The Top 5 Best (and Worst) Home Improvements For Your Money

Deciding to renovate your home is often a busy, confusing time because of the chaos of construction, deadlines, permits, and added costs. How do you know you made the right decision on which room to fix up? As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the top “to-do” and “not-to-do” projects according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost versus Value statement they issue each year.

The Top 5 Best (and Worst) Home Improvements For Your Money, New Tradition Realty, Real Estate, Selling a Home, Buying a Home, Realty Southwest Washington, Vancouver WA Real Estate


Top Five best projects for your money

1. New entry door
Steel front doors are the best option for people who want to minimize the cost of replacing the door. One of the best things about steel is that you can paint it any color, even using products that make it look like wood. People will know that it is metal when they knock, but the appearance is what provides you with the biggest benefits. Steel doors are also more insulating than wooden doors because they often come with a metal weatherstripping material attached to the bottom of the door. The cost can be as much as three times cheaper for steel compared to solid wood or fiberglass.

2. New wood windows
Wood windows are an excellent choice for homeowners to boost the equity in the home. Experts suggest that you choose the windows for their aesthetic appeal because you will not get enough return on the energy savings to recoup the initial cost. Homeowners who plan to sell the home regain as much as 77 percent, according to U.S. News. Another great thing about window replacements is that you can often get a tax rebate or deduction for choosing an energy efficient model.

3. Consider adding a wood deck
U.S. News says that a wood deck addition can bring as much as 81 percent of the initial cost back to the owner at the home sale. This means that you get to enjoy the deck while you live at the home, and you still get most of the money back when you sell. The outdoor addition gives you extra living space even if it is not covered and sealed.

4. New siding is a fantastic investment
Having an expert crew install new vinyl siding is a magnificent way to boost the curb appeal of your home. The best part is that the siding is going to last for more than two decades. Your home is protected by a solid investment that will net you near 80 percent returns when sold. Siding is one of the things that let you be very versatile with your home color and style.

5. Transforming the attic into a bedroom
Many families are blending to add an aging parent or grandchildren. Inspiration homes showcase a space on the lower level of the home to accommodate ease of access and mobility concerns. By adding a bedroom to the attic, it increases the square footage of the home without taking away space for a sleeping area in the lower levels. Plus, you can forget about foundation costs, new framing, and ground preparation because you are using space that is already present in the home.

Worst investments for your money

1. Sunrooms only net about 50 percent of the original investment when the home is sold
U.S. News says that the average cost of adding a sunroom is around $73,000 meaning that it is a hefty investment for homeowners. That means if you choose to add a sunroom to your home, then it should be because you intend to stay there and enjoy the space for a long time. This type of space is not usable for bedrooms, so it can only serve the purpose of an outdoor living space.

2. Home offices are a nay
When you want to sell your home down the road, you should not add a dedicated office. Instead, experts suggest adding a bedroom or a versatile mother-in-law suite that is easy to adapt to changing needs. This way the space is convertible for any age and purpose. Although home offices are a huge selling point in some homes, not every buyer wants one. Many people are content to take their laptop or tablet to the kitchen table or bedroom when they need to work.

3. Bathroom additions are tricky projects
If your home has only one bathroom, then it might be worth the cost to add a second one. The key is to find out how much space you need, how hard it is to route plumbing and electrical systems, and how much it costs to put in air and heating ducts. If your home does not have the same amount of bathrooms as other homes on your block, then it may be worth the cost to add that extra powder room.

4. Garages
U.S. News says that homeowners typically get about 62 percent of their initial expense back when they have a garage installed on their property. Since the space is not usable for living, it becomes a project that is costly. Garage additions typically range near $60,000 because you have the cost of the ground leveling, drainage, slab installation, and then construction of the garage.

5. Generators for power outages
Everyone would love to have a generator for those times when storms knock down electrical wires, or a grid overload causes a brown-out. Adding a generator is not a great investment unless you live in an extremely cold climate because you can always light candles, have a barbecue, or get to a friend who has power. People in colder climates risk their lives without electricity and may need a generator.

By being smart about your renovation options, you can save yourself a ton of money in the long-run. Experts suggest picking projects that will net you the most return on your investment. Staying neutral does not mean simply painting your home in beige and white tones.