A well-planned remodel or renovation can make your property more valuable to prospective buyers while improving functionality for residents. However, not all upgrades are created equal
Some updates, such as much-needed repairs, can certainly raise the value of your home. Others, like swimming pools and custom high-end features, may add little or no value. These could even reduce the sale price because of the ongoing maintenance or costs involved in safety changes or replacement.
As you consider various renovations and additions to your home, you may wonder which options are worth focusing on. You’ll want to get to know the improvements that are most likely to deliver an increase in your home’s value so you can plan for the best possible return on your investment dollars. To help guide your decision-making process, here are 13 of the most value-adding home upgrades to think about.
1. Kitchen Improvements
The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your home as it serves a range of functions that no one zone does. From a minor update to a major remodel, kitchen improvements have the potential to deliver solid value for you as a resident and in terms of a higher sale price if you put your home on the market.
Minor updates can include a new coat of paint or changing the flooring, either of which can transform the look of the area. You could update the splashback and cabinets or refresh your kitchen island benchtop. Alternatively, you could replace faucets, install new cabinets, and upgrade lighting fixtures
On the other hand, remodeling can mean completely changing your kitchen layout, including rearranging the location of your cooking, washing, and storage zones. Your remodel could even incorporate knocking down a wall to open up the space. It can involve a complete overhaul of the look and theme of an outdated-looking kitchen to make it more fresh and modern.
2. Bathroom Refresh
Like your kitchen, the bathrooms in your house are important for your property value. A refreshed bathroom with updated fixtures, bright lighting, and a modern shower or bathtub can massively increase comfort and even infuse your property with a sense of luxury. Buyers, too, tend to place significant value on bathrooms.
You can update the wall tiling, vanity unit, and towel rails. Repaint walls, regrout the bathtub, and add a new mirror and lighting fixtures. A major remodel can include a complete upgrade of all these elements plus the flooring.
Minor updates include switching out worn plumbing fixtures for new, water-efficient ones. For safety and durability, choose plumbing products that have been certified by a reputable industry standard; for example, the WaterMark certification or equivalent in your region.
3. Appliance Update
Replacing old appliances with the latest energy-efficient ones can yield value by saving you on your energy and water bills. More efficient appliances help out the environment. You’ll get more utility out of newer appliances that come with more features, whether it’s a convection oven with glass doors you can see through or a dishwasher with newer performance. New appliances can impress potential buyers if you’re putting your house on the market.
If you’re not after a complete appliance update but just want to renew their look, look into buying new doors and face panels for each appliance. This can make your still-functioning appliances look as good as new. Check with your local authorities to see if you qualify for any government rebates when updating to energy-efficient appliances.
4. Renovate Unused Spaces
Do you have a cluttered attic or an empty basement that could be turned into an attractive living space? Consider turning a dark, dingy basement into an extra bedroom complete with an en suite. This can be great for an older kid in your growing family.
Declutter your attic and turn it into a home office, games room for the kids, a home gym, or another bedroom. If you’re selling in the foreseeable future, an extra bedroom, a home office, or an additional recreational space can have a significant impact on raising your home’s market value.
5. Create An Outdoor Living Area
Outdoor living spaces remain a strong trend in terms of home updates and additions. Ideas for well-received outdoor living areas include the following:
- Decks and patios - Decks and patios are cost-effective ways to extend the living square footage of your property as well as expand functionality. Decks are raised porches that extend out from your home while patios are typically set directly on the ground and can be detached from your home. Both are excellent options for relaxing, enjoying the outdoors, and entertaining. They can boost your home’s market value and be a strong selling point with potential buyers.
- Outdoor kitchens - Outdoor kitchens and dining areas are in-demand living spaces that give you the flexibility of preparing food and entertaining outside. You can add some outdoor table and seating along with a grill, countertop, stove, sink, and fridge and you’ll have a fantastic investment that gives your household a lot of enjoyment, especially during the warmer months.
- Fireplaces - If you live in a cooler region, consider a fire pit or fireplace. These turn your outdoor spaces into cosy, ambient areas ideal for gathering around during the colder months.
- Shading - Adding a pergola, sail, or other types of shading to existing outdoors space could also enhance the appeal of your home.
6. Exterior Makeover
Increase your home’s curb appeal with an exterior makeover, which can impress prospective buyers and help your home make a great first impression. You’ll get value from aesthetic enjoyment if you’re not planning to sell any time soon. Ideas for exterior updates include:
- Painting, siding, or veneer - Repaint your home, replace old siding with more durable materials, or add a stone veneer over the existing facade. Opt for sturdy, quality materials when choosing siding or stone veneers.
- Walkway - Improve accessibility with a new walkway across your front yard to your entrance.
- Outdoor lighting - Adding outdoor lighting can boost security and make your home more visible and welcoming at night if prospective buyers are driving past.
- New entry door - Your entry door is a major focal point, so it’s not surprising this update can give you an excellent return on investment. It’s a fast and cost-effective update that will instantly elevate the appearance of your exterior.
- Landscaping - Invest in some professional landscaping or do it yourself. Even simple DIY garden work like pruning, mulching, and planting colourful flowers can boost the look of your home.
- House number and letterbox - Replace shabby house numbers and letterboxes with new, bright ones that make your entrance area stand out.
7. Smart Home Technology
Adding smart home technology can instantly improve your living standards and at the same time make your property appealing to buyers. Smart thermostats, for example, let you effortlessly maintain a comfortable temperature while reducing power usage. Some are programmed to track how much time it takes to reach certain temperatures and automatically adjust your heating and cooling schedules for maximum comfort and zero input from you. All the while, you’ll be minimising your environmental footprint as well.
Other smart tech tools for the home include home security systems with remote-controlled cameras. You can consider smart door locks and doorbells with video streaming that can be operated via your phone and other mobile devices.
8. Energy-Efficiency Features
Energy-efficiency features give you a great return on investment right away by cutting your energy costs. Prospective buyers are impressed by energy-saving elements like insulation, draft-resistant doors, and energy-rated double-glazed windows
- Sealing - Sealing your doors, windows, and other gaps to minimise airflow is one of the most inexpensive ways to boost the value of your home.
- Solar panels - A property that generates its power from the sun can be highly appealing to buyers. A solar system can start giving you, the householder, value right away by saving you on your energy bills.
- Energy-efficient windows - Energy-efficient windows reduce the amount of heated or air-conditioned air escaping your home. They better insulate your home from the cold or heat outside, thereby reducing your heating and cooling needs. They can be double- or even triple-glazed, which means they have two or three panes of glass in each layer. Energy-efficient windows can feature E-glass or UV- and heat-reflecting glass materials, insulation in the frames, and other elements.
- Insulation - As much as 74% of heat loss can be attributed to ceilings, roofs, walls, and floors in a home. Have your ceilings, walls, and floors checked to see if your home could benefit from adding insulation to these areas. With the right insulation, your home will stay warmer with less heating in winter and cooler in the hotter months.
- Electric air-source heat pump - Air-source heat pumps can be one of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient ways to stay warm in winter. Properly installed, these heat pumps can give you as much as three times more heat energy than the electricity they use. It’s not surprising then that an electric air-source heat pump can make a great value-adding upgrade to your home.
9. Replace Old Garage Doors
For many households, replacing an old garage door with a new one can be a highly affordable upgrade. If your old door is a manual one, replacing it with an automatic one could deliver even more value. Since the garage door is a prominent visual feature and one of the first things you notice, it can increase your home’s curb appeal and so impress would-be buyers. All of these factors can boost the resale price of your home.
10. Install New Windows
As mentioned above, improving the energy efficiency of your windows brings practical benefits in the form of energy savings. However, your windows are aesthetic features, so window upgrades enhance the curb appeal and ensure your interiors are more visually appealing.
Window upgrades can allow more natural light into your home. For example, you can install skylights in any space, from your bathrooms and kitchens to home offices and living areas. Widening narrow windows in recreational areas can improve views and lift the overall ambiance of the zone.
11. Add Hardwood Floors
Buyers tend to prefer hardwood flooring over wall-to-wall carpet. Given this, a great upgrade project could be to replace outdated, worn carpets with hardwood or other cost-effective floorings. Affordable options include laminate or vinyl, while ceramic, porcelain, and marble flooring require a bigger budget.
12. Open Up Living Areas
Opening plan living is a trend that seems to be here to stay, and these types of living areas make even the smallest homes feel spacious and inviting. Houses with kitchens that open out into dining areas or living rooms that open out onto a deck can be highly sought after by buyers. Explore how you could knock down a wall or install large patio doors to open up different zones and create roomy, ambient living spaces.
13. Add An Extra Parking Spot
Do you have excess space in your front yard or too much front lawn? If so, consider paving or concrete to add an extra parking spot. If you have a growing family with older kids, more parking space keeps cars off the street. A home with three or more parking spaces can be more appealing to potential purchasers. The costs of converting unused garden space into a parking spot can be well worth your investment dollars.
Some of the most in-demand upgrades for raising your home’s value include kitchen and bathroom renovations. Updating your appliances, transforming unused areas into useful, inhabitable rooms, and creating new or enhancing existing outdoor spaces are other improvements worth investing in.
You could also enhance your exterior, introduce smart home tech, and add energy-efficiency features. Simple changes like replacing an old garage door, installing new windows, and overhauling worn flooring are also a good use of your funds. Finally, an extra parking spot or opening up living areas can also raise your home’s value.
Whether you are after a more comfortable and liveable home or intend to put your home on the market, an informed strategy will see every dollar you spend going further. Adding to your home’s value can mean both increasing the potential market price and enhancing aesthetics and functionality.
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