As home owners spent more time in their homes last year, remodeling hit a new high. And the trend hasn’t stopped. One Harvard study indicates that by the second half of 2021, home improvement spending will rise to $337 billion in the U.S. It’s important to keep in mind, while home upgrades generally increase value, the return on investment usually isn’t dollar for dollar. We’ve listed the top ten remodeling projects that buyers will appreciate most so you can be informed where to spend your money.

1. Paint

Adding modern, neutral colors to a home freshens up the look. It’s also one of the least expensive ways to improve the home. You can save a lot of money on labor by doing it yourself. Interior jobs done professionally can cost $3,600 to $6,000, depending on square footage. Exterior will start around $5,000.

2. Add Siding or a New Veneer

Sprucing up the exterior of a home is all part of curb appeal. Remoding magazine cites fiber-cement siding as the more desirable material to use for siding upgrade as it stands up better to the elements than aluminum or vinyl. It can garner around 78% return on investment. Even more valuable is a stone veneer, which earns nearly a 96% return on investment.

3. Update the Kitchen

There are so many ways to improve an outdated kitchen. Figure out a budget, then decide where the dollars are best spent. Cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and flooring all contribute to the wow factor, but should be functional as well. A well-designed upgrade can net as much as 78% return on investment. If you’re upgrading with resale in mind, make sure your choices aren’t overly personal. Stick to popular designs that have stood the test of time.

4. Update the Bathrooms, Especially the Master

Consider the master bathroom as a sanctuary. it’s one of the most used rooms in the house, after all. Updates in countertops and fixtures are the obvious places to tackle first. Lighting that doesn’t scream “80s trends” also matters. Don’t sweat over luxuries like a jacuzzi tub. Few buyers consider the type of tub a dealbreaker. Keep designs classic and clean to appeal to more people. And if you’re looking for easier fixups, remember there are restoration companies that recoat ceramic, porcelain, and fiberglass to look new.

5. Build a Deck

Outdoor space is often as valuable to homeowners as the indoors. Wood decks in particular offer the most appeal for a place to relax and entertain. Experts recommend natural or rustic wood. While you might pay over $10,000 for a deck, you’re likely to recoup 72% or more on it when it’s time to sell.

6. Finish the Basement

Basement remodels recoup anywhere from 50 to 100%, based on the quality of the materials and design. Even if you can’t afford to make the basement a genuine living area on par with the upstairs, invest enough to make sure it’s dry and free of musty odors. A damp and musty basement is a huge buyer turnoff.

7. Install Hardwood Floors or Refinish Current Ones

Hardwood flooring continues to be in demand. The National Association of Realtors conducted a study that indicated new hardwood floors recoup 106% of cost and refinished ones recoup 100%. Enough said!

8. Landscape

This is something you can do for yourself as well as the next owner. Planting trees and perennials breathes life into your home’s appearance. They also help provide shade and reduce noise. And properties with mature trees tend to attract more buyers.

9. Replace the Garage Door

it’s amazing how a brand new garage door can give a facelift to a tired home. And you don’t have to buy an expensive one to make an impact. If you can reuse the existing motorized opener, you’ll recoup around 95% of the cost.

10. Open Up the Floorplan

Buyers still favor open floorplans. They create more light and an expansive view of what’s going on in the home. Often it just takes knocking out one wall to achieve a more open layout. Be sure to consult with a contractor before accidentally removing a wall that’s load bearing and compromising structural support.

Real Estate Term of the Week

Fiber-Cement Siding: A siding that combines the performance of masonry with minimal upkeep that is rot-, fire-, and termite-proof; unaffected by wind or cold; and has the look of painted wood clapboards, shingles, stone, or brick. Its key ingredients are water, wood pulp, fly ash, and portland cement.

Platinum Service Realty