Summer Projects to Improve the Value of Your Home
It may still be snowing in Montana and raining in D.C., but summer is just around the corner. Those warmer months are the perfect time to take on summer projects that will improve your home. Whether you’re interested in basic updates and fixes or more major renovations, choosing the right projects could add value to your home all year long. Here’s a list of projects from simple to complex that will do just that.
Weekend DIY Updates
A number of smaller projects can be completed over the weekend, adding to the enjoyment and value of your property without breaking the bank or demoing any walls.
A few hundred dollars of paint and supplies can freshen up the interior of your home. Consumer Reports says a fresh coat of neutral paint in key rooms and a good scrub for the others could give homesellers a potential asking price boost of one to three percent.
Small-budget upgrades to the all-important kitchen and bath areas can go quite a ways, according to Consumer Reports. Cosmetic fixes, such as fresh grout, new faucets, and updated vanities can add anywhere between two and seven percent to a resale price.
Sprucing up the curb appeal of your home can also add value. The financial payoff of these efforts — replacing rotten wood trim, repairing driveway cracks, replacing sickly shrubs, power washing exterior surfaces, and so on — is difficult to parse on an item by item basis, but overall exterior fixes can add two to five percent to a seller’s asking price.
More substantial updates may take more than just a weekend, and you’ll likely need to set aside a budget. The payoff, of course, is that bigger projects will add more value and enjoyment to your home.
Upgrades to appliances are often overlooked, but matching kitchen appliances give a more cohesive look. As Bankrate notes, some appliances come with reversible face panels with alternate color schemes, meaning matching the dishwasher to the stove just takes a screwdriver and a few minutes. If you decide to invest in new appliances, watch for sales and specials. Some states also have sales tax holidays for new energy efficient appliances.
Updating the front entry, windows, or the roof can be a more substantial investment, but could be worthwhile depending on your circumstances. A Jeld-Wen survey claims new exterior doors can add $16,000 to a home’s value. Meanwhile, CNBC reports spending $10,000 on new windows could add $8,500 to a home’s resale value while $14,000 put towards a new roof could add $10,500.
Backyard hardscape and landscape additions can also add to your home’s value. The adventurous do-it-yourself enthusiast could take on this simple on-grade deck project, with materials costing around $1,000. A professional job could run closer to $15,000, but may offer a return on investment of $11,000. Meanwhile, “excellent” landscaping could add four to five percent to your home’s value.
Larger updates take more planning, time, and money, but pay off when your budget is spent in the right areas. Baths and kitchens are a reliable place to focus on for the best return on investment for major renovations.
A bathroom remodel could cost anywhere from $13,000 to $50,000, and offer a return on investment of 63 percent to 85 percent of your project cost, depending on individual factors. A serious kitchen remodel project could set you back anywhere from $54,000 to over $100,000. The ROI of such a project could be between 63 percent and 81 percent, again depending on the variables.
Before Getting Started
It’s true, sprucing up the kitchen and bath and buying a few gallons of paint for the living room are easy decisions. You’ll gain a great deal of enjoyment for your small investment and your time without much risk to your home or finances. For more substantial upgrades, though, it’s important to consider all the details.
There is a limit to how much value you can add to a home, no matter how much you spend. To improve your home’s value and still expect a good return on your investment, be careful not to overspend. A $150,000 home in a neighborhood of $100,000 to $150,000 homes is unlikely to gain $50,000 of value with $50,000 of upgrades. That’s because buyers looking for a $200,000 home are likely to begin their search in a neighborhood where that’s the average price. It’s a factor of the market to keep in mind.
When you are ready to proceed, pay attention to your budget, your time, and your neighborhood’s average values, and your summer home project is more likely to add enjoyment and value to your home all year long.