Whether you bought a fixer upper, plan on selling your house or just want to add value, know what projects offer the best return for your dollar before you pick up the sledge hammer or pick up the phone to call your contractor. Not all remodeling projects are created equal, and some projects—such as building a home office—give you little or no value. Be selective. Target your remodeling dollars at projects that give you the value that you’re looking for:
• Updating kitchen hardware & countertops/full kitchen remodel. If you are on a tight budget or have fully functional cabinets, replacing the hardware on your cabinets and countertops yield a new, updated look that adds value to your home. Have cabinets that won’t close or are poor quality? Consider a full kitchen remodel that is functional and aesthetically appealing. If you are selling your home and want to give yourself an edge, update your appliances to complete the project.
• Modernizing your bathroom. Blue toilets and goldenrod tubs don’t sell houses or increase your home value. If your tub is still functional, consider reglazing a tub, which can be cheaper than replacement.
• New windows. New windows are a selling point, and a sure way to add value to your home. When your windows are ready for replacement, having quality windows installed can save you money by lowering your utility bills and giving you other key benefits.
• Finishing your basement. Extra living space=extra value. Add an extra bedroom or rec room for your use or for resale value.
• Deck. A well-done deck can bring back 70%+ in value to homeowners, not to mention a great hangout and grilling space. Start your decking project by researching different materials for your decking project.
• Adding a bedroom in the attic. While this is not possible for all homeowners, an unfinished attic space is untapped potential. If your attic has headroom enough for a bedroom, finish off your attic for extra space and value.
When you contact a contractor for an estimate for your projects, discuss your purpose for the projects. He may be able to make recommendations for materials that are appealing for resale or add value. If you are tackling a kitchen remodel and want a deluxe kitchen, make an educated decision. Unless your home or neighborhood has high value, a deluxe kitchen does not bring a high return for the investment.