The best home improvements are those that have a high return on the investment. Remodeling Magazine publishes an annual Cost vs. Value Report, analyzing the ROI of 35 separate remodeling projects. You can even look at the return based on your region.
The report is based on the assumption that you’re using professional labor to perform the remodel. You’ll get an even higher return on your dollar, when it’s time to sell your home, if you do the job yourself.
We’ve compiled our own list of DIY projects that buyers like, you’ll enjoy in the meantime, and you can accomplish in a weekend. To keep it simple, we focused on two areas of the home that are key when it comes time to sell: the entryway and kitchen.
Upgrade Your Entry
As potential buyers walk up to your home, they can’t help but to notice the door. Upgrading to a new entry door is the perfect weekend DIY project. Even better, it’s one of the projects listed on the Cost vs. Value Report, year after year, as a remodel that returns most of the investment upon the sale of a home.
According to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, a replacement steel door recoups 96.6 percent of the investment, while a new fiberglass door will offer an ROI of 70.8 percent. However, the report factors in labor to determine how much of the cost is recouped. When you install the door yourself, your return can only be higher.
Even if you’ve never done anything similar, hanging a door isn’t beyond your capabilities. Expect to spend less than a day on this project.
Touch Up the Kitchen
Everyone seems to gravitate to the kitchen, and many buyers consider it the most important room in a home.
For the first time in a decade a minor kitchen remodel increases home value by almost as much as the money spent to accomplish it, according to the “Minor Kitchen Remodel” analysis included in the Cost vs. Value Report. Keeping in mind that the figures include labor costs, the report claims an average ROI of 82.7 percent on the project.
Any single item on our list will make a noticeable difference in the feel and value of your kitchen.
- Refinish your cabinetry. Modern veneer kits make resurfacing cabinet boxes fairly easy. Take off the doors and remove the drawers first. After installing the veneer, put new drawers in place. Add new knobs and pulls as well. The result: new-looking cabinets at a fraction of the cost.
- Replace the countertops. Depending on the new counter surface selected, replacing a countertop is fairly simple and not likely to take more than a day or two.
- Install new sink hardware. A mid-priced sink and new faucet freshens up the look of an older kitchen. Don’t be afraid try a different style or material.
- Go shopping. New appliances can only increase your home value. Focus on ovens and cooktops that offer greater energy efficiency.
- Focus on the flooring. As much traffic as the kitchen witnesses, the floor gets worn out easily. Consider installing new flooring to raise the value of your home.
When contemplating remodel projects, keep in mind that it’s possible to over-improve a home, depending on the neighborhood and real estate market. Compare your home’s features to those of nearby homes to get a better idea of what will prove valuable – or not – in your area.