How to Increase Home Value: 7 Best Projects

Remodeling projects are rarely profitable, but these improvements come closest

With so much attention focused on the housing market these days, you might be thinking of sprucing up your home. Renovation projects can be expensive, of course. On average, homeowners spent about $15,000 in 2020 with homeowners remodeling about three rooms at once. More than 50% of remodels were either the kitchen or bath.

If you want to know how to increase home value, bear in mind that certain projects will pay off better than others. Your return on investment can depend on the type of changes that you make, your location, and how competitive the housing market is. Here is what you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Homeowners spend an average of $15,000 on home renovation projects.
  • Very few projects will pay back 100% of your costs when you sell the home.
  • However, some renovations can improve your home’s appeal to buyers, helping it sell faster.
  • Renovations can also make your home more energy-efficient, saving you money, and simply more enjoyable to live in it.

How to Increase Your Home Value for $15,000 or Less

If you want to make a relatively modest investment in renovations while also recouping some of that money by boosting your home’s value, here are seven projects to consider. The first four are based on Remodeling magazine’s new “2022 Cost vs. Value Report,” the last three on the “2022 Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

1. Replace Your Garage Door

One of the most effective ways to upgrade the curb appeal of your home is to replace your existing garage door with a modern steel one. According to Remodeling magazine’s “2022 Cost vs. Value Report,” the new garage door will cost $4,041 on average and recoup 93.3% of its value, or $3,769.

2. Add a Stone Veneer

If the front of your home has old brickwork or nondescript siding, then consider installing a manufactured stone veneer over a portion of it. It will make the house look more stately, and you’ll likely get back about 91% of its cost when you sell the home. A manufactured stone veneer runs $11,066 on average.

3. Upgrade the Entry Door

If you have an older front door, it can make your house look drab, and it may not be as secure or energy efficient as today’s models. A new steel door would cost about $2,206, but you would recover $1,409 or so at the time of sale, or 63.8%.

4. Create a Grand Entrance

A more ambitious (and costly) front-door project is to widen the entrance, while adding new fiberglass trim and lighting. The average cost of installing a so-called grand entrance is $10,556, and you’ll recoup about 60% of your investment.

5. Install New Wood Flooring

If your home has carpet or older tile, new wood flooring will increase its interior appeal. The benefits can be significant; homes with new wood floors are easier to sell, and you can actually make money on this renovation, unlike virtually any other project. The average cost of new flooring, according to the NAR’s “2022 Remodeling Impact Report,” is $5,500, while the estimated cost recovered was $6,500, or 118% of the investment. 

6. Refinish Your Existing Hardwood Floors

If installing new wood flooring is stretching the budget, a refinished hardwood floor is a great option to boost both your home’s salability and value. The typical cost of refinished wood flooring is $3,400, and the estimated cost recovered is 147% of that, or $5,000.

7. Improve Your Insulation

Your home’s insulation is important for both your comfort and budget. Upgrading it can improve your home’s energy efficiency while helping keep out unwanted noise from traffic or neighbors. The average cost to upgrade insulation is $2,500, and you’re likely to recover 100% of the expense, or $2,500.

The Bottom Line

Renovating your home can improve its livability and boost your chances of selling for your asking price—or more—quickly when that day comes. However, some projects offer a better return on investment than others. If you’re planning to list your home for sale anytime soon, consider consulting with a knowledgeable local real estate agent to find out which projects (if any) would make a difference to likely buyers.

Article Sources
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  1. Houzz. "Renovation Spending is Up, New Houzz Study Shows."

  2. Remodeling. “2022 Cost vs. Value Report.”

  3. National Association of Realtors. “2022 Remodeling Impact Report,” Page 13.

  4. National Association of Realtors. “2022 Remodeling Impact Report,” Page 11.

  5. National Association of Realtors. “2022 Remodeling Impact Report,” Page 15.

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