As I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband and I bought our first house in 2015. For the past two years, we’ve completely fallen in love with both our home and our neighborhood. And because of this, we don’t plan on leaving any time soon. There are, however, a few home remodeling projects that we want to tackle in the next few years.
Now, remodeling can seem like a rather overwhelming and potentially stressful undertaking. Where should you start? What will it cost? Who should you hire? What home improvement projects increase property value?
And these are all questions that Ryan and I ask ourselves regularly as we choose our renovation projects. We want to ensure that we’re investing in our home wisely, so that when we move, we’ll see some return.
Now, whenever I’m excited about a new project or idea, I tend to dive deep into research. This home remodeling project is no different. I’ve looked into timelines, contractors and architects, potential costs, and which remodels yield the best returns.
While completing my research, I ended up compiling a lot of good information. And I decided to share my findings with you in today’s post; I hope it will be a useful guide for tackling your own home improvement projects and help point you in the right direction.
So read on to learn what home improvement projects increase property value, what things you should consider, and how to get started with each undertaking.
What home improvement projects increase property value?
The “unseen stuff”
One of the most important – and perhaps most often overlooked – components when it comes to the question: “what home improvement projects increase property value?” is a dependable, up-to-date “structure.” And when I say structure, I mean things like your furnace, a dry basement, a sound roof etc.
In fact, this was a big player when my husband and I were on the market a few years ago. We found a home that we loved, but once we discovered that it needed a new roof and a new exterior paint job, we immediately lost interest. Both of these projects are expensive and time consuming, and as new home owners, we didn’t want to tackle them right away.
So if you’re looking into updating your home, and you’re wondering what would bring the most “bang for your buck,” don’t overlook the “invisible” stuff. It’s true, these things might not be the most exciting updates in the world. But if you can advertise a newly installed, energy efficient heating system, a well-insulated attic, or a brand new roof, you have yourself a major selling point.
First Impressions Make A Difference
One thing that I hadn’t thought much about when beginning my research was the landscaping and outer appearance of the home. However, as real estate agent Dick Gaylord explained, “If people drive by your home and are not impressed, they’re not going to walk inside.” And this is absolutely true.
Realtor Ron Phipps further notes, “If I were going to spend money on a property, I would really work on making sure the curb appeal is strong.” Adding, “If all your remodeling is on the inside but the outside of the house is challenging, you’ll never have a chance to even show the inside.”
In fact, you can kill two birds with one stone by adding brick and mortar siding, which not only creates a classic, beautiful look to your home, but it also increases insulation. And of course when you improve insulation, you also make your home more energy efficient. It’s a win-win. Check out this page to learn the different options between stone, brick, and terra cotta options.
So whether you work on the landscaping, redo your walkway, or update the siding, upping the visual appeal of your property is a great investment. The average return with landscaping is 100%, while exterior improvements is 95.5%. So what do you have to lose?
Update the dated
There are many things you can tackle once you get inside the home. Some projects are costly, some are more affordable. Some are DIY, while others require professional help. I’ll touch on a few options in each of the categories today.
Light up your home
Having a bright, well-lit home is a major selling point for many home buyers. And it’s even better when you can control that light.
In fact, I think you’ll be surprised at how much life you bring to a room by simply adding some recessed lighting. And if you up the game with dimmer switches, and provide the option to control that light, you’re definitely in business.
Panels and Popcorn
Vertical wood paneling and popcorn ceilings are a thing of the past. The plan fact is, they really date your home…and not in a “classic” way.
If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, these two tasks are DIY projects that you can tackle yourself. In fact, the DIY network has an entire step-by-step guide for removing the popcorn ceiling. While doityourself.com offers a clear tutorial on wood paneling removal.
Both of these projects are relatively inexpensive, and they make a big difference in updating the look of your home.
The bathroom is one of the smartest home remodeling moves you can make. And this is especially true if you’re concerned about what home improvement projects increase property value.
The average return at resale for minor bathroom renovations is 102%, which is certainly appealing as you consider where to put your money.
HGTV suggests re-caulking your bathtub, and/or re-glazing it “for a like-new finish.” Also, remove dated wall paper and replace it with a fresh coat of paint; this instantly creates a clean, fresh look that really enhances the space.
By replacing old shower doors or removing them entirely, you also “add the illusion of space.” And if you’re working with a smaller bathroom, extra space is always an added bonus.
So take a look at your bathroom. Would it benefit from new tile flooring, a toilet, sink, vanity, or lighting fixtures? Maybe all of the above? I say go for it; it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll have a great return at resale.
Alongside the bathroom, the other “surefire” remodeling investment is the kitchen. Something interesting that I discovered doing this research, however, is the importance of the kitchen’s layout.
Matt Blashaw of the DIY Network’s Yard Crashers talked about the importance of “the triangle” for your kitchen workspace. He explains that the triangle “is the space where your cook area, sink and dishwasher meet to create an effortless flow when working.”
So as you’re considering your workflow, Matt recommends asking yourself: How far is my cooktop from my sink? Is my dishwasher close to the sink? Can I effortlessly get from one corner of the triangle to the other?
Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict further adds, “Spend the money on the layout — it never goes out of style. If you have a great layout, plugging in new appliances, hardware and cabinets can be quick and easy.”
So as you consider a kitchen renovation, think first about the layout. If you can’t move efficiently through the “triangle” workflow, focus first on that.
Once you have your layout perfected, then you can consider resurfacing cabinets, drawers, and countertops. You can look into a new stove and cooktop. And you might consider a new sink or durable, attractive flooring.
Like the bathroom, a beautiful and efficient kitchen is a major selling point for home buyers, and is a great thing to keep in mind when you tackle your home renovations.
And there you have it. 6 answers to the question, “what home improvement projects increase property value?”
So as you consider your next renovation project, keep these tips in mind; you’ll be much more likely to reap a high return whenever you decide to resell.
Have you done any home remodeling projects? Did you hire someone or did you DIY? Have you ever lost interest in buying a house because of “unseen” structural problems? Let me know below!
Looking for more redecorating tips? Check out my 7 Steps to Stress Free Redecorating