Home Improvement

What Renovations Are Worth Doing?

January 7, 2019
what renovations are worth doing

You want to beautify your home, but you want to do it in a way that counts. No one has an unlimited budget, and considering the costs involved in the remodeling process, you want to feel confident you’re making the most of your money. You need to know what renovations are worth doing.

In truth, not all renovations warrant the time and effort. You can approach your task with enthusiasm, rollers at the ready, hammer raised and supplies organized, but all your hard work and perseverance won’t always pay off if you’re viewing the subject from a superficial standpoint — it’s a bit more complicated.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, detailing a few of the adjustments and modifications you can make to justify a higher asking price at resale. These renovations have a high ROI and are guaranteed to improve your property value.


After all, you don’t want to miss the mark.

Renovation Rules to Remember

When thinking about what renovations are worth doing, stick to some fundamental rules. For instance, spending more money on a renovation doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll yield high returns. Craig Webb, editor of Remodeling Magazine, said in one article, “This year, the most expensive projects didn’t have much of a gain.” He attributes it to the consensus among real estate professionals that we’re reaching a peak in market prices.

With market trends in mind, you’ll have to approach your home improvements strategically. It might prove more lucrative to spread your money across several projects instead of concentrating it on one elaborate renovation, and you might even benefit more from repairs and replacements. In many situations, it’s better to repair and replace than add or remodel, and you’ll need to take this into account when weighing your options.

Another rule of renovating your home is to keep your changes accessible. To provide context, if you were planning an aesthetic overhaul of your kitchen, you wouldn’t want to get too creative or experimental. Even if you see the visual appeal in your choices, a potential homebuyer might think they’re unattractive.

So What Renovations are Worth Doing?

Now that we’ve touched on a few of the fundamentals of remodeling, we’ll explore five renovations with proven value.

what renovstions are worth doing - garage

1. Garage Door Replacement

Between exterior and interior renovations, exterior renovations have the most significant impact come resale. Your property’s curb appeal has a substantial effect on its perceived value, and it often gets potential homebuyers through the door to see the rest of your home.

In this regard, a new garage door is a financially responsible choice. It leads the list of the top 20 remodeling projects, with homeowners recouping 98.3 percent of the cost. Whether you’re interested in a wood or faux wood model or something entirely different, buyers will pay attention.

what renovations are worth doing - stone

2. Manufactured Stone Veneer

The siding of your home is impossible to ignore, and if it’s old, cracked or poorly maintained, the damage is hard to hide. Beyond the superficial, siding serves an essential purpose in protecting your home against the elements, shielding it from inclement weather.

If you’re deciding what renovations are worth doing, this is therefore a big one for both aesthetic and practical reasons. You have no shortage of reasons to invest in new siding, and you’ll earn the most from manufactured stone veneer. Though the average job cost of $8,221 might make you hesitate, most homeowners recoup 97.1 percent at resale.

renovate deck

3. Wooden Deck

If a property is of a certain size, many homebuyers expect a deck. More than just a comfortable place to sit on a lazy summer afternoon, a deck is an extension of the house that makes it feel bigger and allows homeowners to take full advantage of their yard.

A 16-by-20-foot deck with pressure-treated wood posts, railings and balusters is a smart investment if you have the space and money. The price tag for this type of renovation is typically around $10,950, and while that may seem steep, it recoups 82.8 percent of its cost.

Oh, and one more note: just make sure you find out whether you need a building permit to tackle this renovation.

what renovations are worth doing - kitchen

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Remodeling a kitchen is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task that can drain a homeowner’s budget alarmingly fast. Make sure you assess the value of this large-scale renovation against its cost. You’ll often find the money you spend is well worth it, however.

Try making small improvements in your kitchen. You’ll often earn more from them than you would from more substantial changes. A minor kitchen remodel earns back, on average, 80 percent of its cost, while a major mid-range remodel recoups 65 percent.

what renovations are worth doing - bathroom

5. Universal Bathroom Design

There are a few telltale signs you should redo your bathroom. If you have vinyl flooring, white tiles and a bland color scheme, you’d benefit from a renovation. That said, you’d benefit more if you went the extra mile and incorporated universal design into the space.

A curbless shower and wheelchair-friendly sink make your home more accessible to homebuyers with disabilities. Other additions like a hand-held showerhead will also contribute to your property’s appeal. Bathrooms with these features usually recoup around 70.6 percent of the cost. Go green with a few eco-friendly additions, and your bathroom remodel will certainly be worth the effort.

Find Home Renovations That Work

Is it time to make improvements around your house? Then you want to put your money toward renovations with a high ROI. Whether you install a new garage door or siding, build a wood deck or remodel your kitchen or bathroom, you can feel confident moving forward. You now know what renovations are worth doing, and that’s a start. Wherever you go next, you’re heading in the right direction.

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