I watch a lot of HGTV. I love home improvement shows and how lives can seemingly be transformed by new kitchen counters or a state-of-the-art media room. It makes me want to redo my entire house.
If you're making home improvements for your own enjoyment, go for it — upgrade, redo, add-on or tear down to your heart’s content. But if you’re fixing up your house with the hope of increasing its value and perhaps recouping some of that money when you sell your home, some home improvements are definitely better than others.
Here are the top ten projects you can do around your house that are most likely to give you the best return on your investment of time and money:
1. Get a new front door. Think about it. This is one of the very first things people see when they enter your house, so it better be fabulous! Upgrade from a wood to a steel door.
2. Install a new garage door. Same thought process as your front door. If your garage takes up a large portion of the curb side of your house, it should look great. Keep your old motor, but get a new door.
3. Update your siding. Vinyl? Fiber-cement? Foam-backed vinyl? There are lots of options, but it’s best to go with what the majority of your neighbors have.
4. Add outdoor amenities. Adding a wood deck or patio adds a lot of value to your home, but don’t bother to pay extra for the more expensive composite stuff for your deck. Homebuyers will rarely pay more for work they don’t have to do (stain the deck every few years.)
5. Remodel the kitchen. You definitely don’t want to gut the entire room and start over. A minor upgrade is your best bet. Reface the cabinets, get a new sink and faucet and upgrade your countertops.
6. Upgrade your windows. This is definitely a worthwhile investment. Again, go with wood or vinyl depending on what your neighbors have.
7. Add a bedroom. The additional space, along with a full bath, can really add value to your home that homebuyers will pay for.
8. Remodel your basement. Finish it off or upgrade it so it becomes a great additional living space for the family. Don’t forget to add great storage, too.
9. Make over the bathroom. Replace the faucets and mirror, repaint and consider adding crown molding. Redo the caulk around the tub or shower and clean up the grout on your tile flooring. If it’s needed, you can resurface your tub instead of replacing it. No need to do a major overhaul here — you won’t get your money back.
10. Consider a two-story addition. A first floor family room and second floor bedroom with a full bath would be great, depending on the size and available space in your home.
A few quick-fix, inexpensive projects to tackle include improving the lighting throughout your home, replacing window treatments and cleaning out and organizing your closets. These can go a long way toward making your home sell quickly and won’t cost you a lot of money.
Be mindful when you’re upgrading not to over improve your home for the neighborhood. You don’t want the most expensive home on your block!