If you can get past the blood, sweat and tears often associated with taking on a home renovation, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
Whether you're staying or selling, a home renovation not only increases your home’s value; it also makes living there that much sweeter. But which renovations pay off the most in the long run? And which ones are the most appealing to homebuyers?
Check out these renovation ideas that will net you some of the biggest returns.
Remodeling idea 1: Add a deck
Adding a wooden deck can get you a significant return on the installation costs when you’re ready to sell. Some homeowners can get as much as a 106 percent return on investment (ROI) after adding a deck, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Even if you’re not selling, a deck provides a great outdoor area to entertain friends and family. It gives you more usable space for grilling in the summer months or hosting backyard parties.
If you have space for one, multilevel decks are a popular way to maximize your backyard. They let you dedicate different deck levels to different functions: Picture a hot tub area, an outdoor kitchen and an entertaining seating area, for example.
Homeowners spend anywhere from $4,073–$9,941 on a deck for their home, with an average of $6,950, according to HomeAdvisor.
Remodeling idea 2: Paint the exterior
It might not be a major home renovation project, but painting your home’s exterior can increase its value by boosting its curb appeal. Curb appeal is important enough to buyers that 96 percent of realtors recommend that sellers update their home exteriors for curb appeal before they put their houses on the market. Adding a fresh coat of quality paint to your siding also protects it from the elements and gives it a clean look.
If you’re painting for resale, look for shades that will attract the broadest range of buyers. Something as simple as painting your front door a different color can make your house pop and attract a buyer. If you have a historic home, neutrals or deep blue-grays are strong choices for matching the classic look of the home.
HomeAdvisor lists the estimated cost of painting the exterior of your home based on square footage:
- The cost to paint a 500–1,500 square foot home is $1,000–$3,000.
- The cost to paint a 1,500–3,000 square foot home is $3,400–$4,500.
- The cost to paint a 3,000–6,000 square foot home is $4,500–$6,000+.
Remodeling idea 3: Install skylights
An indoor home renovation can improve your life while increasing your home’s value. For instance, natural light is a big selling point for homebuyers. Adding Energy Star-qualified, no-leak skylights can increase your home’s efficiency and appeal to potential buyers. As an added benefit, natural light does wonders for your mood and your energy bill.
If you’re looking to let in some fresh air, solar powered fresh-air skylights improve indoor air quality and air flow. They are battery operated, charged by solar power, to automatically open and close the skylights. They have a built-in rain sensor which shuts the skylights automatically when rain is detected. Add solar-powered blinds and you’ll see a 45 percent boost in your home’s energy performance rating.
Here’s another perk: Solar powered skylights, blinds and any installation costs are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Under the Emergency Stabilization Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, “solar electric property” expenditures are eligible for a tax credit through 2021.
If you get solar powered skylights installed, you should:
- Keep your receipts for total price paid (product and installation).
- Fill out IRS tax form 5695 and submit it with your taxes.
- Enter the tax credit on form 5695 on your 1040 form.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average homeowner pays around $1,500 to install solar skylights, with most people spending between $907 and $2,000.
Remodeling idea 4: Upgrade your kitchen
Kitchen renovation projects, such as upgrading appliances and countertops, increase your home’s value significantly and keep it modern. If you aren’t ready for a full remodel, little upgrades such as replacing old cabinet hardware or switching out the faucet and lighting fixtures are inexpensive and still add value.
Here’s what you should expect to spend on a renovation for the most-used areas of your kitchen, according to HomeAdvisor.
- Countertops: Stone countertops (quartz, granite) cost around $4,000–$7,000. Concrete countertops are a little less expensive at $2,600–$5,300.
- Cabinets: Refinished cabinets will set you back anywhere from $1,400–$3,500. Refaced cabinets will cost you $4,500–$9,100.
- Appliances: Energy Star appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers can cost as little as $200 and as much as $3,500.
- Flooring: Of course the total will depend on your kitchen’s square footage, but expect to pay around $1,300 for ceramic tile and $1,400 for stone.