Compliments on your remodeling efforts are always a welcome payoff, but nothing beats seeing your home value rise as a result of your hard work. This article explains which home improvement projects pay off big in raising your home's value.
By Dona DeZubeMore in Remodeling
Doing a kitchen update instead of a kitchen remodel is like getting Botox® instead of a face-lift – it’s cheaper, it’s faster and it can hold you over for years. Got a kitchen so outdated that Martha Washington would be comfortable cooking there? Go for the full-blown remodel.
"If you have to overhaul the plumbing and wiring or you have galley kitchen that can be transformed into an open kitchen, go ahead and completely re-do," says Realtor Maggie Sanders, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc., Naples, Florida.
For the biggest returns, focus on simple, inexpensive modern touches: recessed lighting, updated pulls, new plumbing fixtures, a solid surface countertop and tile or resilient flooring.
If you want to build real sweat equity, forget the bidet and the hand-blown sink when you remodel your existing bathroom (unless you live next door to Paris Hilton). Keep the plumbing where it is and focus on updating outdated fixtures. Strip the bath to the studs and put in a porcelain-on-steel tub with a tile surround, a tile floor, a durable solid-surface vanity, updated lighting, fresh plumbing fixtures and a new toilet.
"If you have a small bathroom, do a shower only and no tub," says Real Estate Broker Mark Riley of Mark P. Riley Luxury Real Estate Group, Sarasota, Fla. "Slate colored tile will add allure, luster and an expensive look to a bathroom. It looks great with brushed nickel fixtures.
Give your house a new outfit by replacing the siding and you’ll reap the rewards at resale. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ Cost vs. Value, replacing 1,250 sq. ft. of vinyl siding and trim returns 95.5 percent of cost – and that’s the cost when a contractor does it for you. Upscale siding made from either fiber-cement boards or cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) lumber has an even more astounding 103.6 percent return.
Subtract the cost of the contractor from the profit equation and you could actually make money installing your own siding before you sell your home.
Painting can be a great investment in your home or a horrible mistake. It all depends on the color you choose. Pick right and you earn a big payoff. Pick wrong and you devalue your home.
Don’t think you can escape the issue by painting the walls white. "Too often, homeowners think it’s best to paint the house all the same color, but there is no pizzazz with white walls," says Realtor Lynn Anderson of ZipRealty, East Bay, California. "Soft, muted colors such as pale green or muted beige with white baseboards can still be neutral while greatly improving the look and feel of each room."