5 Property Upgrades that will Increase
the Value of Your House

For a faster, more profitable home sale

Remodeled bathroom with marble tiled wall and gold accents.Photo by Christian Mackie, Unsplash.

Before you put your property on the market, it's a good idea to consider whether there are any improvements you can make to bump up its value.

Some home improvements can provide a much greater return than others, and while some may make the property more aesthetically desirable, they may not increase your sale price.

When it comes to property upgrades that require a bit of a bigger budget, here are five improvements that will actually increase the value of your home.

Choosing the right contractor

When it comes to the property upgrades that require a bit of a bigger budget, it’s vital to choose the right contractor for the job. Sizable property renovation investments are a bid decision, and putting the work in the hands of a shoddy contractor can cause immeasurable headaches.

It’s one thing to have to suffer delays or endless disputes over the quality of workmanship, agreed inclusions, etc. but it can be heartbreaking to be left with botched and/or incomplete work leaving you no choice but to sue a contractor in small claims court.

In California, the maximum an individual can sue for via the small claims court is $10,000, and while some other states are the same (i.e. New York, Washington, West Virginia), this figure can differ significantly between states - for example, in Georgia it’s $15,000, and in Tennessee the maximum is $25,000, while in Rhode Island and Kentucky it’s just $2,500.

Suing a contractor in small claims court is the last resort, but all the headaches in between can also be avoided by ensuring that you go with a reputable, reliable contractor. Personal recommendations are well worth pursuing, while it is always prudent to check online reviews.

With that in mind, here are five improvements that will actually increase the value of your home.

1. Roof replacement

Mossy Roof.A mossy roof may convince buyers to negotiate for a new roof!

If your roof is missing shingles, or they're curled up or buckling, it’s time to consider either re-shingling or completely replacing your roof.

The structural integrity of your property - or lack thereof if your roof is in a state of ill-repair - will make a considerable difference to the value of your home.

If it feels like a big undertaking to you, imagine how it presents to a prospective buyer. 

While you’re at it, you may consider installing some solar panels.

Solar panels are an attractive property addition to buyers, as people tend to favor them, but not have the motivation to install them for themselves. The potential savings on energy costs can increase the value of your home.

2. Window and door replacement

While we’re on the subject of energy-savings, let's take a look at window and door replacement.

Not only can new windows and doors vastly improve a property’s appearance, but they can also significantly improve the energy efficiency of the home. Old, worn and drafty windows can be a big turn off to buyers.

Replacing your windows and doors can be a sizable investment - potentially in the region of $8,000 - $12,000 - but, so long as you go for an energy-efficient option, it will not only increase the property’s value, but save on heating and cooling costs, too.

If you do this early enough, you can even begin to recoup some of the costs in your own energy bills before selling.

3. Kitchen renovation

Remodeled kitchen with marble countertop.Photo by Jason Briscoe, Unsplash.

So long as your kitchen remodel is carried out in a cost-effective way, it should add value to your home, especially if the current one is in dire need of an upgrade. 

Depending on the condition of your current kitchen, you may be able to get away with a partial renovation. This could include such things as a countertop replacement, refacing or replacing of cabinet doors and handles, adding a tile backsplash, upgrading appliances and/or replacing flooring. 

If the kitchen is particularly old, outdated or has a significantly impractical design when it comes to functionality and smart use of space, it might be best to consider a full renovation.

The benefits of tearing a kitchen out and starting from scratch is that the layout can be completely reconfigured, which can dramatically improve the space in itself.

Be careful to stick to smart, cost-effective choices when it comes to renovating for the purpose of selling your property - your personal preferences are irrelevant, and every dollar spent needs to be assessed based on its return value.

4. Bathroom renovation

A beautifully remodeled bathroom.Glass shower doors will visually increase the size of any bathroom.

Bathroom renovations are similar to kitchen renovations when it comes to selling - potential buyers can certainly be put off by an old, worn out bathroom. 

Like a kitchen renovation, a partial or full bathroom renovation can greatly add to the value of your home and give you a big return on your investment.

A partial bathroom renovation might include replacing the vanity, shower tray, toilet or tub, adding or replacing tiling, repainting, replacing light fixtures, replacing the flooring, etc. 

If your bathroom is too far gone, this is probably the right time to tear it all out and start with all new.

Energy-efficient upgrades are always a good idea, as well, when it comes to resale value and desirability.

5. Basement renovation

A remodeled basement will add greatly to your home's value.Finishing out a basement will not only add usable square footage, it will increase the property value accordingly.

As Realtor Darren Robertson explains, “The usable square footage of a property is usually an important figure that potential buyers focus on. Being able to significantly increase that figure by completing a space in your home that is already closed in is a no-brainer.” 

Try not to get too ambitious regarding the use of the renovated basement design, as unnecessary plumbing and electrical additions can significantly increase your outlay, but may not translate in returns.

Make sure that you take care to properly insulate and have the area professionally protected against moisture - a bodge-job here will end up costing you far more than you will recoup.

So long as you tackle it smartly, finishing your basement can add to the amount of usable floor space and consequently increase the property value accordingly. You can easily jump online and see what properties in your area are going for.

Final thoughts

It's surprising how many people get carried away with their renovations, even though they are for the express purpose of adding value for resale. Be sure to you approach it with the attitude of considering every dollar spent as counting towards a financial return upon selling.

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Updated 12-2-2022