While there’s no end to the upgrades and improvements you could make around your home, not all of them will have a noticeable effect on your home’s market value. With a little planning, though, you can find home improvement projects that will give you more enjoyment from your living space and a higher price when you decide to sell.
Catch Up on Basic Maintenance
Over just a few years, a house can accumulate a lot of minor repair issues that, if not addressed, add up to a worn-down, neglected look that makes potential buyers wonder what else is wrong. When you’re ready to make improvements, start by taking care of minor repairs you might have been overlooking.
Check for issues such as damaged walls and floors, dripping faucets, roof leaks, loose doorknobs, broken locks, broken light switches, and chimney cracks and corrosion. This goes even if the repairs are largely cosmetic. If you haven’t had your plumbing and wiring professionally inspected within the last year, it’s worth having it done now.
When everything’s in working order and looking good, it gives the impression that the home has been well maintained.
Re-do the Front Door
As one of the first things a potential buyer sees when walking up to the house, a beautiful front door can do a lot to create a good first impression. A solid wood or steel door gives your home a look of luxury, durability, and security.
If you have a wooden door you’d rather not replace, at least give it a fresh coat of paint or stain in a color that suits the building’s color scheme.
Expand Your Storage Space
If you never seem to have enough space to keep all your stuff organized, adding storage space could make your home a lot more attractive to a would-be buyer. Even adding some stylish knobs and hooks to the walls can help.
Wall-mounted shelves and caddies also give you room for storage without taking up floor space. Setting up wire shelving or a laminate closet system in the bedroom and entryway closets is a good next step. Then look for narrow walls and unused other spots where you could install built-in shelves.
Spruce up the Flooring
Flooring might not be something you pay much attention to consciously, but it has a major effect on the overall look of a room. For a relatively new carpet that’s still in good repair, invest in professional cleaning to spruce things up. If your flooring has a few worn spots, covering those with strategically placed area rugs provides a quick fix.
Hardwood flooring is gaining popularity and can add even more value to your home than carpet. If hardwood flooring isn’t in your budget, consider engineered wood flooring. While it doesn’t wear as well as hardwood, it’s less expensive and offers the same classic look.
Modernize Your Appliances
After 10 years, most appliances are nearing the end of their lifespans, and they’re less efficient than recently manufactured models. By replacing your old appliances with new, energy-efficient models, you’ll reassure would-be buyers that they won’t get stuck with high energy bills or a furnace that suddenly dies.
Smart devices, such as a programmable thermostat and Wifi-enabled lighting, are also good investments because they add to the impression that the home is high tech and high value.
Upgrade Your Kitchen
If you’re considering a major home improvement project, renovating the kitchen is one of the best investments you can make. The kitchen is considered the heart of the home for good reason. It’s often the first place potential buyers head for and the room where they stay the longest as they ask questions to learn more about the house and neighborhood.
At the very least, make sure your kitchen looks up to date with fresh paint, modern tiles, and new fixtures. Raised panel cabinets are an especially cost-effective upgrade, but you don’t have to replace all your cabinetry to get them. Instead, hire a contractor who can reface the cabinets, replacing just the fronts.
Don’t get too carried away, though. Pricey luxury features such as a granite countertop or a wood-fired pizza oven are unlikely to give you a return on your investment.
Makeover the Bathroom
A smart-looking, modern bathroom is next in line for home improvements that will increase your home’s value. Here again, a facelift will give you a better return on your investment than a complete overhaul. Installing a new sink faucet, shower head, and toilet seat go a long way toward freshening up an out-of-date bathroom. You can also brighten a dingy shower by just by replacing damaged tile and re-grouting.
Putting in a pedestal sink will give your bathroom a modern look for relatively little cost. If the floor’s a little shabby, vinyl tiles give you an easy, affordable way to get the appearance of new natural wood or stone floors.
Build a Deck
Comfortable outdoor living space adds versatility, beauty, and value to your home. This is especially true if you live in a region with plenty of warm weather. The deck you add should be big enough to comfortably seat several people and accommodate outdoor furniture and equipment such as a barbecue.
Redwood and cedar are good choices for quality, but exotic hardwoods are unlikely to recoup your investment. Features such as built-in seating and storage or an eye-catching railing add even more value.
Before you start work, check with your city or county authorities to find out if you’ll need a building permit.
Transform Your Attic
A finished attic adds valuable, versatile living space to your home that, unlike a deck, can be enjoyed all year. An attic room can be turned into a spare bedroom, kid’s playroom, library, game room or home office. It also provides extra storage space with controlled temperatures and humidity levels.
In addition, a heated and cooled attic helps maintain more regular temperatures in the lower rooms, making the house more comfortable overall. In some areas, converting an attic into living space requires a permit, so check with your local authorities.
Add Insulation for Improved Energy Efficiency
Adding insulation is one of the simplest and cheapest home improvements you can make to improve your comfort level. Sufficient insulation helps regulate indoor temperatures, which keeps your heating and cooling bills under control. A home inspector working with someone looking to buy your house will note this their report.
When you’re ready to add insulation, start with the attic. The right amount of insulation here benefits the whole house and laying batt insulation in the attic is a fairly simple DIY job.
Home improvements should first and foremost help you get more enjoyment out of your home while you’re living in it, but a few of them also add value in the eyes of prospective buyers when you’re ready to move. A project that can do both is the perfect place to start when you’re in the mood to make some changes.