When you make improvements to your home, you need to not only think about how they will benefit your current living conditions, but also how they will impact the resale value of your house if you ever decide to sell. Here are some of the best places to improve your home's value for both the present and future.
The kitchen is the centerpiece and one of the most-used parts of a home so it should be one of your primary focuses. Replace your cabinets, lighting, flooring and sink fixtures if it's in your price range. At the very least, sand and repaint your cabinets, repaint the walls and purchase new appliances.
The number of bathrooms in your home is a major selling point. Adding a bathroom to your house can increase its value by 20% and even just adding a half bathroom can increase it by 10.5%. If you only have one bathroom, you'd be better off adding a half bath than remodeling your current one. If you can't afford to add a restroom, make sure you give your bathrooms a new paint job and flooring.
DIY Flooring Options
Since we've mentioned adding flooring to the kitchen and bathroom, lets take a look at some do-it-yourself options. If you can afford it, have a professional do your flooring, but if you're on a tight budget and your floors are in dire need of replacing, here are some ways you can take on the task yourself, and still improve your home's value:
- Floating vinyl sheetInstalling floating vinyl sheets is a popular DIY method since it is a good option for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, is affordable and doesn't call for any gluing or stapling.
- Engineered wood planksUsing engineered wood doesn't require any sanding or finishing and the planks snap together easily without any nailing or gluing.
- Laminate flooringLike engineered wood planks, laminate flooring uses tongues and grooves to snap together. The planks are slightly shorter than wood planks and are made of plastic laminate.
- TileReplacing tile is a much messier and difficult job than some of the other DIY options but can be done on your own and will add more to the value of your home than the other options.
Installing a tankless water heater
A tankless water heater will cost you about three times as much to install as one with a tank, but it will increase the resale value of your home and you'll save up to 20% on your water heating bill. You can also get up to a $300 federal tax rebate for going tankless.
Having good plumbing won't necessarily add to your home's value, since buyers expect it to work, but bad plumbing will certainly detract from its worth. If plumbing fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom are over 10 years old, they need to be replaced. Installations that will decrease your energy usage include low-flow showerheads, adding low-flow aerators to faucets and energy-efficient toilets.
Like plumbing, your roofing needs to be problem-free to avoid a decrease in value during the home inspection. If there is a leak, buyers won't care about any of the other great features of your home. If you get new roofing, you can get a tax credit of 10% (up to $500) for metal and asphalt roofs that meet energy star requirements installed before December 31, 2013.
Try to avoid having your laundry room in your basement, since doing so will detract from your home's value.
Turning your basement into a livable space is a great way to increase your home's usable square footage without having to build onto it. A dry and finished basement works great as a children's play area, lounge or even another bedroom.
Extra storage space such as a garage that has room for more than just your cars, walk-in closets in bedrooms and attic space is one of the major perks buyers are looking for. Many newer homes are designed with more storage space, but if you have an older house, try to add it as you can, perhaps with a detached shed or garage.
Never underestimate the importance of your yard's look when trying to sell your home. It's the first thing potential buyers will see when they pull up to your house, and first impressions go a long way. If you don't have many (or any) trees, consider planting some. Make sure both your front and back yards are well landscaped and maintained and your porch is freshly painted and clutter-free.
Do you have any other home improvement ideas that can increase the value of your house? Post them in the comments section below.
Chris Long has been a Home Depot store associate since 2000 in the Chicago suburbs. Chris provides DIY advice to homeowners and writes for the Home Depot website.