Home improvements are necessary for every home. Often, homeowners are preoccupied with adding shiny fittings and finishes, but a home improvement project is more than that. A home improvement should add functionality, modernize spaces, and increase a home’s value. It’s also a perfect opportunity to improve safety, comfort, and a home’s energy performance. Here are high-quality home improvements worth the money:
1. New Floors
Wood floor installation is one of the most common home improvements and for a good reason. It has a return on investment of 106% and increases a home’s value by 3-5%. This makes wood floors an excellent investment for homeowners looking to install new floors.
The National Association of Realtors made a Remodeling Impact Report that found that 80% of homeowners are more likely to stay home after installing wood floors. That’s because hardwood floors last longer and require minimal maintenance. They only need to be refinished with a fresh coat every ten years. Here are other benefits of wood floors:
- Elegant look: Wood floors have the most elegant look compared to other flooring options. They ooze a sense of comfort and warmth you won’t find elsewhere
- Reduce allergies: Hardwood floors hardly collect dust and allergens as carpet floors, making them a healthier option for people with allergies and respiratory problems
- Versatile: Wood floors are incredibly versatile, making trying out different decorating themes easy. In addition, wood floors can be stained to complement a color that fits your needs
- Long-term investment: Wood floors are an excellent long-term investment compared to other floor types like laminate flooring. Laminate floors are cheap to install but incur a higher amount when replacing or updating them. Wood floors, on the other hand, only need refinishing to keep them looking good
2. Central Air
Another necessary home improvement project involves installing an energy-efficient heating and air conditioning system. Statistics show that HVAC systems account for more than half of a household’s energy consumption. As such, replacing it with a more efficient one could save you thousands in energy bills.
Note that upgrading an air conditioning system depends largely on age and efficiency. A telltale sign that your AC needs to be replaced is when it needs frequent repairs or is less energy-efficient. Enlisting the help of an HVAC service could help you determine if the unit needs to be replaced. The professionals will also:
- Help you choose the right AC size: The size of the air conditioning unit plays a critical role in its energy efficiency. If the AC is too small, it won’t heat or cool the space efficiently. On the other hand, if it’s too big, it might start and stop frequently because it’s overpowered
- Schedule routine maintenance: In addition to air conditioner installation, the system needs regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns and keep it running efficiently
- Perform visual inspections: Visual inspections help identify potential problems early. The HVAC service professionals will check the registers, thermostat, registers, as well as the interior and exterior of the unit and repair any faulty parts
- Clean and replace the filters: Filters eliminate hair, dust, and other particles keeping a home free of pollutants. As such, it’s important to keep them clean to ensure the system heats and cools a space efficiently while allowing the flow of clean air
3. New Windows
Most home improvement projects focus on upgrading the bathroom, kitchen, and floors, overlooking other areas like the windows. For many homeowners installing new windows is a foreign concept; they prefer repairing them.
The truth is installing new windows improves a home’s aesthetics and enhances energy efficiency. You’re probably assessing the cost of new windows and thinking it’s not an expense you want to incur. But new windows can boost the value of a home, especially if you install energy-efficient ones.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, windows contribute 25-30% of a home’s cooling use. Therefore, upgrading interior windows to more efficient ones can significantly save energy costs. This makes a window replacement project have higher returns than other home improvements like upscale kitchen remodels and composite deck additions.
4. Privacy Fence
You want to set a privacy fence on your property to enhance safety and set clear boundaries. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t need much investment. A privacy fence is a simple fence installation project that can increase a home’s value by 10%.
A privacy fence is convenient if you have kids or pets because you’re confident they won’t trespass. For added security, you can look for privacy fences with locking mechanisms to create an additional physical barrier for intruders.
They’re also great for creating boundaries for your property, especially if you have outdoor spaces like patios, swimming pools, or hot tubs. Fences made from metal, concrete, wood, and composite materials are excellent options for enhancing property value. Wooden fences are easy to install and complement most landscaping themes, while metal fences are known for their versatility (they can be installed in the front yard or backyard).
If you prefer a more stylish vibe, install a vinyl fence. Vinyl fences are available in different designs and colors and need minimal maintenance because they hardly wear out quickly. Metal fences, on the other hand, create a sense of sophistication
5. New Garage Door
Upgrading your garage door is another great home improvement project that could add to the value of your home. Research shows that 70% of homeowners believe a garage door replacement can increase property value.
However, if you upgrade to increase property value, you want to replace it with a high-efficiency garage door. Such garage doors have multiple layers and are insulated with weather-stripped windows. The doors can be single, double, or triple-layered; the more layers, the more insulation the door has.
Triple-layer garage doors usually have polyurethane insulation, known for its high level of energy efficiency. Polyurethane is a liquid foam insulation that expands rapidly, filling every part of the garage doors. As a result, it has the highest insulation level compared to traditional insulation forms.
Garage doors also enhance a home’s curb appeal. Modern garage doors come in various colors, designs, and styles, allowing you to choose one that matches the home’s exterior. Sometimes you don’t have to purchase a new garage door; you can repaint and re-side to make it look new.
However, if you’re big on installing a new garage door, it would help to hire a garage door services company. The project will likely last a day, saving you from undertaking massive home renovations that often last long and incur lots of money.
Garage door upgrades also provide an excellent way for homeowners to use incentive programs. The federal government awards tax credits and rebates to homeowners who invest in energy-efficient home improvements.
For example, Idaho residents are entitled to an income tax deduction for energy-efficient home improvements such as installing an energy-efficient garage door.
6. New Gutters
You’ll be surprised that gutters are critical in valuing a home. They are so important that lenders use them to determine whether to lend money to a prospective home buyer. They’re also a major selling point of any property.
Buyers know that a home without gutters has a shorter life, significantly reducing its resale value. What’s more, homes with gutters in poor condition could reduce the resale value by $500-$1000.
If your home’s gutter system is wrecked, you should call the gutter installation service to repair them or install a new one. Clean and well-structured gutters prevent water damage, especially during the winter season.
When the gutters aren’t cleaned out properly, ice dams form on the roof, and after accumulating under the shingles, they melt and damage the ceiling. Sometimes, the gutter gets broken, causing rainwater to seep through the walls and the foundation instead of draining away from the house.
As a result, the foundation cracks or chips away. Such scenarios make gutter installation such an essential home improvement project. You must ensure that the gutters are installed properly to ensure water is diverted away from the house to avoid damaging the siding or the foundation.
Proper gutter installation also ensures water doesn’t form pools without draining properly. If it happens, the pools form ice dams, breeding grounds for mosquitoes and nasty bugs.
7. New Roof
New roof installation is one of the best home improvements that pay off. According to the National Association of the Remodelling Industry, new roofs have a return on investment of 109%.
A new roof is also a major selling point for many buyers. They know they can’t replace a roof after buying a home and appreciate those with new ones. However, consider some factors before calling the roofing company to install a new roof.
The roof’s condition should help you determine if it needs a replacement. If it’s leaking, worn out, or developed other roofing problems, it will help to install a new roof. However, a new roof might not be necessary if the roof is five years old and still in good condition. Homeowners will appreciate a functional roof as the home value might not be as high as a property with a new roof.
Also, check the new roof’s shingles. You don’t have to buy the most expensive shingles when installing a new roof because you might not recoup as much on the costs. A good rule of thumb is to spend less to have a high return on investment. You could match the roof with your neighborhood’s.
Another important point to consider is the market conditions because they tremendously affect the value of home improvements. It would help to liaise with a real estate agent or a local appraiser to help you determine the value of new roofing in your city or neighborhood.
8. Solar Panels
As more homeowners embrace clean energy, solar energy tops the list. It reduces the carbon footprint and energy bills, and it’s renewable. That’s why homes with solar panels are more likely to have a higher value than those without.
A ten-year (2002-2013) survey by the U.S. Department of Energy Berkeley Lab found that homeowners were willing to pay $15,000 more for properties with solar panels. Another study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the value of a home increases by $20 for every dollar saved on utility bills.
These studies prove solar panel installation is worthwhile. However, you must consider your home’s location before installing the panels because it could impact the property value.
Typically, homes with solar panels in areas that receive abundant sunlight are likely to be more expensive than cities without much sunlight. Also, properties in states or regions big on environmental sustainability will likely be more expensive.
For example, solar panels have a high demand in states like New Jersey, California, Oregon, and Mexico, because they have more hours of sunlight. As such, if living in any of these states, you’re likely to recoup a significant portion of your investment in solar panel installation when selling your home.
9. Full Bathroom Remodel
A bathroom renovation is one of the most popular home improvements. Not only does bathroom remodeling improve a home’s aesthetics, but it also enhances safety and functionality and adds value.
Improved water-saving fixtures, lighting, and toilets greatly increase a bathroom’s energy efficiency. You’re probably wondering if it’s one of those home improvements that increase the value of a home. A bathroom remodel could recoup up to 67.2% of the costs during a resale.
However, you want to remodel all the right places to make the space appealing to the homeowner. You could replace old fixtures with new ones while ensuring they complement the rest of the space. Alternatively, replace the vanity with a new one. A vanity upgrade isn’t just about buying new faucets but replacing the sinks and the cabinets, too.
Also, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the appearance of a bathroom space. It’s particularly effective in bathrooms with mildew growth and other kinds of water damage. Ensure the color complements the theme, but if you can’t find a suitable one, find a neutral shade. Neutral colors usually have a more widespread appeal than bold paint colors.
These nine high-quality home improvements are worthwhile for any homeowner planning to resell their home in a few years or months. Be sure to identify other factors that could impact the investment and its ability to recoup your money when selling a home.