Can't stand your scary, cobwebby basement one more minute? Is it past time to replace the pink-and-aqua tiles and porcelain in the master bath? Maybe you're sick of the curling, chipped vinyl floor, the tacky cabinets, and cramped layout of your kitchen. Perhaps you're trying to convince your partner that the siding is sad and stucco would be stupendous. But your partner wants to build a deck…
What are the best home improvement projects to undertake? It depends on your goals and plans. If you're trying to sell your property soon for the highest possible price, your priorities are likely somewhat different than if you're planning to stay for a few years and want to improve your family's quality of life.
If you're selling, focus on the renovations a buyer would be most likely to undertake, not those you're most itching to do. You might dream of putting French doors and a Juliet balcony in the master bedroom, but if your kitchen is twenty-five years old—or even fifteen—you're better off directing your home improvement dollars there. Buyers generally focus on kitchen and bathroom quality, along with overall living and storage space. Kitchen and bathroom remodelling projects are among the most disruptive undertakings, so buyers especially appreciate upgraded fixtures, appliances and décor in these rooms.
Here are ten worthwhile home improvement projects and the percentage of cost typically recouped at resale (in a seller's market):
2. Kitchen remodelling
3. Bathroom addition
4. Bathroom remodelling
5. Finishing unfinished space
6. Window/door replacement
7. Deck addition/improvement/expansion
8. Additions of bedrooms, family rooms, sunrooms, conservatories, garages, etc.
9. Home office remodelling
10. Energy efficiency retrofits
Two projects that are unlikely to pay off at resale: swimming pools (which may even adversely affect your property value) and excessive landscaping (buyers may admire it but few will pay extra tens of thousands even if that's what you spent to improve the grounds). And remember that badly done remodelling/renovation projects will cost you in two ways. You won't pay just for labour and materials; you'll pay when buyers see a project that has to be redone.
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