Home improvement—whether you’re building a deck, adding a bathroom or renovating your kitchen—is not only a big financial commitment but also a major time investment. But it’s important to choose wisely and consider a renovation’s impact on your home’s value and your family’s quality of life before you take the hammer to that wall.
Those who have watched enough episodes of Fixer Upper or This Old House know that many people renovate to add space, improve functionality or boost their home’s value. However, a renovation is not a guarantee that you will get your money back when it comes time to sell. In fact, some types of upgrades are actually a waste of time or money.
The most popular renovations are those that add a master suite, another bedroom or extra bathroom. These projects are popular for a reason: They make a home more functional for current residents and increase the amount of living space. Similarly, converting an attic into a bedroom or a basement into a home gym are good investments because they can make the home more comfortable for the family now and add value when it’s time to sell.
Other common projects that offer a solid return on investment are siding replacement and window replacement, says Fisher. These improvements can improve a home’s curb appeal and increase its energy efficiency, which can help lower homeowners’ utility bills. A smart thermostat can also help you cut energy costs by automatically adjusting to the latest gas and electricity prices, and it can provide you with information about your home’s energy use.