While all home improvements add to a home’s value, certain improvements offer a high return on investment (ROI) that pays the homeowner back most of their money spent on the improvement at resale. Until the time that you sell your home, you get to enjoy the improvement, which offers an intrinsic, and sometimes financial, benefit. How does a home improvement pay you back financially while you use it?
Some home improvements, like upgraded insulation or new windows, reduce your utility bills by blocking air drafts that let outdoor in and indoor heated or cooled air out. These improvements ensure that your home stays warmer in winter and cooler in summer without you needing to spend more money on utilities. In fact, by blocking the drafts both ways they reduce the utility expenses. Let’s consider all the home improvements that help you recoup expenditures by providing a high ROI.
1. Kitchen Remodeling
Revamping your home’s kitchen to a larger, more modern space, pays you back more at resale. While installing gourmet kitchens and Italian kitchens has become the trend, avoid trendiness when updating your home. That’s a lesson from every homeowner who had lime green countertops installed during the 1970s. The “it” color quickly went out of vogue, but kitchen renovations cost so much that most people simply looked a green walls for another decade or so.
Consult with a professional kitchen remodeler to develop the right decor plan for your kitchen. Because kitchen renovations cost so much, the average costs about $30,000, many people prioritize their upgrades. That accounts for the typical range in kitchen remodeling costs of $15,000 to $50,000.
Out of all home improvements, the kitchen offers the greatest flexibility in redesign. Prioritize your goals for the room to focus on your renovations. For example, do you want to renovate, so you can enjoy modern conveniences or do you want a new look for the room? The former requires only new appliances, while the latter requires paint, a backsplash, and new countertops.
By prioritizing the renovation according to one goal you focus your budget and reduce expenses. Here’s a secret. Remodeling contractors will often try to hard sell you on a complete remodeling of the room when you only need to change one or two things. When you set your goal in advance, you can answer their outrageous suggestions that would cost you thousands of dollars with the straightforward phrase, “Thank you, but that does not address my goal for this room.” Then, you repeat the two or three things you want to change.
Setting an overarching goal for your kitchen renovation and practicing the phrase that refutes out-of-budget ideas can help you keep your renovation under budget. Once you set a goal, do some research before you contact contractors for bids. Find out the going per hour rate in your area for labor and check materials costs on Home Depot and Lowe’s. This practice helps protect you from getting gouged on the renovation work.
2. Bath Remodeling
Of all home improvements, homeowners may love bathroom updates the most because they spend so much time in that one room. Consider it for a moment – the bathroom usually becomes the first room a person visits in the morning upon waking and the last room visited at night before getting into bed to sleep. The number of times a person uses the toilet each day varies, ranging from four to 10, but most people go to the bathroom about seven times a day.
With so many visits to this all-important room, it’s no wonder that renovating it tops the list of home improvements with a high ROI. Here’s another way to earn money back on your renovation. Put in another bathroom. Many pre-mid-century homes have only one bathroom, and that creates problems in any household with more than one person. Even adding a half bath increases your home’s value.
Choosing the right flooring proves integral to any bathroom remodel. The water closet needs tough flooring that looks great and lasts a long time. Avoid using wood flooring in the bathroom since it does not withstand moisture well. Instead, opt for vinyl plank flooring to obtain the look of wood with a durable construction.
Update toilets, faucets, and shower heads to low-flow devices to reduce utility bills. Upgrade insulation in the bathroom, too. Re-caulk around the toilet and bathtub for a quick update that makes the room sparkle. Clean the grout and have the worn grout replaced.
3. Landscape Installation
Another huge ROI home improvement comes from landscaping the home’s grounds. Hire a landscape designer for this one and watch while your home’s curb appeal skyrockets. Of all home improvements, this one might top the list of those you notice every day. Each time you go for a stroll in the neighborhood, spend time in your backyard or drive in or out of your driveway, you see and admire your upgraded landscape.
Your home will best benefit from all-around landscaping, so don’t think of it in terms of a backyard landscaper or front lawn landscaper. Your overall yard needs to benefit from landscaping, including tree care and planting, shrubbery, flower beds, and other plantings. Hardscapes also add to the beauty and utility of a yard, so consider updating your home’s driveway, patio, retaining wall, and walkways.
Landscaping includes adding appliances, such as a sprinkler system or irrigation system, to automate the watering of plants. Your landscape architect might suggest adding a statue or fountain, depending on your yard size and the style of your home. The architect provides a finished drawing to scale of the landscape design, which includes hardscapes and other features.
4. Roof Replacement
Of all home improvements with a high ROI, the unglamorous-sounding new roof pays you back one of the highest rates. That’s because it does so much. This one update reinvigorates the home’s exterior, adds to its curb appeal, increases its security, and beautifies it. Most cities and towns have at least one local roofing contractor, but if yours doesn’t, consult a website like Angi or Thumbtack to find regional roofers.
Many roofing companies earn certifications from the various shingle and sheeting manufacturers. Each roofing manufacturer maintains a list of these trained contractors on its website. Simply check the website for roofing installers in your state or county.
Perhaps your home doesn’t need a new roof because you had it replaced within the last few years. Consider upgrading it by using a different of the many roofing services available, such as roofing sealants, roof cleaning, or roof painting. All forms of metal roofing except copper take paint well.
Consider changing the type of roof on your home to improve ROI and enjoy benefits while you live in the home. If you plan to age in place, of all the home improvements you could make, you will probably most come to appreciate switching to a metal roof for your home and any accessory buildings, such as a detached garage or workshop. Both for the durability of the roof and the financial savings, metal roofing pays you back even if you do not sell your house.
Let’s look at why it does this. Of all the home improvements you could make that save you on future bills, metal roofing takes the cake. More than 80% of U.S. homes feature asphalt roofing with shingles that typically last 15 years. A metal roof typically requires replacement at 50 years of age.
If you purchase a home with a 10-year-old roof when you’re aged 40, then it requires replacing five years from your purchase. If you replace the existing roof with asphalt shingles, you need to replace it when you’re 45, then when you reach 60, and again when you reach 75 years old. The expense of roofing causes many homeowners to take out a loan to pay for it, which probably won’t create a problem when you’re 45 and working full-time. At 60 and 75 years old, though, many people would find taking out a loan cumbersome since they’re either nearing retirement at 60 or already retired.
Although a metal roof costs more initially for the parts, the labor remains the same. The more expensive materials far outlast the asphalt shingles and require less maintenance, another important factor as people age. Taking out a single loan at age 45 for the metal roof makes more sense than taking out three loans 15 years apart. The roof provides protection for your home and everything in it, so it deserves the investment in upgraded materials.
Today’s metal roofs don’t require you to give up curb appeal because they come in a wide variety of designs and colors. Crafted from galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc, these roofs can look like shingle roofs but offer enhanced protection. The old-fashioned tin roofs that most people think of haven’t been used since the end of World War II.
In certain areas of the U.S., clay tiles or slate tiles prove the superior material. They stand up well to the arid heat of the desert southwest. Commonly spotted on homes in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and southern California, these jaunty reddish-orange or reddish-brown tiles top Mediterranean-styled or Spanish-styled homes.
A visit to the northeast U.S. reveals a different type of roofing, cedar shakes. The word shakes means the same thing as single-tab shingle, but instead of using asphalt, the roofing consists of hardwood cedar. It weathers well and can easily stand up to the area’s snowstorms and windstorms, called nor’easters. These wood shakes top many Cape Cod-style homes and some Victorian homes.
Consult with a professional roofer to determine which roofing material works best for your home. Of all home improvements, this ROI topper makes the biggest safety and security difference, so choosing the right material means everything. Tell your roofer what you want your home to look like, taking a few photos with you. Print out photos of homes you like from the Internet or pull pages out of magazines to which you subscribe. The right decision on roofing materials can mean you won’t need to replace it again in your lifetime.
5. Replace Garage Doors
Perhaps the easiest of all home improvements, replacing the garage doors costs little, comparatively. It provides a huge boost in curb appeal though, and improves home security. A new garage door costs between $800 and $4,000. The huge range illustrates the range in complexity of design and materials.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to benefit from this update. An $800 door that replaces a damaged door enhances your home’s curb appeal and security just as much as a more expensive door. You can buy a vinyl wrap for the garage door that makes it look more expensive, and that only costs $50 to $100.
Nearly every small to mid-sized town offers at least one professional garage door installer. Here’s another home improvement secret. Garage door manufacturers, like roofing materials manufacturers, offer training on the installation of their products and certifications to building professionals who complete them. Using one of these manufacturer-certified installers activates the installation warranty and adds benefits to materials warranties.
Just as roofing materials makers list contractors on their websites, garage door makers, like Precision Garage Doors, offer a list of their trained installers on their websites. When you spot a garage door you like online, search the web for the manufacturer, so you can find a local installer that earned their certification and benefit from two warranties instead of one. This process can save you money, too, since some manufacturers offer discounts on products when you use an installer with a certification from their company.
Getting Started on High ROI Home Improvements
All home improvements add to the ROI of your home, but these five pay you back in multiple ways. You can save money on utilities and beautify your home with these improvements. Each one also pays off when you resell your home.