Worthwhile renovations to increase the value of your home

Home renovations are a headache and they can be expensive. Make sure you know which ones will add more value to the selling price of your home.

James Quigg/The Victor Valley Daily Press/AP/File
Laying out moulding while remodeling a home in Hesperia, Calif.

Home renovations are a headache and they can be expensive. If you’re going to undertake them, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Some renovations will add more value to the price of selling your home than others. These are the best ValuePenguin-recommended renovations to increase the sale value of your home.

Curb Appeal

The inside of your home might be renovated from top to bottom, but if the outside looks unappealing, you might not even get potential buyers in the front door to marvel over (and pay top dollar for) your granite counter tops and sunken whirlpool tub.

Little things do matter and that’s good news for you because little things are cheaper and easier to do. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to improve your home’s value is to get a new front door. This small improvement adds an average of 96.6% of what it cost you to the value of your home, according to U.S. News & World Report

Is your home looking a bit dingy on the outside? Before you put it on the market, rent a power washer which you can get for about $75 a day. This simple chore can add as much as $10,000 to $15,000 to the value of your home, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Landscaping is an important part of curb appeal. It can add as much as 28% to the home’s value, says NAR. Strategically-planted trees not only beautify your home, but they can help cut energy costs too. 

Plants aren’t the only aspect of landscaping. Outdoor lighting is valuable to prospective buyers too, and it’s another one of those things that can save you, or the new owners money. Lighting reduces the risk of break-ins and some homeowner's insurance policies will give you a discount for installing it.

Beyond Cosmetic

It’s nice to walk into a beautiful home, but there are some renovations that are well worth the money that have nothing to do with aesthetics. Installing central air in a 2,400-square foot home can cost around $10,000, but it can add as much as 10 to 20% to your home’s value, reported Real Simple.

It can also save you energy costs long term, as they are less costly to run than window units and don’t have to be removed and stored after each summer. Plus, central air units don’t obstruct the view of all that beautiful landscaping you did the way that bulky window units do.

Peace of mind goes a long way to making your home attractive to buyers. Having to replace the roof a few years after moving in is not on any buyer’s wish list. Because no one wants to deal with that, a new roof can add a lot of value to your home, between 15 and 40%, says Signature Exteriors, one company that installs them. It can also increase your home’s energy efficiency. 

Kitchen is King

Even those people who eat take-out most nights dream of a beautiful kitchen, cozy family dinners around the table or entertaining friends. Extended family are still powerful draws when people look for a home. 

Kitchen remodels can return as much as 83% on your payout, according to Investopedia. 

Granite counter tops seem to be a deal-maker for many people, so if you have yet to replace your old Formica counters, get on it. Storage space is important too. We buy lots of kitchen gadgets, and even if they’re merely “aspirational,” they need a place to live. 

Just repainting the kitchen can make a big difference. If you have spent a lot of time cooking, the walls can be dingy from smoke and grease. You may not notice it any longer, but you can bet a prospective buyer will. 

Add a Bathroom 

Remember when you were in college and had to share a bathroom with one, maybe more, roommates? So does everyone else and they don’t want to do it when they’re adults who own a home. If your home only has one bathroom, adding another will make a big difference. 

Adding or remodeling a bathroom can recoup between 80-plus% of your investment. People want porcelain tiles on the walls and the floors, an upgraded shower stall with multiple shower heads, and lots of counter space, with two sinks if you have room for it all. 

Outdoor Space 

Much like home-buyers dream of entertaining in a newly-renovated kitchen, they also dream of outdoor entertaining. Adding a deck to your home can provide a return on investment of 73%. A patio, while still desirable, adds less return, between 30-60%, according to Inman.

You might think most buyers would like to do all this outdoor entertaining pool side, but a pool actually adds little value to a home. Pools do require a lot of upkeep and some people don’t want to be bothered. Also, if your home is in a neighborhood that appeals to young families, some would prefer not to have a pool because of the danger it poses to young children.

This story originally appeared on ValuePenguin.

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