What Renovations Add the Best Value to Your Home, and What Ones Do Not

You’ve probably heard this one before—there are some renovation projects that add value to your home and some that should only be done because, well, you just kind of want them.

Still, according to a Cost vs. Analysis report on Remodeling.com, some key renovations will return the amount you spent on the renovation, while others will not, though they’ll increase the value of your home.

We’ve gathered some knowledge from top sources so that we can let you in on some of these life-hacks, so you don’t waste your money on projects that won’t give you a good return on your investment, or you do waste your money, but you knew and made an informed decision. Right? The sacrifice was worth it for that sweet outdoor grill surrounded by rock landscaping and the exterior shower so that you can rinse off nightly under the stars just like nature intended.

Projects That Don’t Add Value If You Plan to Sell

Adding space, like finishing a bathroom or basement. It seems counterintuitive that this may not give you back what you spent on it, but the real crux of the answer is that it depends. There are many aspects to this one, some of which would be best answered by an expert in the market of your area, but the bottom line is that costs to build out a room can be very high, while not giving you the equivalent return on your money. What you spend to do it may be best spent on another project that is known to give you back what you spent on it.

So, experts suggest finishing a basement or attic or the like for you and your family to enjoy, but not to get a big return on what you put in.

Projects that are considered maintenance. These little nuisances are like the gremlins of homeownership. They’re projects that just have to be done, such as updating the furnace or AC unit or getting a new roof.  You may drag your feet and feel irked at the purchase, but they’re necessary and homebuyers look at them as things that should be in working order when they’re shopping around for a home. 

Upscale remodels. We mentioned that outdoor shower or wicked sweet grill (it’s really a kitchen) replete with stone accents? While those may be exactly what you want in your dream home, the money put into them doesn’t work out to give you a return on that cost. But there’s something to be said about your personal enjoyment. So, just keep in mind that the fun you get from these is part of the payment and a future homebuyer looking at your home will likely not pay what you put into it.

Projects That Will Give You a Return on Your Investment

Replacing the front door with a steel door. According to the  Remodeling.com Cost vs. Analysis report, replacing your front door with a steel door will give you almost exactly the return on what you spent to replace it. Though this may not be the most glamorous upgrade, the hard facts are that what you spend on it will return at almost 100%.

Replacing the garage door or replacing vinyl siding with stone veneer accents. These two purchases will net you just about equal what you put into them. The good news is that they’re not the most expensive renovations. In 2018 the steel garage door cost around $3,600, and the recoup was about $3,500. It’s a similar story with replacing the vinyl siding with stone veneer accents, which is around $8,900 in 2019, and the value added is about $8,400.

A minor kitchen overhaul, which includes replacing the appliances. Remodeling the kitchen is one that comes to mind whenever the subject comes up of what you should upgrade first. There’s some glamour to it—after all, it’s the heart of the home. But before you bust out the checkbook, consider that while the major upgrade would be the most romantic, a minor upgrade is the better return on your investment.

By minor, we mean replacing the fronts of the cabinets with shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts, as well as the hardware. It also includes updating the countertops and the hardware on the faucet, among other details noted in the Remodeling.com report.

The best advice we’ve seen and the best we can give you is to check with a local real estate agent, because this information is based on national markets and averages. There are markets where anything you do to your home is a 100% return on your investment, but that will vary from area to area.

So be sure to get advice for where your home is located!



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