Every homeowner, whether they expect to be in their current home for four years or 40, wants to sell their house at a profit. However, some of the most popular remodeling jobs, like updating the kitchen and bathrooms, are incredibly intimidating – and they don’t provide a fantastic return on investment, either.
Studies show that the average kitchen remodel in the U.S. costs more than $56,000, but for most American homes, that expenditure is way out of line with the value of the property. As a result, the property value might increase, but that increase likely won’t cover all the costs of the renovation. Considering the existing costs of home ownership – even with protective plans like good homeowner’s insurance and the best home warranty – you likely don’t want to put more money into your home than you can get out of it.
Instead of throwing all your savings at gutting and remodeling these costly parts of your home, you should focus your renovation efforts on smaller details that are almost guaranteed to return your investment. These include:
A garage is an excellent amenity that most homebuyers are eager to find – but an old or busted garage door essentially eliminates the benefits of the garage and is a major eyesore, to boot. That’s why garage door replacement should be at the top of your list of must-do renovations: Though a new double garage door only costs $3,470 on average, the update increases home value by $3,411. That’s a recoup of 98.3 percent of your costs – an unprecedented amount. Even better, most garage door purchases come with professional installation, so you don’t have to break out your own tools to get the job done.
If you’ve noticed more than a few houses in your neighborhood add stone veneer to its exterior siding, here’s why: Research shows that this small aesthetic improvement is a curb appeal–enhancing upgrade that earns back over 97 percent of your costs. To cover your entire home in manufactured stone veneer, you can expect to pay about $8,200 (on average) – but you don’t have to do that. Even a half-wall can add value. Plus, you can easily do this project yourself, helping you save money on labor.
Speaking of siding, yours could probably use an update. You probably don’t need a good reason to tear down the dilapidated siding currently sheathing your home, but here’s one anyway: You can recoup about 76 percent of your costs in doing so. Perhaps the largest project on this list, siding replacement could cost you upwards of $15,000, depending on the type of siding you install and how large your home is. Plus, you need a professional service to install it properly, to ensure it insulates your home appropriately. Still, if your siding is old (and looks it) then this is a good project to invest in.
Another boost to curb appeal, your front door could use some updating. These days, home buyers want steel entry doors, which are safer and more attractive than their wood predecessors. One of the most affordable projects on this list, a new steel door can cost you as little as $1,471, and like garage doors, this usually includes installation. However, you can find larger and more ornate doors for much more investment. What’s important is that you are likely to regain more than 91 percent of your investment in the resale value of your home.
One of the biggest advantages homeowners have over apartment-dwellers is yard space, and nothing maximizes the usability of a yard like a deck or patio. Adding a wooden deck to your home is no small feat; in can cost you upwards of $10,900, depending on size and features, like railings and balusters. However, that same deck resold with your home will gain you over $9,000 in value, meaning you can regain more than 82 percent of your costs. In the meantime, you can make the most of your new deck by lounging on it all summer long.
“Wait!” you’re saying, “You said earlier that kitchen remodels aren’t good investments!” It’s true: Largescale kitchen renovations aren’t worth your money. However, smaller kitchen updates are. For instance, installing cabinets with more modern drawer fronts and doors, replacing older countertops with more attractive laminate countertops and purchasing energy-efficient appliances are all positive choices that can recoup 81 percent of your investment. Anything more strenuous than that will set you back big.