Making a home improvement can pay off big, or it can be a big waste.
When people consider making a home upgrade, they often focus on the resale value as the most important part of the decision-making process. The more they pay, the more they think they’ll get back.
What they don’t realize is that sometimes, it is the smaller improvements that have the best return on investment, while keeping personal inconvenience to a minimum.
These three options provide the biggest bang for your buck, without requiring you to gut your whole house:
1. Consider Door Replacement
The exterior of your home might be one of the last things you think will actually improve your resale value. After all, as long as the door shuts, you’re good to go, right? Wrong.
Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs Value report shows that replacing your door is the single best investment you can make for your home with an eye for resale value.
For example, replacing your entry door with a steel version will set you back $1,230 on average, but you’ll get back $1,252 in increased home value.
Steel doors are also hardier, which makes it a win-win for you while you live there.
While your interior doors won’t give you the same kind of payoff, you will get a lot back from replacing your garage door as well. Plus you will make it harder for thieves to break in.
2. Install Manufactured Stone Veneer
There is nothing quite like a home that looks like it has been made from real stone. The trouble is that rocks are expensive and unwieldy to shape. If you want that appearance without all the hassle, you can put a manufactured stone veneer on the façade without too much inconvenience.
When you replace 300 square feet of siding on the lower half of your house with manufactured stone veneer, you will recoup about 93 percent of what you paid.
3. Add New Siding
It should come as no surprise to you that replacements that make the exterior of your home look better will improve your ability to sell that home when you’re ready.
Curb appeal goes a long way.
If the siding on your home looks like it is about to fall apart, you can invest much less than you would remodeling your kitchen and reap the rewards. Putting new siding on 1,250 square feet of your home will set you back about $14,000 but add almost $12,000 to your home’s value.
The last thing you want is to put your house out of commission for months for home improvements that might not have a big payoff. If you intend to sell your home in the next few years, the upgrades you make now will affect your sale value.
Keep your investment down and focused on return. That way, you’ll have a happier home with better curb appeal, without breaking the bank or disrupting your life.