Home improvement should not only be about making your living space more livable; it should also be about providing a long-term payoff. Every dollar you put into your home should, ideally, increase your home’s value when you’re ready to sell.
Yet, as you’re probably well aware, some remodeling projects are more about function than value. If you’re considering some changes to your home, start with the ones that you know will pay for themselves down the line.
Here are a few of the remodeling projects you can do that will give you a big payoff:
- Rethink your windows and window treatments. Windows are a home’s primary source of light and warmth. While you can’t control whether or not the sun is shining, you can control how much of the available light enters the home. Look into new blinds and window treatments, and you’ll be surprised just how much warmer your home will be (and how much it will increase your home’s appeal). Replacing the actual windows can increase your home’s energy efficiency (and there are blinds that can accomplish this task without replacing the windows, too).
- Do some landscaping. Landscaping is not only important when you sell your home, it’s important every day. When you come home from work, a well-manicured lawn with some nice shrubs or plants can have a de-stressing effect. This is also part of your home’s “curb appeal,” which will increase the sale price of your home when it is time to sell.
- Add a garage. A garage can add a considerable amount of value to the home. Today’s pre-manufactured garages can be a relatively inexpensive option, and even a stick-built garage can still pay off more than what it costs. In addition, you’ll increase the value and longevity of your vehicles, too.
- Remodel the kitchen. An updated kitchen can add several thousand dollars in value to your home. If you’re able to do some of the work on your own, you can usually come out ahead. Even just changing out your kitchen cabinets, refinishing them, or adding new appliances can improve your kitchen space and increase the home’s sale value. Be careful, here; you can sink an awful lot of money into contractors to fix up your kitchen. If you’re not doing a significant amount of the work yourself, you’re probably better off focusing your energies elsewhere.
- Remodel the bathroom. Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms buyers pay the most attention to. Here again, if you can do much of the work yourself, it can pay off big. Changing out counter tops, refinishing cabinets, and installing a new toilet and shower can significantl add to the appeal and the value of your home.
- Install a fireplace. There’s just something about sitting in front of a warm fireplace on a cold winter’s evening. You know it, and so do the people thinking about buying your home. Depending on your home’s layout, installing a fireplace might be fairly inexpensive, or at least less expensive than you think.
- Move the laundry room upstairs. You might not realize it, but having a laundry room upstairs as opposed to the basement actually increases the value of your home. In most cases, you’ll need both an electrician and a plumber to help you move the necessary fixtures, once you identify where the new laundry room should be. If you have a gas dryer, you’ll need someone to move or install a gas fixture, as well.
- Do some caulking. A couple of hours spent maintaining the caulking in your home can make a dingy bathroom look bright as new, and will help increase your home’s sale price.
- Brighten your home. Adding a light fixture or two to a room can help brighten it up significantly, especially if it’s a room with little opportunity for sunlight. Bathrooms and kitchens are excellent places to add lighting.
- Replace your door knobs and door plates. Door knobs and door plates are a fairly inexpensive investment, but you’d be surprised at the difference they make in making your home look new and shiny. New knobs catch the eye, and they raise the perceived value of your home.
Increasing your home’s value doesn’t always mean a major effort. Sometimes, it’s as simple as doing some repairs or installing a new feature. If you want to get the most for your home, consider some of these remodeling projects.