4 of the Best and Worst Home Improvement Projects

Considering some potential home improvement projects in the near future? If that’s the case, it’s imperative you do your homework. While some renovation ideas tend to add value to one’s home, others equate to throwing money down the drain and getting nothing in return.

With this in mind, here are four of the best and worst home renovation ideas, as well as some resources that can help you decide what to improve and what to leave as is:


Learn What Offers the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

Each year, Remodeling magazine conducts an in-depth survey of experts to determine which home improvement projects offer the highest and lowest return on investment. Dubbed the Cost vs. Value Report, it compares the typical costs of 29 common renovations that were completed by professionals in 99 major cities. Talk about an excellent primer of ideas.

Yet another great resource for homeowners is answers to commonly asked questions about construction, including many that relate to home renovation. By visiting credible websites for some much-needed inspiration, homeowners can put their focus and funds on projects that will make the biggest impact.

  1. Good: Kitchens and Bathrooms

According to HGTV, splurging for a kitchen and/or bathroom remodel is typically a wise investment, one that usually nets homeowners with 100 percent ROI. For example, basic kitchen renovations typically run about $15,000. And in cities like Miami and New Orleans, homeowners who then later put their home on the market recouped top dollar in total resale value.

As for specific projects that offer the most bang for your buck, upgrading your cabinets to solid-wood options, countertops with a new stone or quartz finish and/or flooring with a stone mosaic are all safe options.

  1. Bad: A Second Bathroom

For homes with only one bathroom, the thought of adding a second one (even a half bathroom) makes good financial sense, especially if you plan to one day sell it. And while you may very well appreciate having an extra lavatory on hand for your family, be advised that you may not necessarily recoup the full renovation cost when putting your home up for sale.

Simply put, adding a new bathroom is an expensive proposition, one that can run you a hefty $25,000. However, in most cases, homeowners can expect to receive an estimated 60 percent ROI. Bottom line: If you have no intention of moving — and have the necessary funds available — adding on a second bathroom could very well be a worthwhile endeavor.

Of course, if you’re weighing your home’s resale value, there are certainly better ways to spend your hard-earned money.

  1. Good: Curb Appeal

Homeowners can invest thousands of dollars to upgrade their kitchen and ensuite bathroom, but if your front lawn and trees look shabby, potential buyers will drive on by. As Improvenet.com notes, you can easily make a number of budget-friendly and relatively minor exterior improvements that will increase your curb appeal exponentially.

In fact, for less than $100, you can rent a power washer to clean off the driveway, sidewalk and porch, and then spend some time cleaning up the yard and putting or throwing away old lawn furniture. Add a fresh coat of paint on the front door and spring for new, stylish house numbers and voilà — you just breathed some serious new life into your home.

  1. Bad: Anything Over the Top

Before springing for that enormous and expensive commercial grade gas stove and pricey custom marble shower, research the local listings to see what features similar homes offer. Instead of making any number of over-the-top renovations, you should err on the side of caution and choose more modestly priced and classic upgrades.

This doesn’t mean you have to select low-quality or unattractive finishes, as you can certainly still replace any old or cracked floor tiles with an attractive and durable tile that looks like wood. And heavens knows how much you’ll save by choosing to not import stone flooring from Italy.

Bottom Line: Choose Renovations Wisely

When it comes to your home’s resale value and recouping any renovation costs, know that not all projects are created equal. By acquainting yourself with reliable online resources that provide worthwhile insights and primers, as well as making good financial decisions, you can enjoy all the perks of your beautiful, renovated home.


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