From new countertops to energy-efficient appliances, these projects will add the most value to your home.
Spring is coming and you’re dreaming about tackling some home improvement projects that have been weighing down your wish list. But, while that swimming pool you’ve always wanted is something your family will enjoy, it might not be the right project to add value to your home. Any home upgrades should fit your lifestyle, add comfort — and give you a good return on your investment.
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1. Kitchen and bath facelifts
Replacing cabinet door fronts, hardware, countertops and appliances will give you the best bang for your buck. The national average ROI for that kind of minor remodeling project is 82.7%, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report.
For the bathroom, “keep the tub and tile, but change faucet fixtures, medicine cabinets, light fixtures, the vanity and the toilet,” suggests Chris Landis, a partner at Landis Construction, a high-end design-build firm in Washington, D.C. Most of his clients are currently choosing brushed nickel or chrome.
For kitchen remodeling, Landis is seeing laminate countertops being replaced with Silestone or granite, while old white or black appliances are being swapped out for higher-end stainless steel. An added bonus is that those new appliances, especially those that are Energy Star-certified, will save you money on energy costs.
2. Go greener
Don’t stop with new appliances. Getting an energy-efficient water heater or upgrading your HVAC system will make you more comfortable and you’ll see a quick ROI. This is especially true if you’re selling your home: “Buyers typically want to know what their energy costs will be,” says Ken Chitester, director of communications for Appraisal Institute, a professional association for real estate appraisers. “If they have a choice of two virtually identical homes in the same location, and one has an old and expensive-to-run furnace versus the neighbor’s state-of-the-art furnace that will save them money each month — well, that’s a no-brainer.”
3. Outside draw
Even before you get inside, a home’s exterior offers a great opportunity to create a wow factor. New siding can make your house look well maintained — something that’s very appealing to a potential buyer. In fact, siding replacement, particularly fiber cement, was the number-one project in upscale renovations, with 87% of costs recouped, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report.
So when you’re evaluating which home improvement projects to undertake first, it makes sense to prioritize based on which ones will ultimately increase the value of your home. The good news? You can finally get those new countertops you’ve been wanting, guilt-free.