Home renovations are a fantastic way to customize your home and improve your quality of living. It’s important to think of them also as an investment into the overall value of your property, especially when preparing your home for sale. Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that increasing home value requires lots of major updating and top dollar renovations, but often the updates that will return the most money tend to be smaller fixes that make a big difference. Here is our list of top 8 renovations for investment-minded homeowners (you’ll be surprised how easy many of them are!)


1. Refresh Curb Appeal

We can’t overstate how important first impressions are for prospective buyers. Creating an attractive front yard, garage and entryway can be an affordable way to instantly add value to your home.

Start with the garage door–when was the last time it was replaced? Does it compliment the rest of the facade? Garage doors can take up more than 30% of the front of a home yet are one of the most frequently overlooked elements of home renovations. Swap out your garage door for something stylish and durable for one of the best bang-for-your-buck home renovations.

Other affordable ways to increase your curb appeal include investing in landscaping and updating your front entryway. Put yourself in a prospective buyer’s shoes, and make sure the front of your home is bright and welcoming.


2. Give The Kitchen A Minor Remodel

Kitchen with stylish backsplash and new appliances. Example of a kitchen renovation that will boost home value.  

Skip the massive kitchen renovation for a cost-effective kitchen retouch. You’re more likely to recoup your renovation investment by making small updates than you will with a very costly kitchen overhaul. You might be surprised by how much of a difference you can make in a space by painting the cabinets and adding a new backsplash. Try updating the lighting in your kitchen to lighten and brighten the space, be sure to repair any broken appliances, and replace anything out of date.


3. Update Your Insulation

Man installing insulation in an attic. Installing attic insulation can increase home value. 

Identify the areas of your home that are not properly insulated and give them a cost-effective upgrade. One of the best places in your home where a little bit of attention can make a big difference in your comfort — and heating bill — is the attic. The best part? Adding attic insulation has a national average of increasing cost recoup by 107% (and according to the Department of Energy, can save 10 to 50 percent on a typical heating bill!)

Other ways to seal off your home heat and cooling include sealing or replacing drafty windows and doors or upgrading the type of insulation used throughout your home.


4. Upgrade Your Backyard

Photo of a stone fireplace on a small patio. An example of backyard landscaping to increase home value.

You might be surprised how affordable it can be to take your backyard from a patch of grass to a top-notch entertaining space. Fire pits and backyard fireplaces top the American Society of Landscape Architects’ list of the most popular outdoor design elements and can help increase buyer’s interest in your property. Another cost-effective update for any backyard is installing or repairing fencing to increase privacy, help form a sound barrier, and create a pet-friendly space.

More involved projects like adding a backyard porch, patio, or deck may take more upfront labor and cost but nationally averages a near 100% recoupment in the home sale. Other minor projects include landscaping and covering unsightly fixtures like air conditioning units with plants or trellis.


5. Consider Universal Design On All Renovation Projects

Smiling man on wheelchair in an accessible kitchen. Using universal home design in renovations can increase home value. 

When making renovations, it’s a great idea to utilize practices of universal home design. Also called barrier-free design, universal design focuses on making the house safe and accessible for everyone, regardless of age, physical ability, or stature. In addition to creating a space that is comfortable for all types of people, it applies concepts such as wider doors and hallways that make a house feel more spacious and open, increasing overall resale value.


6. Update Home Technology

Kitchen with stylish backsplash and new appliances. Example of a kitchen renovation that will boost home value.

Smart home devices are becoming increasingly popular and can raise the overall value of a property. Statista, a market research firm, found 33 percent of homes have one connected device and that number could rise to 60 percent in the next couple of years. More than creating an easy way to play music or control entertainment systems, these devices can redefine home safety, save energy, and even detect leaks in your water heater.

However, if you’re looking to upgrade your home technology you don’t necessarily need to go as far as full smart home integration. Simple updates, like swapping out old incandescent light bulbs with more modern lighting options, or installing an energy-efficient thermostat, can also upgrade the value of your home, and cut down on your electric bill at the same time.


7. Repair Or Replace Anything Broken Or Worn Down

Man repairing a kitchen appliance as a woman watches. Repair and replace appliances and fixtures to boost home value.

It goes without saying, but before putting your home on the market, it’s important to ensure all appliances and fixtures are in good condition. We recommend having a home inspection and completing all repairs on the report before listing your home. This could include replacing appliances, updating plumbing, replacing a roof or gutters, and any number of other projects. Your home sale will only benefit from turning as close an eye to your property as your buyers will and ultimately save you the hassle of stretching out a home sale negotiation with surprise repair needs that come up.


8. Make Thoughtful Cosmetic Updates Throughout

Beautiful living room with newly painted walls. Making cosmetic updates to your home is an example of simple home renovations to increase home value.

Our tried-and-true advice for anyone preparing their house for sale is to buff up, paint and refinish all the little cosmetic details you can before putting your house on the market. Paint with neutral colors throughout, focusing on creating a light, bright and welcoming space. Inspect all flooring and update where needed, particularly focusing on cleaning or replacing any carpet in the home. Those details will pay off immensely with prospective sellers and can help increase the overall value of your property.

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