Some home renovations pay off at a much better rate than others. The key is to know where to spend. Just because you put $20,000 into renovations, it won’t necessarily add that much value. Here are some tips for how to get the best bang for your buck on your home renovations:
More space and light
A little light goes a long way. If your house has small rooms that block the flow of natural light, you may want to consider knocking down some walls and opening up your floor plan. Open floor plans usually involve combining your kitchen, dining and living areas into one big space that suits a casual lifestyle. This makes a small house feel light and airy, giving the illusion of a larger living area. Great rooms can add square footage, and vaulted ceilings will make it feel like there’s even more space. If you live in an older house that has small bedrooms, master bedrooms and bathrooms are also good additions that will increase the value of your home.
Converting an unused room or extra bedroom is a great way to take care of business from the comfort of your home. Creating a dedicated work space not only adds value to your house, but it also makes your telecommute tax deductible. If you live in an old house, make sure the electrical outlets have been updated with grounded outlets to accommodate three-pronged plugs. Phone lines and data ports are also a big plus.
Add a sunroom
Adding a sunroom is an affordable way to increase your home’s square footage. In fact, it’s typically less than half the cost of adding a standard room to your home. Even better, sunrooms are very attractive to homebuyers, especially those in colder climates. Sunrooms are part of today’s “outdoor living” trend that includes outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and upscale patios. They are either unheated (three-season) or heated (four-season) and often include features like cathedral ceilings, skylights and tile flooring.
Add a deck
Today’s homeowners crave outdoor living space. Also consider adding enhancements such as a built-in fire pit, benches or raised garden beds to make the space unique. Using higher-grade materials for the flooring and railings not only further enhances this addition, but can make it easier to maintain, too.
Remodel your basement
Basements can easily be transformed into recreation rooms, bar rooms, or media rooms — and they bring in more money when you sell. However, it’s important to give some long-term consideration before swinging any hammers. First, make sure your remodel includes a bathroom, as that can dramatically increase the space’s value. Also, try to avoid adding a lot of walls or hallways, which will make the area feel smaller and darker. And don’t forget to add storage space.
Updating or adding bathrooms, especially master baths, will add considerable value to your house. A master suite with his and her sinks, spacious showers and plenty of square footage are what buyers seek. Traditional ceramic tile floors are preferred over wood flooring or linoleum because they handle water better. Half-baths can be created out of small closets or under eaves. Keep your design in the same period as the rest of your house. You can still have modern amenities while retaining a classic look.
An updated kitchen, if done correctly, can give you close to a 100 percent return on your investment. Plenty of counter and cabinet space is a must, and granite countertops are popular with buyers. Stainless-steel appliances are also a hot ticket, but the most important thing is to make sure your appliances all coordinate in style. Island counters provide additional counter space.