The Most Important Home Renovations You’ll Make On Your Home
There are dozens of unique renovations and remodeling projects for homeowners to choose from, but not all are smart investments. Only a handful of renovations consistently increase a home’s property value and give the owners a total return on their investment. Here are seven of the most important renovations you can make on your home.
1. Kitchen Remodel
A kitchen remodel is arguably the best home renovation you can make. However, it’s essential to make a key distinction between minor renovations and upscale renovations.
As a general rule, a minor remodel is going to add more value to your home than a major upscale remodel. Making practical adjustments is more cost-effective than overhauling the kitchen’s entire design.
According to data from the 2022 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, the average minor kitchen remodel earned a 71.2% return on investment and boosted the home’s resale value by more than $20,000. Renovations like these are great places to start:
- Increase countertop space
- Replace the kitchen doors and windows
- Get new cabinets
- Re-tile the flooring
- Install a skylight for more natural lighting
- Put in a ceiling fan for better ventilation
Try to avoid non-essential luxury additions when renovating your kitchen. Fancy countertop materials, colorful backsplashes, and other bells and whistles won’t bring much value to your kitchen. This room is all about functionality.
2. Bathroom Remodel
Bathroom remodels are important home renovations, but they differ slightly from kitchen remodeling projects. Minor renovations and upscale additions have almost identical average ROIs at 51.8% and 51.5%, according to the 2022 Cost vs. Value report. Although their costs can widely differ, they will give you similar returns.
Since major and minor renovations are equally effective, you have many renovation options. These are some of the most popular bathroom additions:
- Heated tile floors
- Bidet toilet attachments
- Multi-function shower heads
- LED vanity mirror
- Vanities with maximum countertop space
- Low-temperature lighting
- Floating shelves
- Wall art prints
People want to relax and unwind in their bathrooms, which means they love having luxury designs and accessories that enhance their hygiene habits. So, along with updating all the basic fixtures, don’t be afraid to adopt a modern industrial design to make your bathroom look more high-end.
3. Garage Door Replacement
A garage door replacement doesn’t seem like a massive home renovation, but it has the greatest ROI out of any remodeling project at more than 93%. Considering it only costs an average of $1,188 to replace your garage door, it should be one of the first renovations on your to-do list. There are several big reasons why this project is so valuable for homeowners:
- Boosts curb appeal
- Improves home security
- Blocks outside noise
- Makes heating and cooling more efficient
Although a garage door replacement isn’t as flashy as the other projects on this list, it’s so cost-effective that it belongs in the upper echelon of home renovations. It’s a simple project, but it can significantly improve your home’s appearance and living conditions.
4. Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are unique home renovations. Not only can they increase your home’s value, but they can also give you a passive income stream. Some people use them as rental spaces, while others use them to provide more privacy to family members. In many cases, homes with an ADU sell for up to 30% more than comparable homes without an ADU.
ADUs are incredibly versatile. You have many design options to choose from:
- Detached ADU: standalone unit in the home’s backyard or driveway
- Attached ADU: unit attached to the primary residence
- Above garage ADU: unit built above the garage, often as an extra sleeping area for relatives.
- Garage conversion ADU: unit converted from a traditional garage to a new bedroom, bathroom or workspace
- Basement conversion ADU: underground unit attached to the primary residence through a new separate entrance
- Attic conversion ADU: unit converted from an attic to a new living space, accessible through a private outdoor stair
Choosing the right ADU for your home’s layout is the key to getting a good ROI. Detached ADUs are the most popular, but they’re also the most expensive to build. A conversion ADU might be in your best interest if you have a dusty old attic or unfinished basement.
5. Energy-Efficient Appliances
You can never go wrong by renovating your house with new energy-efficient appliances. A few simple additions here and there can significantly increase your property value by increasing energy efficiency, lowering utility costs and improving the home’s quality of life. The following appliances with EnergyStar certifications have the most significant savings potential:
- Refrigerators: $200 during the product’s life span
- Dishwashers: $130 yearly on water costs
- Dehumidifiers: 30% more savings than non-EnergyStar models
- Washing machines: $370 during the product’s life span
- Dryers: $20 on monthly electricity bills
Energy efficiency in residential and commercial spaces is the most effective strategy for combating climate change. Humans can’t solve this problem overnight, but they can slowly address it by making incremental improvements to their everyday lives. Outfitting your house with energy-efficient appliances is a great place to start.
6. HVAC System Upgrade
Upgrading your HVAC system is another excellent way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and livability. The Department of Energy recommends an HVAC system replacement every 10–15 years, depending on the system’s condition. You should get an upgrade if your current system is showing these signs of deterioration:
- Too much noise
- Excessive dust in the house
- Inconsistent temperatures from room to room
- Dry air in the winter and humidity in the summer
- Rising energy bills
Like the other aforementioned appliances, HVAC systems with EnergyStar certifications bring the most value. They use 8% less energy than conventional HVAC models, making your home more comfortable, affordable and sustainable at the same time.
7. Outdoor Hangout Areas
An outdoor hangout area would make a welcome addition to your home. The most popular and cost-effective outdoor renovation is a wooden deck, boasting a 64.8% ROI, according to the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report. Here are some other outdoor additions you should consider:
- Patio, veranda or pergola
- Pool or hot tub
- Exercise area
- Basketball court
- Tennis court
- Nature path
However, an outdoor renovation can also backfire if it’s not appropriate for the climate. For example, a swimming pool won’t bring much value to a house in Alaska, but it’s a fantastic addition to a Florida house. Remember to consider your local environment when deciding which outdoor space to add.
Take These Renovations Seriously
Most home renovations are fun side projects people can do if they have a few thousand dollars to spend. However, these renovations are not side projects. They can significantly increase your home’s value and make your property the most coveted lot in the neighborhood. If you want to make one of these renovations, you must take them seriously.