Best Value Projects for Home Improvement

March 30th, 2016

Not all home improvement efforts are equal when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck.

In fact, a lot of projects that are popular with homeowners end up costing more than they’re worth. Thankfully, just as many tend to be “good deals.”

Looking for a few examples of renovations that offer great value? Here you go:

Don’t Ignore the Basics

There’s no question shiny new kitchens or spa-like bathrooms are exciting. Updating your home to include them, though, usually costs a lot of money. Even worse, you might not recoup those costs when or if you sell your house or condo. Also, potential home buyers may overlook them if the roof is leaking, the plumbing needs a bit of work, or the furnace is on its last legs. Many of those fixes can be done for a few hundred dollars and offer a hefty return on investment.

Your Front Door

Want to cheaply and easily add some value to your home and improve its curb appeal at the same time? Take a look at the front door. Buying and installing a new steel door shouldn’t run you more than about $1,000. Plus, according to Remodeling Magazine’s “2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report,” you could recover more than 100 percent of that at resale. Something else to keep in mind here: if your existing door is solid and attractive, a new coat of paint may provide you with the same ROI.

Trash that Old Siding

It’s bad enough that old, worn siding looks ugly. Some appraisers, though, say it also impacts a home’s value – by as much as 10 percent. Luckily, replacing it with new vinyl or fiber-cement siding is pretty easy as far as remodeling projects are concerned. And not only that, but the payback is impressive. According to the National Association of Realtors’ “2015 Remodeling Impact Report,” homeowners who go with vinyl siding in these situations usually see a return of 83 percent. Those who choose fiber-cement siding see a 79-percent ROI.

Quick Kitchen Update

Your first thought might be to do one of those HGTV-worthy overhauls. Which is understandable, as even people who don’t know how to boil water want a beautiful kitchen with all the trimmings. If you’re looking for a project that provides value without breaking the bank, though, do something more modest. Knocking out a non-structural wall to open up the space is one option. Another is to reface, rather than replace, dated cabinets. Or you could switch out that giant island with a moveable one.

Replace your Roof

If your roof is fairly new or otherwise in great shape, ignore this piece of advice. If you haven’t replaced it since the 1990s, though, put your home-improvement dollars into the roof instead of a home theater or backyard patio. The good news here is you’ll recoup most of what you spend on a new roof if you ever sell your house. This is especially true if you live on the East Coast, where the return on investment for such a project sits at around 96 percent. Even in the Midwest, though, the average return is just over 71 percent.