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Home Improvement

Home Improvement Ideas

Whether you’re trying to boost the asking price before putting your home on the market or making upgrades to enjoy for years to come, home improvements can increase the value of your home. The key to selecting projects is researching the average return on investment and then finding the balance between changes that suit your lifestyle and those that improve the home value.

Home Improvement Ideas with Best Return on Investment

Remodeling Magazine compiles an annual Cost vs. Value Report that compares the average cost for many popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 99 US markets. The survey shows how these project costs and ROIs have compared to previous years’ reports. Bathroom and kitchen remodels continue to be good investments, but some smaller projects also show positive return:

  • Entry door replacement (steel): 90.7% of cost recouped
  • Garage door replacement: 76.9%
  • Siding replacement: 76.4%
  • Roofing replacement: 68.8%
  • Deck addition (wood): 65.2%

Home Improvement Ideas for Energy Efficiency

If you plan on staying in your current home for many years one of the best investments you can make is improving the energy efficiency. These projects can range from simply weather stripping doors to taking out a home equity loan to install solar panels that provide enough energy to power the entire home. Some projects that improve energy efficiency and also are attractive to potential buyers include:

  • Replacing old windows with modern vinyl windows that reflect light
  • Installing a steel entry door (which also improves security)
  • Roof replacement (63% of cost recouped, according to Cost vs. Value report)

Regional Considerations

Climates and lifestyles vary greatly across the country so some home projects are more valuable in one region than another. The same pool that is an excellent selling point in Phoenix could be a deterrent to a home sale in Maine. A backup power generator may seem unnecessary in sunny Southern California, but could add a lot of value to a rural home in stormy North Dakota. Take the time to research regional trends and averages before embarking on a major home improvement investment.

Increase Curb Appeal

There’s no denying the importance of a first impression when selling a home, so projects that add curb appeal are a safe bet. Some easy ways to add curb appeal include:

  • Lining the front walkway with solar-powered lights
  • Installing a new front door, or giving your old door a new coat of paint
  • Spruce up the front lawn with thorough grass maintenance and colorful flowers in the planting beds
  • Replace outdated or mismatched features like wall-mounted mailboxes, house numbers and front porch lights with new, unified elements

Home Improvement Ideas to Avoid

Not every home improvement project is a good investment. Unless you plan to stay in your home for the foreseeable future, you should avoid too much landscaping, attempting projects over your head and clashing styles. An elaborately landscaped yard might feel like a paradise to you, but pose a problem for buyers who aren’t interested in spending whole weekends on yard work. Tackling home improvement projects yourself is an excellent way to save money but you must be willing to tear it out and start over (or call in a professional) if the results aren’t perfect. One shoddy tile job can give a prospective buyer a very negative impression of overall home quality. Finally, be certain to match home improvements with the home’s existing elements. A futuristic kitchen will look out of place in an old Victorian home.

Keep these ideas and tips in mind when tackling a home improvement project and you can make your home feel like new while increasing the resale value.


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