Often, home improvement projects serve one of two purposes; they make your life more comfortable or they increase the resale value of your home.
Trouble is, the two rarely play well together. Those home improvement projects that improve the sale value often don’t do much to make living more comfortable. Home remodeling projects that improve quality of life rarely increase your equity.
However, a few choice home improvement projects live in the “sweet spot” of changes that can do both. Here are the top five:
According to home renovation blog Charles & Hudson, a kitchen remodel is among the most likely to improve the sale value of your home. Since you use the kitchen daily, changes that make it easier to use or more fun to be in also improve your quality of life. Some likely changes include improving the lighting, installing modern cabinets and putting in premium countertops. Avoid highly personal touches that may make you smile, but won’t appeal to prospective buyers.
Photo: Pete Labrozzi
2. Home Improvement Through New Lighting
It’s easy to take your home’s lighting for granted. You turn the switch, the lights come on. Turn it again, they go off. Lighting has come a long way in recent years, with brighter bulbs and more energy-efficient fixtures. Changing out your 1960’s vintage ceiling lights for sleeker, newer, brighter designs improves how it looks and feels… for you and for potential new owners.
A new tub, toilet and sink can turn your bathroom from a functional necessity into a retreat from the daily grind. It’s also a project with the single highest rate of return of any home improvement project. Besides the fixtures, you can change your bathroom’s feel with a skylight or new floors. As with your kitchen, avoid personal touches that can’t be painted over or removed when the time comes to sell your house.
Photo: Chiot’s Run
4. Backyard Landscaping
Be careful with this one — it’s easy to go overboard and spend more than this project is worth. Simple home improvement projects, though, can transform a bare yard into a private sanctuary. A deck, raised flower beds, a tree or two can manage this change by interrupting sight lines, adding color splashes and offering shade. You’ll enjoy it in the warmer months, and the appeal will motivate buyers down the road.
Photo: Landscape Design Advisor
5. Interior Home Improvement
Over the course of your life, your home ages with you. Walls get dirty, or kids break a hole that gets a ragged patch. Cracks form. With less than a week of work, you can sand, texture and paint the inside of your home to make the whole place feel newer, cleaner and fresher. Though this adds no extra structural value to your home, it does improve the look and feel for prospective buyers.
Photo: Michelle Gow
Know any home improvement projects that add value to your home while also making it more comfortable for you and your family? Let us know about them in the comments section below.