8 Home Renovations That Will Pay You Back

Posted on Feb 5 2015 - 12:00pm by Housecall

renovationWhen you own a home, it seems like there is almost always something you would like to do to make it more comfortable, attractive, or eco-friendly. But, home remodeling experts tell us, if you plan to sell your home at some point, put your time and effort into one of more of these renovations proven to pay you back because they increase the value of the property:


  • New garage doors – Nothing says curb appeal like attractive garage doors – and you can’t beat the bang for the buck. A mid-range replacement will likely return more than 80 percent on your investment.

  • A wood deck – Here’s a renovation you are likely to enjoy – and a $10,000 investment will also return about 80 percent of what you spent.

  • Exterior siding – New siding will not only give your home a major facelift. It will return a strong 87 percent on project costs of about $14,000.

  • Attic conversions – Adding another bedroom or playroom upstairs give a home more usable living space without increasing its footprint. The remodel investment will likely return 84 percent of a $50,000 project cost.

  • Kitchen updates – No need to overhaul the entire kitchen, experts say. Upgrading the counters, and replacing cabinets and appliances will likely cost about $18,000 – and will return some 97 percent of cost. Oddly, a big-ticket total kitchen remodel costing over $100,000 may only return 63 percent of the investment.

  • New windows – New, energy–efficient windows throughout your home will save you money on heating and cooling bills – and you will probably get a return of 79 percent on a $10,000 investment.

  • Basement remodel – Another great way to add living space to a home is with a basement remodel. Adding insulation and flooring, and upgrading the walls and ceiling may cost as much as $60,000. But return on investment is estimated at 77 percent.

  • Back-up power generator – The unpredictable weather of the past few years has led to a surge in the popularity of this relatively inexpensive home addition. An average cost of $11,000 could net you a 67 percent return on your investment.

29 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Hope Hassouni a February 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm -

    Here are some good tips if you are thinking of doing home renovations

  2. Gabe Sanders February 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm -

    These are smart suggestions for those wanting to improve the value of their homes.

  3. Jack February 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm -

    Another good improvement is addition of ductless hvac system.

  4. Barbara Michaluk February 21, 2015 at 6:19 am -

    These are all good improvements that will reap good return on investment when you sell your home.

  5. Carol Thomson February 21, 2015 at 9:10 am -

    Very good simple but important information. Easy for everyone’s budget. Please send me the information.

  6. Kevin Flankey February 21, 2015 at 11:19 am -

    A word of caution about basement remodeling:

    While flooring and paneling the basement might improve its functional utility, from an appraisal standpoint, the basement’s floor area cannot be added to the “heated finished living area” figure that the appraiser calculates in a report. The industry standards call for the living area to be above ground and two, the standard “uniform residential appraisal report” (URAR) that will probably be used, has areas for describing the size of basement and level of finish as a percentage, segregated from the heated finished living area total that appears in the report.
    If an appraiser rolls a finished basement area, or disguises it by calling it something else like a wine celler, at the urging of the homeowner or real estate agent in order to skew the home’s heated area and “appraised market value,” that person is in violation of the rules that govern professional appraisal practice, USPAP, and risks sanctions against their license. It’s fraud, no matter how innocently it’s done.

  7. Kevin Flankey February 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm -

    Further, it’s not to say finishing a basement doesn’t add value to the property, the gain is not thru adding the area to the heated finished total. It adds value, but at a lower rate than the finished heated floors above ground, due to less utility. Finished attic area should also be segregated from the heated area total for the same reason.

  8. Connie Curci February 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm -

    These are fantastic ideas to improve the value but I think the ROI is rather high, at least in my market.

  9. Bruce Clark February 27, 2015 at 9:34 am -

    Excellent article; to that I would add upgraded landscaping, new sod, flowers in the front. Curb appeal is very important.

    I’m in Orange County, California; due to the value of land, our lots are typically smallish: adding another bedroom and bathroom where possible adds great value. This could be added over the high ceiling entrance, etc.

  10. Suzanne Strickler March 15, 2015 at 2:42 pm -

    If you live in a noisy neighborhood, there are replacement, soundproof windows which can eliminate up to 95% of the outside noise. They would be a huge asset to any home as we become a world where trucks back up 24/7.

  11. Jerry Minney March 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm -

    Great ideas but we all know that the best ROI is in kitchens, bathrooms and of course paint.

  12. Drew April 30, 2015 at 11:19 am -

    Pretty good suggestions but I’m surprised that you left off the bathroom. Bathrooms are one of the best for a return on your investment.

  13. Erika Black June 15, 2015 at 3:08 am -

    Really appreciate you sharing these smart ideas with us. We replaced our doors and installed custom entry doors( http://www.landmarkquality.com/doors/ )from Toronto and it has added not only to the aesthetic value but also has enhanced the financial prospect of the house in general.

  14. Carmen Griffith August 10, 2015 at 9:18 am -

    Thank you for your advices. The best one is changing windows. Nowadays energy–efficient windows will save you lots of money. My family did this. The money we were invested return back for 5 years. Greetings!

  15. David Nguyen August 28, 2015 at 7:23 am -

    We are planning to sell the house latter part of the year. Your tips on what to do to add value to it are much appreciated. Thanks for sharing these. Will probably do the garage doors, windows and the basement renovation.

  16. Christina T. Jensen November 26, 2015 at 1:21 am -

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’m doing some research on how to improve my home. And I find a lot of useful information here.

  17. Smark Paul March 5, 2016 at 6:57 am -

    Interesting post!

  18. Richard Leverett March 24, 2016 at 1:04 am -

    Your Blog was very interesting to me. i’ll thnx you a lot for posting this interesting information.

  19. James Adams June 14, 2016 at 6:58 am -

    We provide attic conversions throughout the Dublin area (www.premieratticsdublin.com), We do typically see up to 100% return on investment for our clients, but additionally over the last few years in a sluggish housing market one of the greatest benefits was that an attic conversion made the home more saleable too.

  20. Wayne November 28, 2016 at 11:13 am -

    An attic conversion is one of the best investments you can make in your home.

    The space it adds is great and can be used for a whole host of uses, like a study, reading room, cinema room, playroom, even a walk in wardrobe. The choice is endless.

  21. Jose Nguyen June 6, 2017 at 1:17 am -

    Great ideas here! One thing that could also add to your curb appeal is resurfacing your driveway, front entries and walkways.

  22. puspendu January 29, 2018 at 10:27 am -

    Really great article. This post has really impressed me through its wonderful writing. So thanks for sharing such a awesome article.

  23. Joshua Steppling November 24, 2018 at 1:15 pm -

    Thanks for sharing Barbara; the generator makes a ton of sense down here – we work with Treasure Coast real estate (south FL).

  24. DS Construction September 30, 2019 at 5:07 am -

    Great article Barbara, adding these types of renovations is always a benefit for our clients too. Adding value as well as adding a new home experience is vital to what we do. Thanks again!

  25. ATRenovations June 14, 2020 at 4:43 pm -

    Thanks for the great post Barbara, having your Basement remodel is definitely one of the things that you can’t regret doing and is one of the smartest things you can do during any home renovation.