Homeownership is one of the most time-tested ways to build wealth in the U.S. It can help you build wealth thanks to home appreciation — but this isn’t always guaranteed (just ask anyone who bought a home right before 2008).
Another way to build wealth through homeownership is by upgrading your home, thereby increasing its value. The idea is that when you eventually sell your home (or pass it on to your heirs), it’ll be worth even more than simply keeping up with basic home maintenance alone.
And since you spend around 90% of your time indoors, you might as well enjoy your home a bit more while growing its value.
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10 Impactful Ways to Raise Your Home’s Value
The opportunities for upgrading your home are endless. But if you’re aiming to boost your home’s value, some upgrades are better than others. You’ll also need to consider whether you feel comfortable with certain DIY projects or if you prefer to hire a professional.
You could rig up a picket fence made of the leg lamps from A Christmas Story if you really wanted to, after all, but chances are it’d decrease your property value (if it didn’t burn down your house in the process, that is).
Instead, try one of these investment-friendly upgrades, according to the 2023 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine:
1. Stone Veneer
8. Replace Roof
If you’re aiming to boost your home’s value, some upgrades are better than others.
1. Stone Veneer
Estimated cost: $9,357
It’s no secret that finding ways to add curb appeal is one of the quickest remodeling wins to increase your home’s value. Right now, one of the hottest trends is adding manufactured stone veneers to the exterior of your home, generally around the base or as accent walls.
You can DIY this, but it might be better to hire a professional because the materials are expensive. Plus, if you do it wrong, you could waste a lot of money and end up with a wonky result.
2. Garage Door Replacement
Estimated cost: $3,695
If you’re not keen on spending tens of thousands of dollars, a relatively quick win you can go for is simply replacing your garage door with a better model that includes a lifetime warranty.
Again, this is one that’s better left to the pros because it’s an especially dangerous job for newbie DIYers. Besides, installing it yourself is likely to void the warranty anyway.
3. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Estimated cost: $23,452
If you don’t mind sitting around in some construction dust for a little while, doing your own minor kitchen remodel is definitely within the scope of DIYers. It’s also a common home remodel on HGTV and other media.
To reach the value-add touted by the survey, you’ll need to replace your oven or cooktop, refrigerator, cabinet doors, countertops, drawer fronts, and flooring and add new paint and trim.
It requires a lot of changes, but if you have time to watch a few YouTube tutorials, you can do it yourself fairly easily.
4. Replace Siding
Estimated cost: $14,359 to $17,008
Another big curb-appeal booster is simply replacing your home’s siding. But not all siding is created equal. Fiber-cement siding costs slightly more and recoups slightly more of the cost. The difference, however, isn’t huge and might vary for your individual case.
Vinyl siding is easier to maintain and install but isn’t as fire-resistant as fiber cement — an increasingly important consideration if you live in the arid West.
No matter which type you choose, you might need to rent specialized equipment, like scaffolding, unless you’re an NBA athlete working on a single-story house.
5. Replace Windows
Estimated cost: $17,641 to $21,495
Old, leaky, rackety windows aren’t great for curb appeal or energy efficiency. That’s why replacing them can also be a good idea. If you’re nervous about smashing them (and we wouldn’t blame you), you can hire a professional. Otherwise, it’s a job that’s possible for most DIYers.
If you have standard-sized windows, you can get ready-made windows from a home supply store. But you’ll likely need to custom-order them to fit your own home.
6. Deck Addition
Estimated cost: $14,360 to $19,856
Decks are one of the easiest home additions to DIY, as long as you have basic carpentry and tool safety skills. You can take your time with decks since they’re outside of your home and not directly in your everyday living space.
Composite decks are slightly more expensive than wooden decks but have the advantage of longevity and less maintenance necessary over the years.
7. Replace Entry Door
Estimated cost: $1,881
Another easy and low-cost project, replacing the front door gives you an instant boost to your curb appeal. Just about anyone can do it with the help of YouTube video tutorials and a good, strong arm.
8. Replace Roof
Estimated cost: $24,700 to $40,318
Your roof is literally the cap to your home. Replacing the roof is a big job, and although hammering in shingles seems easy (and it is), it’s generally best left to the professionals. A professionally installed roof comes with a warranty and takes a day or two to complete.
If you DIY this home improvement project, you’ll lose the warranty, and it could take you longer to complete the job. And the longer your roofing project lingers, the longer your home is vulnerable to damage.
Another point to remember — metal roofs are far more expensive than asphalt shingle roofs, but they also tend to last longer and require less maintenance.
9. Remodel Bathroom
Estimated cost: $21,377 to $34,643
As long as you’re not making major changes to the plumbing and electrical systems underlying the fixtures, a bathroom remodel is possible on your own. This is an especially common remodel for many DIYers because, along with the kitchen and the bedroom, it’s a daily-use room.
10. Major Kitchen Remodel
Estimated cost: $68,490 to $135,547
If you’re looking to bring a 1950s-style kitchen into the 21st century, it’ll take a bit more than some extra spit and glue.
You’ll need to make big changes, like adding in a vented range hood for those blackened fish tacos, new recessed and under-cabinet lighting, new cabinets, and even adding in an island for better cooking options.
For that reason, it’s usually better to hire a professional team who can make sure everything’s wired up right.
10 Home Improvement Projects to Boost Your Property Value
|1. Stone Veneer||$9,357||Enhance Curb Appeal With Manufactured Stone Veneers|
|2. Garage Door Replace||$3,695||Upgrade Garage Door for Warranty; Professional Install Recommended|
|3. Minor Kitchen Remodel||$23,452||Diy-Friendly Remodel With Appliances and Cabinet Upgrades|
|4. Replace Siding||$14,359 to $17,008||Boost Curb Appeal With New Siding; Consider Equipment Rental|
|5. Replace Windows||$17,641 to $21,495||Improve Energy Efficiency With New Windows; DIY for Standard Sizes|
|6. Deck Addition||$14,360 to $19,856||DIY Outdoor Addition for Basic Carpentry Skills; Consider Composite Decks|
|7. Replace Entry Door||$1,881||Enhance Curb Appeal With a New Front Door; DIY With Tutorials|
|8. Replace Roof||$24,700 to $40,318||Get Professionally Installed Roof for Warranty; DIY Risks Loss|
|9. Remodel Bathroom||$21,377 to $34,643||Diy-Friendly Bathroom Remodel Without Major System Changes|
|10. Major Kitchen Remodel||$68,490 to $135,547||Consider Professional Help for Extensive Kitchen Upgrades|
Your Mileage May Vary
Here’s Something to Consider:
Another factor affecting your return on investment is how long you let your home’s value appreciate before selling it. Adding a stone veneer can help you recoup 96% of your cost in the first year.
However, in the second year, consider whether you can boost the value of your home by more than you paid for the upgrade.
|If you plan on selling your home in the future, asking a local realtor or real estate investor which upgrades are best for your particular home can be worthwhile. After all, market conditions vary dramatically across the country, and no two homes are exactly the same.|
The Bottom Line – 10 Home Updates That Are Worth the Money
Boosting the value of one’s home can be a strategic move for homeowners, and certain upgrades offer a higher return on investment.
From exterior enhancements such as stone veneers and siding replacements to interior makeovers like minor and major kitchen remodels, homeowners have myriad ways to increase their property’s appeal.
However, costs, potential returns, and the complexity of these projects vary.
While DIY enthusiasts may feel tempted to tackle these upgrades, professional assistance often ensures quality results and maintains warranties.
Importantly, while some renovations offer immediate returns, allowing your home’s value to appreciate over time may yield better financial outcomes.
Consulting local real estate experts can provide insights tailored to individual homes and market conditions.