Where to Put Your Remodeling Money

If you are looking to spend money on your home it is good to know where you will get the most bang for your buck. Some projects will provide a large percentage of your money back at resale, but it is important to know that few projects will return the full amount you will spend. Knowing which projects provide the best return on the investment and which projects return the least is important to know. However, what about lifestyle? Shouldn’t you be able to enjoy the project you create? One big factor in determining which project to do is the effect the remodel project will have on resale. Another is the number of years you plan to live in your home, giving you the ability to enjoy your completed project. A Milwaukee remodeler, David Pekel, states “Remodeling from the perspective of looking at it from an investment strategy is a terrible model. What we can’t quantify is the value of lifestyle.” (US News). The decision of where to put your remodeling money needs to be based on how long you plan to live in your home, your lifestyle, and what is important to homebuyers in your market area.

Many of the projects that return the most money are small projects, enhancement projects, and any project that can be done in the existing footprint of the home. Some beneficial small projects are replacing or refinishing the front door. This can bring back as much as 96%. Minor kitchen renovations are better than all-out kitchen remodels, bringing back an average of 83%. Another good inexpensive remodel is to add windows to a wall, or change out windows for a french door. This can help to bring the outside in, giving the feel of a bigger interior. Simpler area improvements can be made that not only enhance the room but help with the resale of the home. Double sinks and vanities, nice showers, and new paint and carpet are popular now. Since it can be done in the existing footprint of the home an attic conversion to a bedroom makes sense as well.

Large remodel projects such as additions can be very costly because they involve extending foundations and roofs, and adding exterior walls. They generally do not bring back a good percentage of the money spent. Kitchens and baths are the most expensive rooms of any home. An added kitchen or bath addition also bring back less than the addition of a simple room such as a family room. Specialty rooms such as sunrooms also bring back low returns. One of the least beneficial projects is the addition of a home office which only recoups an average of 49%.

Regardless which project you decide to pursue, keep in mind it is important to do the project the right way. Replacing that front door with one that does not meet the style of the home or finished in the wrong color can detract from the value of the home. If you do choose to go through with a large project such as a kitchen remodel, I strongly encourage spending a small amount of money for an interior designer. If you design any new space that does not correspond with the existing home style it will not add value to your home, and could actually detract from its value.

Work Cited
“Which Home Remodeling Projects Are Worth Your Money? – US News.” US News RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.
“6 Worst Home Fixes for the Money.” 6 Worst Home Fixes For The Money. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.

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