Home improvement can be a smart way to upgrade your living space or increase your property value. But it’s important to do your research before committing to any big-ticket renovations. Not all projects will add value and some may even detract from your home’s resale potential. To help you get the most out of your investment, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst home improvements to make sure you’re making a wise decision.
Home improvements include any alterations, remodeling, renovating, repairing, altering, converting or modernizing of any residential building. This includes, but is not limited to, installing kitchen appliances, bathrooms, windows and doors, paint, paving, fences, nonpermanent landscaping materials, insulation, retaining walls not necessary for the structural stability of the building and any other similar items.
It’s also crucial to consider your level of DIY expertise when deciding on your home improvement project. Not all projects are appropriate for beginners, and it can be dangerous or illegal to attempt certain renovations without the proper training. If you’re planning on hiring a contractor, always compare quotes and choose one with experience and proven track record. It’s also a good idea to ask friends or neighbors about their experiences with contractors and whether they would recommend them.
Adding a new bathroom, kitchen or bedroom can improve your quality of life and add value to your home. But before you start any major upgrades, speak to a local real estate professional about what improvements will be most valuable in your area and which ones you should skip. They’ll be able to give you an accurate assessment of what your home can realistically fetch on the market and guide you on how much to budget for your projects.
While it’s tempting to opt for high-end materials, keep in mind that potential buyers will be looking at other homes in your price range and may not want to pay more for features they could get for a fraction of the cost elsewhere. Also avoid any renovations that may make your home stand out too much from the rest of your neighborhood, such as extravagant light fixtures or a custom-built pool.
With housing prices and mortgage rates higher than in recent years, more homeowners are choosing to renovate instead of moving to a new house, according to Houzz, an online design and home improvement marketplace. Despite rising construction and material costs, the majority of home improvements still offer a good return on investment.