The Best Home Improvements to Add Resale Value

Things that Do Not Increase Value of Your Home
Photo: © Big Stock Photo

Home improvements can make life on your property easier, more convenient, and sometimes even more affordable. If you choose the right projects, they can also mean more profits when it comes time to sell.

All home improvement projects aren’t created equally, especially when it comes to resale value. According to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report, if you want to get the most out of your improvement projects, you should be focusing on these seven projects for 2021.

1. Replace Your Garage Door

  • Cost: $3,907​
  • Resale value-added: $3,663
  • Total cost recouped: 93.8%

A garage door replacement basically pays for itself, according to statistics. Not only does it add over $3,600 in resale value to your property, but it also can enhance curb appeal, making it easier to market your home and attract future buyers.

2. Add Stone Veneer Siding

  • Cost: $10,386
  • Resale value-added: $9.571
  • Total cost recouped: 92.1%

Do you have dated vinyl siding on your home? Consider swapping it out with manufactured stone veneer, and give the exterior a serious upgrade. Stone veneer not only looks better, but it can also help the home better withstand harsh weather conditions and make your property more marketable (and better-looking in listing photos).

3. Remodel Your Kitchen

  • Cost: $26,214
  • Resale value-added: $18,927
  • Total cost recouped: 72.2%

A minor kitchen remodel recoups more of its value than a full-scale overhaul does, so try to keep it simple. Upgrade your cabinetry, replace the countertops with quartz or marble, and install new, energy-efficient appliances. Adding tile flooring or a farmhouse-style sink can also increase appeal while upping your home’s value.

4. Replace Your Exterior Siding

  • Cost: $19,626
  • Resale value-added: $13,618
  • Total cost recouped: 69.4%

Not up for the stone veneer siding? Consider upgrading to new vinyl or Hardie siding instead. Though the full replacement could cost you upwards of $20,000, you’ll get more than $13,500 of that back upon sale. An added bonus? Your home will look newer than ever.

5. Swap Out Your Windows

  • Cost: $19,385
  • Resale value-added: $13,297
  • Total cost recouped: 68.6%

Upgrading your windows can add more than $13,000 in resale value to your home. If you choose tinted or double-paned ones, it might even help you save on future energy costs as well (which could be a big selling point for budget-conscious buyers).

6. Add a Wood Deck Out Back

  • Cost: $16,766
  • Resale value-added: $11,038
  • Total cost recouped: 65.8%

Score serious resale value as well as some nice R&R time by adding a wood deck to your backyard. Though decks are one of the costlier projects on this list, they can mean $11,000 more when it comes time to sell. Just make sure to add railings, pressure-treat the wood, and seal it to protect it from the elements.

7. Update Your Bathroom for Accessibility

  • Cost: $38,813
  • Resale value-added: $22,475
  • Total cost recouped: 57.9%

Adding accessibility features to your bathroom—upgrades that can make life easier for disabled, handicapped, or older buyers—can add nearly $12,000 to your resale value. Projects can include things like installing a curbless, walk-in shower, adding radiant-heat flooring, upgrading to adjustable mirrors and showerheads, and installing grab bars and wheelchair-height switches. If upping the accessibility of your space doesn’t seem appealing, general bathroom remodels can also improve your home’s value. It will run about $19,000, and you’ll recoup up to 60% of that upon resale.

Steer Clear of the Wrong Projects

Almost as important as choosing the right projects is avoiding the wrong ones—especially those that will actually hurt your resale value when you eventually list the home. Anything that is super bold (think bright green shutters or hot pink tile), personalized or unique to your tastes can definitely detract from the property’s value and make it harder to sell your home.

As a general rule, keep your upgrades sensible and practical, and choose colors, materials, and fittings that will appeal to a broad range of future buyers. If it's too trendy or too custom-fit, it will likely alienate some buyers when you're ready to sell.

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