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Ten Home Improvement Resolutions for 2014

Start off the new year by making resolutions to do renovations that will not only make your home look fantastic, but also add to its value. Not all renovation projects are created equal, some will add more value to your home than others. Figuring out which projects will pay for themselves or recoup most of your investment will give you financial security as well as an updated look and feel. See below for a look at some of the best home renovation ideas.

Wilmington NC Real Estate
Photo by Phil Roeder

1. Adding a New Bathroom

Bathroom additions can be among the most lucrative improvements to a home. Homeowners say that adding a bathroom allowed them to pocket 30 percent more than what they paid for its construction. Make sure you have enough space in the area that you plan on converting to a bathroom: half baths and full baths require 18 and up to 35 square feet, respectively.

2. Installing Energy-Efficient Insulation

Adding the right insulation is one of the best ways to make a home more energy efficient. Not only will installing insulation add to the value of your home, it will also make massive cuts to your heating and cooling costs. Adding a programmable thermostat can increase savings further. Programmable thermostats save homeowners close to $200 per year, according to Energy Star.

3. Adding a New Room

Adding a room can allow you to recoup a significant amount of your construction costs, but this can be an expensive remodel. Watch out for potential construction or demolition issues, as they can drive up costs further. Otherwise, converting an unused space like an attic or basement into a space your family will love can add value to your home.

4. Installing a New Front Door

Replacing your home’s front door may not seem like a major renovation, but it’s another example of a project that’s likely to pay for itself through increased curb appeal.

5. Remodel Your Kitchen

Remodeling your kitchen can be a great idea, as many families nowadays spend much of their time there. Kitchen remodels can add 20 percent more value than what you spend on them, as long as they aren’t too fancy. Buyers, unfortunately, are not likely to spend much more for a luxurious kitchen unless you live in a very high-end neighborhood.

6. Replace Your Garage Door

A garage door replacement is another example of a seemingly minor project that pays off due to the amount of curb appeal it adds to your home. For best results, efforts should be made be to find garage doors that will compliment the look of your home’s exterior.

7. Adding a Deck

By spending moderate amounts on a wooden deck, you could be getting back $3 for every $4 you spend. Like kitchen remodels, spending too much will decrease your return. By choosing a more expensive option, like a composite deck, you’ll only get back $1 of every $2 spent.

8. Replacing Windows

Replacing windows is another great way to add value to your home and save money on your energy bills at the same time. According to Energy Star, windows it has deemed energy efficient will save you $500 per year on your heating and cooling bills. You’ll even be able to file for an energy tax credit. It’s estimated that you’ll be able to get back 75 percent of the cost of the new windows.

9. Adding New Landscaping

Not only will adding new landscaping add curb appeal to your home, if you live in an arid or semi-arid region, you might be able to take advantage of local government programs that refund part of the cost of new landscaping. To participate in programs like these, you’ll need to use drought tolerant plants. Of course, you can also save money on your water bills this way. On top of that, new landscaping usually pays for itself.

10. Improve the Exterior of Your Home

Performing renovations that add curb appeal are quick and easy ways to add value to your home, and renovating its exterior is no exception. This can involve something as simple as repainting. Adding fiber cement siding is also a fantastic, upscale option. Best of all, by improving your home’s exterior, you’ll get back almost every dollar you spend.

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