When it comes to renovating the home, the list of things to do can easily grow into a novel of projects ranging from fixing the porch light, to completely gutting the kitchen. However, when we find ourselves with enough money saved to finally check some of these projects off of our lists, it can be hard to prioritize what renovations are worth putting the time, effort, and money into, which ones can take a back seat, and which aren’t even worth it at all.
Once it comes time to make this decision, interior designer/business owner Colleen Quinn says to prioritize the projects that will make your property universally more appealing. That way, if/when you have to sell your home, the changes you made will be well-received by a wide variety of people.
“It is important to make investments that will be the best use of your money. We don’t want to put in custom details that are only for your specific use. Think about things that will be valued by a range of people,” Quinn said.
According to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), when it comes to the money you’d make back on your renovation investment, it really depends on the project. The study found that full kitchen renovations typically give homeowners a 59% return on the money they put in, and a full master bedroom would typically bring in a 50% return.
The study also showed that projects that were considered to be much smaller scale, when compared to full room remodels, actually brought the most money back on the homeowners original investment. For example, installing hardwood floors brought back an average of 106% of whatever was originally put into it. Replacing the heating and cooling systems brought back 85%, and a full insulation upgrade in the home recouped about 84%.
So, when it comes to actually choosing what projects would be the biggest bang for your buck, it really depends on the reasoning behind the renovation itself. If the upgrades you’re making are with the intent to sell, then point your focus in the direction of all the main living spaces. The study found that the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms are what potential buyers deem as the “most important spaces” when looking for a new home. Basically meaning that if the kitchen and bathrooms are updated, buyers are less likely to care if they would need to put their own money into other projects, such as the flooring or re-modelling the back deck.
Shane Steele is the Vice President of a California real estate investment company who also contributed to some of the reasoning behind the results of the study. She claimed that besides the main living spaces, the flow of the house is most important. The “flow” she’s discussing refers to the fixtures and finishes around the home that act as accents for the overall space.
“Keep the fixtures and finishes somewhat neutral so they will be more appealing for multiple buyers. Add the flair with your decor that can be taken with you when you leave. While a neutral palate and a universal appeal should be the goal when renovating, retaining original details can help a home stand out. Where possible you should try to preserve the bones of the house. Any details like crown molding, arches, built-in shelves should stay, because there is demand for character,” she said.
Renovating the home is truly a subjective experience based on personal desire and taste, however, it’s important to think about the future when adding all of your customization’s. You may not make all of your money back on your investment depending on the project and how well it’s executed, so make sure you’re working with a trusted and well-researched contractor. Ask other trusted individuals in your life, or in the business, about what projects will be most beneficial to both your life and your future, and get hammering!
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.