During the 2007-2009 recession, many homeowners opted to improve their homes instead of moving. The trend continued after the economy stabilized as more Americans began to realize how valuable even simple upgrades could be. While not all projects are smart investments, there are several that make financial sense.
Construction, real estate, and business experts advise that correcting foundation issues, updating kitchens, and adding a bathroom are some of the best ways to increase home values. Homeowners who install energy-efficient windows, build a deck, or replace garage doors also enjoy excellent returns on their investments.
Foundation Repair Impacts a Home's Value
A damaged foundation can significantly decrease your home's value. Conditions like underground erosion, tree roots, and leaks may crack foundation materials and cause houses to shift. That may lead to issues like windows and doors that do not close properly, uneven floors, and cracks in exterior walls. Foundation damages make homes hard to sell and reduce their value. Fortunately, the problem is fixable. Professionals like Helitech offer a range of solutions that correct problems and boost property values.
When experts repair foundations, they also correct many other problems that impact property values. For example, poor drainage that destroys landscaping can affect foundations. When contractors are evaluating foundation problems, they identify the causes and ensure they are corrected. For instance, when flooding is causing damage, contractors install sump pumps that prevent water from harming foundation materials.
Replacing Windows Makes Homes More Energy Efficient
Financial website Money Crashers reports that replacing old windows with energy-efficient styles is a smart move. Homeowners who upgrade windows typically recoup 60-90% of their investment if they choose energy-efficient products. Older single-pane windows allow heated and cooled air to escape, which drives up utility bills and makes it hard to stay comfortable during extreme weather. Window manufacturers offer a variety of replacement products that insulate homes and can even filter dangerous UV rays.
Homeowners who upgrade windows may also be eligible for green tax credits. Many power companies and states offer energy rebates. You can find out if you qualify by visiting the Energy Star Rebate Finder and entering your zip code. The site provides information on a variety of qualified products.
The typical cost to replace windows in an average-sized home is between $7,500 and $10,000. The upgrade can be more expensive, depending on the style and number of windows. However, most homeowners recoup their investment within a few years.
An Upgraded Kitchen Adds Instant Value
Remodeling your kitchen is a project that can provide a big payoff. Expect to recoup 60%-120% of your money. Per Bankrate, an owner investing $22,507 in minor kitchen upgrades can anticipate their home's value increasing by $18,123. Professionals suggest refacing cabinets, installing energy-efficient appliances, and adding new countertops. The focus should be on designing a functional, modern-looking space that adds enjoyment to life. Friends and family can appreciate it for years. An attractive, efficient kitchen also appeals to buyers and can make it easier to sell when the time comes.
Budget is typically one of the most significant issues to consider when planning a renovation. Fortunately, more money doesn't always produce the best results when upgrading a kitchen. The idea of a trendy, fully equipped space may be appealing but might not complement every home. For example, buyers who are interested in historic homes look for elements that add to the ambiance. A vast, modern space with the latest gadgets and technology is not always a good fit for older homes and could make selling more difficult.
Adding a Bathroom Is Worth the Money
If you own a home with a single bathroom, adding another is an excellent financial move. Houses with more than one bathroom are in demand, and buyers are willing to pay more for them. HGTV professionals estimate that homeowners recoup 80%-130% of the money spent adding a bathroom.
An additional bath also adds value to your life. Guests no longer have to access your private bathroom. Family members avoid long waits, and it is easier for everyone to get ready and out the door in the mornings.
Contractors can often turn unused space into powder rooms or even full baths. They sometimes use a closet or space under a stairway. Builders need at least 18 square feet for a half-bath and 35 square feet for a full bath with a tub. The final cost of projects depends on the type of materials and accessories that go into them. Big-box stores routinely drop the price of fixtures during promotions, making it possible to find high-end options that are budget-friendly.
A New Deck Makes a Home More Valuable
Building a new wooden deck costs approximately $13,000 and increases a home's value more than $10,000. On average, homeowners recoup 76% of their investment. Decks are popular features that often attract home buyers. A deck also has value while you are living in your home. It increases living space by providing an area for outdoor entertainment and recreation.
Replacement Garage Doors Are Wise Investments
Homebuyers often put garages at the top of their “must-have” lists, so if your home has a garage, it is already more valuable than a house without one. However, a broken, worn, or damaged garage door will detract from the beauty and value of a property. Replacing an unsightly door is one of the smartest investments you can make because it costs less than most upgrades but offers an exceptional return on investment.
Garage door professionals typically include removal and disposal of old doors in their estimates. They sell a wide variety of door styles, so you can opt for a replacement that complements the rest of your decorating theme.
A homeowner who replaces a 16×7 foot (two-car garage) door with a four-section style can expect to spend about $3,600. Assuming the new door includes galvanized steel tracks and a compatible opener, the return on investment is almost 100%. Beautiful garage doors that work well increase curb appeal and can sell a home.
Wisely chosen home improvements like kitchen renovations and extra bathrooms are excellent investments. It is also smart for homeowners to invest in foundation repairs, new garage doors, and decks. Replacing original windows with energy-efficient versions is another upgrade that provides an exceptional return on investment.