Whether you’re remodeling a bathroom, adding an office or building a new deck, Home improvement is a great way to upgrade your living space. However, not all upgrades will pay for themselves, so it’s important to choose wisely. Fortunately, our list of the best home improvement projects includes some of the top upgrades that are likely to recoup your investment.
Despite the recent slowdown in the economy, homeowners continue to spend on renovations. In fact, in 2021 alone, 24.5 million homeowners finished at least one home improvement project. A few things are contributing to this trend: higher housing prices that leave more equity to tap, rock-bottom interest rates and a growing population of aging homeowners who need to make repairs.
The most popular home improvements are those that make the house more functional. For example, homeowners spent the most on updating kitchens and bathrooms. Other popular upgrades include replacing old windows and doors, adding decks and patios and putting in new flooring. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, stick with projects that increase the home’s energy efficiency.
Another important factor in choosing a home improvement project is the resale value. Some renovations will not add to the value of your home, but others will significantly boost it. Be sure to consult with a real estate agent to see what types of projects will be most appealing to potential buyers.
It’s also a good idea to compare contractor estimates. Some will offer low prices, but others may charge more for the same work. When selecting a contractor, look for membership in a trade association and business references. Also, be sure to check the company’s license and insurance. In Maryland, the law requires contractors to have a valid MHIC (Metropolitan Home Improvement Commission) license number on their advertisements and contracts.
While it’s tempting to go crazy with home improvement projects, keep in mind that too many upgrades can actually detract from your property value. Over-the-top upgrades, such as a hot tub or fountain in the backyard, can scare off potential buyers. And spending more than you can afford will result in debt that you’ll have to carry for years, which can detract from your enjoyment of the home.
In addition to making a home more functional, you should also take care of small repairs that could turn into big problems later on. For instance, a leaky roof, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems will not appeal to buyers and will probably cost you more in the long run than if you took care of them sooner. You should also make a habit of performing routine maintenance, such as scrubbing your gutters and keeping up on regular lawn care. By doing these simple things, you’ll be able to enjoy your home for years to come. And when it’s time to sell, you’ll be prepared to compete with the other homes on the market.