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6 Home Improvements That Add Value (and 3 That Don’t)

A renovation project can be just the thing to bring some creativity into your home—all the while making it more enjoyable to live in and more valuable for resale. If you’re wondering what adds the most value to a home, keep scrolling to learn the best return on investment home improvements, and which ones to avoid that decrease home value. 

Renovations to Increase Home Value

1. Entry Door Replacement 

Upgrading your entryway can be one of the most impactful renovations for your home as an entry door is one of the first things buyers will notice, making a lasting impression — and it’s one of the simplest renovations on this list. Improving your home’s curb appeal could significantly increase its value by at least 7%, according to a study from The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. And, according to Zonda Media, a housing market research and analytics firm, the cost recouped (ROI) for an entry door replacement project is 100.9%. One of the most popular designs for entryway upgrades in 2024 are custom iron doors. At Clark Hall, we have three main styles for custom iron front doors: ornate, traditional, and modern that are fully customizable. Iron doors are a great aesthetic investment, require low maintenance, and can produce a great return on investment whether or not you sell your home. 

2. Kitchen Remodel

According to our research, the two types of rooms that score as major selling points for houses are kitchens and bathrooms. Zonda Media reports a 85.7% ROI on a minor kitchen remodel. Try to evaluate whether implementing a few new appliances would suffice before taking everything out and starting from scratch. Start by replacing old appliances, like your refrigerator, with new ones. And, a touch up of paint or replacement of old hardware can give an updated look to your cabinets that will go a long way. If you opt for an overhaul, we suggest taking out a wall to create more space. Note: A kitchen with ample space and good lighting is a major enticement to buyers, so creating a well-lit, open concept could be a huge win.

3. Patio Addition 

Adding a patio to your home could be just the unique selling point a buyer was looking for. Whether it’s a patio, porch, or simple deck addition, creating an outdoor space adds a whole new level of hospitality to your home. According to Extra Space Storage, it’s estimated that well-designed patios not only add 8-10% home value, but also earn an ROI of over 80%. Clark Hall also offers patio doors to elevate your entertaining space. Aside from beautiful clean lines and thin frames, our patio doors also boast professional-grade weather stripping, insulation, and welds.

4. Bathroom Remodel 

Similar to remodeling your kitchen, your bathroom may require minor tweaks or a major overhaul. According to Zonda Media, a bathroom remodel has an impressive ROI of 66.7%. Whether you’re making minor or major renovations to your bathroom space, we recommend focusing on this area first, over minor projects in each bedroom. For example, swapping out old shower heads for more modern appliances, or updating the lighting to make the space brighter can do wonders. Other options include painting the vanity, updating hardware, or replacing countertops to give an updated look.

5. Landscaping

As explained with entry door replacement, curb appeal sells homes. Investing in some landscaping work can make your home look fresh and inviting. According to a study from Michigan State University, “A well-landscaped home has a bigger perceived value than a home with no or poor landscape.” This could look like planting more trees in your yard or adding in landscaping specifications that are unique to your region’s climate. For example, if your region has droughts, catering to that landscape will look different than an area that experiences hurricanes.
best return on investment home improvements in the form of a front entry door.

6. Attic or Basement Remodel

One of the best ways to increase the value of a home is to increase the number of available rooms. Renovating your attic or basement is a great way to take advantage of extra space. These upgrades could easily transform parts of the home that might be best left unseen into a unique selling point.

Patio Addition to increase home value.

Projects That Can Decrease Home Value 

1. Upscale Master Suite Addition

While you may love your mahogany bookcase and bespoke mantle, an elaborate layout may just be a turn off to buyers that indicates expensive upkeep and maintenance. Or, they may also opt to remove them all together. Upgrades like this are best for homeowners intending to stay for the long haul. 

2. Upscale Bathroom Addition

This is not to be confused with our suggestion of a bathroom remodel. In this instance, adding expensive luxury appliances to your bathroom instead of modest additions may have a negative effect, as the new homeowner will be given more of a sense of expenses than luxury. Remember, keep your renovations within the range of your neighbors so as not to become the most expensive on the block—in other words, it will be much more difficult to sell. 

3. Garage Conversions 

Although converting garages can add square footage to your home’s living area, creating an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) will not increase your home’s value. Most buyers want garages—and garages weren’t designed or built for living in, so they will most likely need major repairs to make them livable. It may be a cool experience, but overall a poor ROI.

Other Factors to Consider 

You might be asking, what about a swimming pool? This point is tricky to determine whether it will increase or decrease your home value because it ultimately comes down to what climate you live in. For example, the ROI for a swimming pool in a Florida home is going to be much higher than that of a home in Ohio. Also, keep in mind that some prospective buyers may just see a pool as an additional energy or insurance cost.  And, when it comes to what impacts home resale value, your home’s value is based on what buyers in the market are willing to pay for your home—but there are many factors to consider. It’s a good idea to review the sale prices of other homes in your neighborhood as a comparison point. Comparable homes are often referred to as “comps” which can be found by looking for similar houses to your own in appearance, location, and distance. Home appraisers are going to look at your home size, usable space, the age and condition of your plumbing, electrical, the roof, and more. And, upgrades and updates usually signal increased value, but just keep in mind, not all home improvement projects are created equally.
Looking to renovate your entryways? As the experts in custom iron door design, Clark Hall Doors & Windows provides an end-to-end white glove experience that allows you to create a lasting first impression, and helps you increase the value of your home.  Contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our showrooms, where you’ll get a chance to see our doors up close. And, before you connect, be sure to check out our blog “How Custom Iron Front Doors Increase Home Value” for even more information.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What renovations increase home value the most? 

The specific statistics will depend on where you live, but typically front door replacements and kitchen and bathroom upgrades have the highest positive return on investments—they serve as great indicators to the buyer that the most important parts of the house are in great shape. And when it comes to the front door, curb appeal plays a large role in increasing home value as it is the first thing a buyer sees in a home visit — in fact, most people will decide whether or not they want to buy a home in the first few minutes of looking at one.

What doesn’t add value to a house? 

A key takeaway is that water features like hot tubs and pools usually don’t add home value and can cause disinterest from potential buyers. Additionally, any renovations that limit room space or are too luxe will detract value. 

What do appraisers look for to add value?

Home appraisers will look at factors such as square footage, materials, amenities, and condition, and evaluate these factors against comparable properties, or “comps,” that have recently sold in the area.

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