Even if you have no immediate plans for leaving your home, it’s a good idea to approach renovations with resale value in mind. Upgrades that are likely to appeal to future buyers protect your investment while also improving your enjoyment of the home.
One key to a successful renovation is figuring out how to personalize the space without making it so customized that it’s not attractive to other potential owners. For example, eliminating a bedroom to create a giant walk-in closet may help achieve your dreams, but losing that bedroom can be a major hit to your home’s value.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on aesthetics when it comes to integrating more of your personal tastes, because these can be easily changed with a coat of paint or minor work. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make other, more significant changes to enhance your home.
These renovation ideas – which include both cosmetic touch-ups and more labor-intensive suggestions – can help boost your home’s value.
Open space. Older homes were often designed with a boxy, formal layout that is less conducive to most modern families’ needs. Today’s open floor plans offer functionality for everything from keeping an eye on the kids while making dinner to entertaining guests. This type of floor plan can also make small rooms feel larger and invite more light into darker parts of the house.
The most cost-effective way to create an open space is to remove non-load-bearing walls (load-bearing walls help support the roof; while they can be removed there’s typically quite a bit more time, labor and expense involved). Removing a wall may not be that complicated unless you encounter plumbing or HVAC ductwork that needs to be relocated. You’ll likely have some electrical outlets to move, and both the floor and ceiling will need attention to remove lingering signs of the former wall.
Color change. Although paint is one of the easiest ways to personalize your home, it’s also one of the least expensive, simplest ways to improve its value and appearance. A fresh coat of paint, inside or out, can create an appealing illusion of newness no matter the age of your home. For maximum resale value, stick to neutral tones so future buyers can focus on envisioning the place as their own, without the distraction of your own vibrant choices. If you don’t like the thought of boring beige, consider adding accent walls for pops of color that can be easily changed down the road.
Climate comfort. Not every aspect of home improvement is visible at first glance like a fresh coat of paint; some value-boosting upgrades are more behind the scenes. One example is climate management. If you renovate a space that needs better climate control, or if you add a new room where extending the existing ductwork is impractical, a split-ductless HVAC system may be the perfect solution. The ductless design saves HVAC contractors time during installation, therefore saving homeowners money.
Adjustable lighting. A room’s ambiance can be completely transformed with lighting. For multi-purpose rooms, an option like dimmer switches lets you customize the lighting to fit the use, which can vary throughout the day.
A well-lit living room is essential for a large gathering or a small group gathered for game night. That same space can be equally inviting for an intimate conversation or a casual movie night with the lights turned down low. One of the best parts is minimal experience is needed to swap out standard switches for the more versatile dimmers. Plus, in today’s technology-driven world, there’s an app for seemingly everything, including lighting. Homeowners can control the ambiance from their phones by installing smart light bulbs and lighting strips.
Grunge-free garage. Even though a garage’s functionality is the top concern for most buyers, a dingy, unkempt space can be a real turn-off. One way to instantly brighten and refresh the space is an epoxy coating on the floor. Applying the coating is relatively easy and once dry it helps prevent unsightly stains and damage in the future. Combine that with a thorough sweeping, wiping down walls and other surfaces, and organizing the clutter to create a more inviting space you can utilize to the fullest.
Understated elegance. Features like crown molding and other wood accents such as chair rails are elegant upgrades that can elevate a home’s value with a relatively modest investment. An office or dining room is the perfect place to introduce these design elements to add a bit of formality to the space. You can also find crown molding in spaces like the living room, with the molding coordinating with built-in shelving flanking a fireplace. While getting the angles and fit just right is hardly a beginner’s endeavor, it’s a project that can pay dividends in the long run.
Better bathrooms. Many homeowners approach a bathroom upgrade with big projects in mind, like swapping out the vanity, replacing the tub or installing tile flooring. However, it’s possible to make a noticeable impact with much smaller changes. Simply updating bathroom fixtures and fittings such as shower heads, faucets, towel racks and lighting can transform the space with minimal effort and far less work and expense than a large-scale renovation.