5 Home Improvement Projects with Good ROI

Looking to take on home improvement projects this season? Here are 5 that have a good ROI, and two projects you should consider avoiding.It’s a common fact that your home is an investment. In particular, the work you put into it often means you have some return on investment, or ROI, later on when you go to sell it.

However, there’s often disagreement as to what this means in terms of the projects you should devote your time to versus which are better to avoid.

We’re here to help guide you to the best home improvement projects with good ROI so you don’t end up sinking your money into a project that won’t net you a great return.

1. New Front Door

While it seems basic, replacing your front door has many added bonuses, such as:

  • Low cost, high value project: According to a recent Houselogic article, a replacement steel door has a 98% ROI with a low cost of $1,240. Talk about a good deal!
  • Added security: A newer door may ultimately mean in increase in security. Add new locks and a digital keypad for added protection.
  • Curb appeal: To buyers, your new door will signal a good value item for them and increase their interest in buying your home. New paint can even go a long way in making your current door nicer. Why pass up a chance to make a profit on your home?
  • Energy savings: If the seal on your old door was poor, a new door and its new materials may improve your energy bill. It’s worth finding out if your new door can save you money in the end – who doesn’t like a little extra cash back on their investment?

2. Siding Replacement

Weather and general wear and tear can make the outside of a house look worn down. Replacing your siding is a good value and provides your home with a new look for a relatively low cost.

Like with replacing your front door, repairing or replacing siding is also a good return on investment. Siding replacement recouped 92.8% of its cost, according to a study by Remodeling Magazine.

As with front doors, you can also expect to work with better materials that are more weather resistant and sturdier than what was initially installed when your home was built.

3. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Many people think that both a kitchen and bath remodel can be expensive; however, making minor improvements to your kitchen, such as replacing counter tops, appliances, hardware, or cabinets can pay off in the end.remodel is expensive and can upend your life. Who wants to spend a whole summer living in a house with a gutted kitchen?

Many homeowners seek out attractive kitchens in turnkey homes and don’t want to put in the work themselves to make improvements. If your kitchen is in ready-to-sell condition, you’re likely to have more offers and maybe even a bidding war thanks to a little elbow grease.

Going the DIY route here can help keep costs down. For example, you don’t have to get entirely new cabinets – you could just reface the ones you currently have, or give them a new coat of paint.

Don’t want to sell yet? A kitchen remodel can also boost your love for your home. Adding personal touches like a paint color you’ve always dreamed of having or counter tops that have higher quality materials will help you feel more at home and happy with your kitchen.

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4. Garage Door Replacement

If you have a garage, you know what an obstacle it can be if the motor runs out or it gets damaged. A replacement might seem like an expense worth waiting to do, but it can add value to your home in many ways.

If you’re flipping a home, you’ll especially want to replace the garage door, as you may not be aware of the condition of the current one and don’t want to leave your buyers with the sticker shock of replacing the door.

Also, consider the area you live in and how the community might value a new garage door. According to an advice column on Realtor.com, in an area like Boston that has older homes, a smaller real estate market that’s also competitive, and severe weather, a new garage door would be an advantageous addition to a home.

Bottom line: do your research before replacing the door, but don’t discount the chance to improve your ROI either.

5. Wooden Deck

There’s nothing like a new deck on your house. You get to expand your outdoor space in a fun way and add a little entertainment getaway for yourself and guests when the weather is nice.

However, before you sink your money into a new deck, consider a few tips that will help you get the most value for your new addition.

  • Choose cedar materials: Your deck materials are very important, as you’ll have to maintain the deck regularly. Starting with a wood like cedar (or another hearty wood that is nonporous) improves your ROI over a vinyl deck or other materials that may not provide the same value.
  • Select a simple design: Your dream deck doesn’t have to be complicated. According to an article from a fencing and decking company in Portland, a 16×20-foot deck design with a linear pattern is simple, easy to install, and looks great on many homes.
  • Implement security features: To limit liability and also include attractive features, add a railing system and supports which can withstand the regular wear and tear a deck might go through. Without railings, you could be liable to personal injury lawsuits from visitors injured on your premises. Railings are also great to have for little kids.
  • Limit upgrades: While upgrading a deck every so often might be attractive, the expense may not be worth it. It’s better to start with a good deck rather than replace parts of it over time, so make sure you have good materials and a sound deck that passes inspection after the build to limit obstacles later.
  • Add a patio cover: The elements are unavoidable when you have an outdoor deck, but a simple patio cover can limit the damage to your wooden deck over time. Aluminum is a good material to consider, but there are other materials that are high end and offer protection if aluminum isn’t a good fit.

Projects to Avoid

While these projects were once popular, today, they’re trending downward and less likely to add value to your home. Keep in mind, however, what your current market looks like and talk to a real estate agent about what’s popular in your area.

Home Office Remodels

These days, fewer people need a lot of space to store their office files, making a home office an unnecessary expense. According to estimates from Hanley Wood Media, for example, the trend in home office remodels is quite low, with the value holding steady at approximately $14,000, with the cost of the remodel around $29,000.

However, as stated above, check out what homes in your area are doing. In some places, main floor home offices are popular and are replacing the formal dining area which many families no longer use.

Sunroom Additions

Not only has the cost of building a sunroom dissuaded homeowners from adding them to their homes, but the increased popularity of decks has led to the decline of new sunroom builds.

Your area may be different, so it’s important to find out what other homeowners are doing. In general, you might be better off putting the money you’d spend on a sunroom towards other home upgrades.

Your home is an important space to maintain, and part of that is often the cost of improvements that will pay off over time. Choosing projects that are the best value for your home will stretch your dollar and provide you with additional value you can add to the sticker price when it comes time to sell.

However, if you decide this is your forever home, the value of upgrades will pay off in many other intangible ways worth considering when you decide it’s time to remodel.

What home improvement projects have you undertaken? Did any improve the value of your home substantially?