average cost of a job is $ 17,641.

In today’s window market, there is a wide variety of window options, from traditional styles with rails to modern windows with clean lines that exude minimalism.

How to increase the value of a home with the right improvements

There are many factors to consider when preparing your home for sale. The ultimate goal is to increase the value of your home. Take advantage of resources like Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost / Value Data to choose the right projects that will have the best return on investment.

Browse your geographic region, city, and even neighborhood to compare. Following these important steps will guide you on how to increase the value of your home.

The bottom line

Preparing your home for sale takes a lot of planning. Set a realistic home improvement budget and work with your real estate agent. This helps to determine which investments will positively impact your home’s list price. Once the improvements have been made, make sure your real estate agent includes these improvements when marketing your home to appeal to a wider audience.

Frequently asked questions

What things add value to a home?

The top five home improvement projects that offer the best return on investment are replacing your home’s garage door, windows, and siding (vinyl or fiber cement), adding stone siding, and completing a minor kitchen upgrade.

What improvement projects should I focus on before putting my home on the market?

Once you’ve established your renovation budget, research the cost versus value of home improvements that add value to your area.

How do you choose the right home improvement project?

Taking your personal preferences out of the equation is essential when choosing the right home improvement project. The ultimate goal is to update what will attract the largest number of potential buyers. Focus on offering what buyers in your area are looking for when buying a home.

Are you ready to sell your home? Reach out Falaya team. We will guide you through the process to sell your home fast, quicker, and for more money. Visit falaya pricing plans.

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