An Improvement & Upgrade Guide On How To Add Value To Your Home
We all know that everyone wants maximum return on their investments, and as homeowners, you will want to spend your money wisely on home improvements that will add value. If you’re looking to increase your home’s value, make it feel more complete, or simply put it on the market and sell it for the most money possible, this upgrade guide is for you.
This is a complete guide on how to add value to your home without taking away any of its unique features. These solutions can be merely cosmetic or, if you have a higher budget we detail the exact improvements and additions that can improve your home’s appeal to real estate investors, future home buyers, or even to you and your family.
Home Depot is sure to be your friend and before long, you’ll be the stand-out house in the neighborhood. You will be known as the most modern house making bold color choices and having up-to-date features which will save money in the long run.
Make your house a home with this complete guide on how to add value to your home today. If you live in the right areas, install a pool or solar panels, both of which are investments that are sure to make your money back in a few years.
Whether you want to get round to finishing the basement, change up the kitchen layout or simply make the space more functional, this guide has you covered.
We have tips on where to start because we understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that starting this kind of project can be scary and if you aren’t careful, expensive. We’ve included some budget-friendly ways to give your home- or specific room- a much-needed freshen-up and new lease of life.
You’d be surprised how much a fresh coat of paint and some TLC can add. The effects of whatever you decide to work on are sure to introduce a sense of home to the space and might even motivate you to think about making bigger changes.
The first step to any home project is to figure out which areas need the most work and what you can realistically afford. This means if you don’t have the budget to completely remodel the kitchen, replace the carpet or install new sinks, don’t worry.
We have some budget-friendly ways to make your home feel more complete yet inexpensive. Value typically refers to monetary value which is the focus today, but let’s not forget that it can also mean usefulness since it’s your home and needs to be as functional as possible.
Here are some small changes to make your home last as long as possible and increase its value.
What Can Add The MOST Value To Your House?
If your focus is primarily on adding value, a great idea is to focus on alterations and improvements that you may have been wanting to do for years but never got round to. Some great ideas that involve a little more elbow grease are sure to make your friends jealous when they visit. Not to mention, improve the flow of your home and maximize the use of every space.
A New HVAC System
One thing that buyers are always on the lookout for is air circulation and will ask how old the HVAC system is. Making this a priority is sure to improve air quality and save you money in the long run and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
A Remodeled Kitchen
Change the configuration of your kitchen to improve flow. Focus on what you want from your kitchen compared with what it’s like now.
Updating your kitchen is sure to add value to your home, as it’s the heart of the home and can be made a feature. Updating your kitchen improves your home’s value by 4.8%, adding $15,000 on average to the resale price.
Open Floor Plan Layout
If you own or are buying an older home from anywhere in the period of the 60s or 70s, the majority of these properties were not built with the more modern ideal of open-plan living. So renovating your property, so it fits the more modern person’s tastes is a great idea and will promote your home to a wider audience.
Opening up your home will improve air circulation. Combining several rooms creates a multi-functional space with effortless flow. This is sure to draw people in.
An Extra Bedroom
This doesn’t have to be completely structural, you can improve the function of space by turning an oversized closet into a bedroom. An extra bedroom increased the price range of your house significantly.
Smart Home Automation
If you’re especially tech-savvy and wanting to upgrade your home, why not try installing smart home automation. You can use light bulbs to connect to your smart home speaker and download home heating apps that allow you to turn on heating or AC when you’re traveling back. Small changes like this will update your home and impress any visitors.
A Home Office
Do you have a downstairs closet that’s dead space, or do you not really use your pantry to its full potential? You might want to try turning it into a small office that’s cozy and perfect for home working. A more structural option is to add an annex that you could use for multiple functions, depending on what suits you the most.
It might be worth taking a more critical look at the room we use the most. Some ideas to update your bathroom include adding storage space, painting, re-tiling, re-flooring, installing new sinks, tubs, showers, or toilets.
Whatever you think needs the most work, or have the budget for, would be a perfect place to start and improve the function of your bathroom. Upgrading your bathroom adds an extra 3.7% to the house’s value, with the addition of a half bathroom adding 2.9% to the overall value!
Basic Ways To Add Value To Your Home
Here are some simple ways you can alter your home that will really pay off when getting it valued. Whether you’re wanting to sell anytime soon or stay put, your home will feel better for it and these changes are bound to lift some weight off your shoulders in terms of home improvements. People tend to overlook the basics when working on their homes, but these can be the most significant changes you could make.
Sort Out Structural Issues
Some effective changes you can make to instantly add value to your home are to focus on issues within the walls, chimney, or other structural issues you might have been putting off. You could always try hiring a maintenance person or handyman to assess how much some improvements would cost and make your plan according to that. Some ideas you might want to consider include:
- Structural cracks to walls – getting this checked out will prevent it from turning into something more severe like overall structural damage, which will decrease the value of your house and, more importantly, cost a lot to get properly fixed.
- Rotten joists or roof timbers – aside from being an eyesore and a ticking time bomb for further damage, people will always check how structurally sound a house is, and it’s definitely worth investing in. This one could easily be a DIY project if you research how to correctly update timbers.
- Insect infestation – tackling any infestations will make your house feel cleaner and more sanitary, you could call pest control or try and tackle the problem yourself. Be sure to research and get help when needed.
- Fixing leaky roofs – not only can this add to your home’s value, but finally getting round to fixing that leak can improve energy efficiency.
- Missing or broken roof shingles – this would protect you during wetter months and is especially crucial if you live in hurricane country. This one ought to be a priority if you’re in a windier area to prevent it from getting any worse. While getting the shingles looked at, a great idea is to have them do a general assessment of the state of the roof. You’d be surprised how many roofs need work that is being ignored or overlooked.
- Repair chimney stack – you are probably losing a lot of heat through your chimney without knowing. Check that it’s taken care of and start saving money on energy soon.
- Sealing Any Drafts – Your home will stay warmer for longer, making it stay warmer for longer in the cold, not to mention cheaper to keep warm. Sealant is cheap from Home Depot and doesn’t take long to have an effect.
- Replacing Windows – we all know about the benefits that double glazing has on a home’s insulation, but if they’re still letting in a draft, it’s definitely worth replacing them when you have the budget.
Touching Up the Decor Issues
Buyers will heavily assess the quality of a house by how it looks and how it is presented. If you’re reading this, there’s a chance that your house might need a little touch-up. Decor can be improved by simple changes such as:
- Fresh coat of paint – styles are always changing, so keep in mind that if you want to add value, a good place to start would be updating the color scheme of your home. If that is too big of a task, even just creating a feature wall can completely change the look and feel of a room. It’s always good to remember that value is very closely associated with the space that comes with a property, by using the correct colors, usually lighter ones, you can brighten up a room and give a greater impression of space.
- Squeaking or sticking doors and windows – aside from being irritating and an inconvenience, buyers will focus on small features like how doors move. Changing up your doors or even oiling the hinges is sure to make your house feel more peaceful.
- Door latches that don’t work – remove or replace them. This one is going to especially ease your conscience if your home security system is dated or not working to its fullest potential.
- Replace moldy caulk – in the kitchen and bathroom will not only improve the look, but your health and immune system will thank you for removing mold from the home. If you have children, this one is highly important because mold is very damaging to the lungs and can affect children’s development if left untreated.
- Dripping taps – you could be saving money on your water bill, and you might not even know. So much can be done about your leaky faucet, whether you want to replace the whole thing or get a handyman to tackle it with a wrench.
- Loose tiles – in the bathroom or kitchen can easily be re-grouted, or this could be a perfect opportunity to change the decor or style of tiles to suit your space a little better.
- Pet or other bad smells – you’d be surprised by how much difference opening the windows and doors throughout the house for a freshen-up can make. Not only the overall scent, but your mood if you work from home or spend a lot of time at home during an average week. Fresh air is sure to lift the spirits.
- Broken or damaged windows – you are probably throwing money away if your windows are broken or damaged, try getting a specialist in to check how safe everything is before you think about moving windows around.
- Squeaky floors and stairs – again, we all can appreciate the annoying noise that constantly aggravates at the back of the brain. Get someone to find the cause of the squeaking in the floorboards or stairs and enjoy seeing the difference it can make.
- Cracks in ceilings and plasterwork – be sure to check for any leaks which might be causing this. If it’s from general wear and tear, this is a great way to freshen up the area and make it feel more put together.
- Dirty carpets – if they’re beyond the state of repair, of course replacing carpets could be done or just removing them and polishing the floorboards underneath. In most cases, however, a freshen-up with a carpet cleaner or shampoo is bound to give your floors a new lease of life. Your carpets go through a lot of general wear and tear throughout daily life, so it’s no wonder if they need a freshen-up.
Advanced Ways To Add Value
These suggestions are more complex and will need more time and money spent in order to achieve. Be sure to ascertain the correct permissions before expanding your property. Remortgaging your house is also something to consider to make these changes financially achievable.
Updating your home’s electrical system
Older buildings will, more often than not, be using wiring that is outdated and less efficient than more modern installments. Older homes were just not designed to accommodate modern electrical requirements, so updating your electrical wiring should be a serious consideration, both from a health and safety standpoint but also to better the efficiency of your electricity usage and improve your monthly costs.
A new plumbing system
This takes a little more work, but if you live in an older house built in the 70s or somewhere that you might have inherited and haven’t had the time to work on the place, you might want to consider getting the plumbing looked at. 72% of buildings in the US are more than twenty years old, so you’re definitely not alone in needing to give your home a freshen up!
Getting the plumbing checked out will increase the value and quality of your home. Let’s not forget about how much water older homes use in their plumbing, updating the plumbing system is sure to save money in the long run on your water bill.
Installing solar panels is sure to appeal to younger people who are just entering the housing market. Those who are conscious of their carbon footprint would see endless value in a home with solar panels.
Although the initial costs of the installation can be pricey, being able to naturally heat your water or even reduce your monthly electricity bill is beneficial in the long run.
An extra bedroom
We’ve covered how much value an extra bedroom can add to your home, but the effective use of space is another matter. If you want to extend your house’s footprint or make more use of the space you have, you could try rearranging the layout and configuration of the bedrooms.
You can make space for an extra family member, visiting in-laws, or you could earn extra cash by renting it out. Airbnb is on the rise and more people prefer a home away from home when they’re traveling or visiting the area. Turn your new bedroom into a guest space and start saving for the future. Bonus points if your plumbing allows the addition of a bathroom.
Adding a sunroom
Modern living has become more and more about creating spaces that are both practical but also very recreational. Adding any additional space that doesn’t necessarily have a designated function can be a good idea.
This is a space that can be used purely for relaxation or an area that can be used for fulfilling your hobbies. Sunrooms can also be a perfect place for your indoor plants. Not to mention entertaining, where you’re sure to always have a warm space to welcome your guests.
Finish your basement
Many people have a room that they’ve never got round to finishing or that doesn’t particularly feel as homely as the rest. You can turn your basement into a games room for older kids to hang out in, or even make it a music room, studio space, or home office.
Depending on the size of the room, you can create a multipurpose room with some rugs and second-hand furniture. Fill the space with soft lighting, a couple of desks, or game cabinets, and you’re good to go on any rainy day when you want to escape.
If you live in an area that gets long warm summers, you might want to think about saving up and installing a pool. The addition of a pool will increase available space for guests and parties.
Not to mention, your kids will want to invite all of their friends over every summer. Bonus points if you have the budget to add a pool house!
Everyone loves a swimming pool, whether it’s with the interest of a quick dip or to have a nice patio to catch the sun, a pool would be a great addition to any home. Another option on a smaller budget would be installing a hot tub, they are easier to install and do not take up as much space.
Focusing on the outside of the house now, try asking your green-fingered friend to make your landscape their next project. Not only will you be supporting local businesses and improving the value of your house, but you will also end up with a new yard worthy of celebrating with a family gathering or potluck.
You could even try and incorporate a vegetable garden to eventually decrease your groceries bills and offer something to share in the future.
Exterior home makeovers
If landscaping isn’t your thing, and you’re wanting to focus on the house itself, a great way to make it feel more expensive and of good quality is to change the exterior aesthetic to a more simple, modern look. Some great places to start could be to research a new theme on Pinterest or color schemes.
Try changing your front door and looking for new window frames to match. Alternatively, on a hot day, you could take the door off its frame to sand down and add a new color.
Why not try being bold and set a trend across the neighborhood? You’re bound to be the talk of the town before long and have others branching out with yellows or muted pastels before long. Painting the exterior or using new cladding on the outside is also sure to add a new lease of life to your home that will have your friends and family jealous.
Added parking spaces
Flatten the curb by the front of the house or if gardens are too much maintenance, you could easily pave the front or level it out with concrete or asphault to create another parking space to make the front of your house more functional and user-friendly.
A front yard is great, but you need to think realistically about how you want to use the space if parking is tight.
Final Thoughts On Home Improvements That Add Value
Who knows, you might find a newfound appreciation for home renovation or interior design. This list is of course not exclusive, and it really depends on what changes you want to make and what improvements your home needs.
Hopefully, by now you feel ready to make a list of things that need work in your house, and you are keen to research local maintenance businesses who can help you work on improving your home. Make sure to get your place properly looked at by professionals before you start tearing at the walls and making structural changes.
Most homes from the 70s were mass-produced and all of a very similar blueprint and specification. While this was effective and reliable for the time, it’s understandable that you would want to make your home custom to your wants and needs.
It can be fun to explore your individuality and what better way to do that than to express this through your home. Even moving your furniture around can make a big difference and make the space work better for you. Think about how you use a space and what function you want from that space, and if you are really maximizing its full potential with its current configuration.
It’s important that you feel at home in your space and that you find a layout that works for you. Whether that means an open-plan area or fixing up the basement to make a game room or multipurpose space, make the most out of the room you have and be sure to find a configuration that works for you and your family.
However you want to use each room or even outside area is up to you, and it’s important that you find a way to be comfortable and feel at home while serving its purpose and providing a roof over your head. Our homes often reflect our personalities, and it’s important to try to incorporate some of your creativity and ideas into the transformation and updating process.
Moving house can be very expensive when considering closing accounts and opening new ones, researching catchments, and hiring moving contractors. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you make the most of your home and to realize the potential of the space you have.
The importance of home improvements is that it suits you and projects your personal touches into the environment. Have a little fun with it and tap into your creativity. Be sure to ask for help when unsure and do your research, some jobs might appear small but need more structural attention.
You don’t want to risk causing more harm to the place by trying to break down walls and create an open plan. What we’re saying is to be sure to get the house assessed, valued, and make informed decisions on what you think is best for the place.
Have some fun with it. Try using bold colors that you haven’t seen in a house before and make it an interactive experience for everyone around you. There’s no need to take on this type of task load alone; get your friends and family involved.
Whether you want to delegate smaller jobs and leave them to complete little tasks, or you’re wanting to be more involved in the process. Why not try adding chalkboard paint to a wall in a high-traffic area where people can leave little notes or reminders.
Kids will find the updating process especially fun and as long as areas are protected, there’s nothing wrong with letting them make a little mess and that style of play is great for their development. You could even get them to leave a different colored handprint over a finished wall, or make a family art project together using the leftover paint.
If you want to host dinner parties, be the coolest neighbor on the block or show off to your in-laws, this guide has covered some easy-to-follow home renovation ideas which can help you tap into your creativity. Be sure to stay safe and get the house properly assessed, but Home Depot is certainly your friend in this case and simple things like a new coat of paint will do wonders for creating a bright, airy space.
Of course, if the price is no obstacle, more dramatic changes are sure to increase the overall value of your property. Adding a pool, extra bedroom, or bathroom will make the place feel open, accessible, and welcoming.
Another great idea in the long term is to make smart changes like installing solar panels or modernizing the HVAC and plumbing systems. More work is required for these types of structural projects, and therefore they take longer to complete.
The end result, however, is worth the wait and, although an investment, is sure to make you money in the long run. Investing in your home isn’t going to lose money and whether you want to value the house with a view to moving, or rent out the new space you’ve created, there’s no better time to start now that you’ve got all the information in one place.
About the Author: Kris Lippi is the owner of ISoldMyHouse.com, the broker of Get LISTED Realty and an official member of the Forbes Real Estate Council. He actively writes about real estate related topics such as buying and selling homes, how-to guides for around the house and home product recommendations. He has been featured in Inman, Readers Digest, Fox News, American Express, Fit Small Business, Policy Genius, Lending Tree, GoDaddy, Manta as well as other major websites. Read more about us here.