Bang for Your Buck: Which Renovations Are Most Likely to Add Value?

Whether you want to put your home on the market soon or sometime down the road, it makes sense to look at what updates can add the most value if you’re considering renovations. Updates not only appeal to buyers, who are often willing to pay top dollar for a move-in ready property, but they can improve your own enjoyment of your home in the years ahead if you don’t plan to sell soon.

Of course, some updates aren’t choices. An aging roof or failing HVAC system will need to be addressed. But, if your home’s systems are in good shape, you may be wondering where to put your home improvement dollars.

Here are the areas that are most likely to bring you the greatest return on your investment and quicker sale:


Windows protect your home from the elements, help reduce utility bills and give your home’s exterior a fresh look. You can bet buyers will appreciate if you can offer new, energy-efficient ones. On average, homeowners spend about $18,000 when replacing their home’s windows with new vinyl ones, while those opting for wood windows can expect to pay about $21,000 for the upgrade. You can expect to get a return of 75 to 86 percent.

Hardwood Flooring

Bye-bye outdated carpet. The average homeowner invests about $4,500 in new hardwood flooring. But, just like with windows and most other items on this list, your own cost will vary depending on the size of the area you’re updating and the quality of the products you choose. Buyers and homeowners alike often prefer hardwood to carpet because it’s easier to maintain and lasts longer. There is a range of flooring options available today, including tile and engineered products.


It comes as no surprise that choosing a kitchen makeover is one of the smartest investments you can make. If you invest in a partial kitchen remodel, rather than a complete tear out, you can may spend between $20,000 and $25,000 on average. The good news is, even partial kitchen renovations have a return of nearly 85 percent. In the meantime, you can enjoy a wonderfully updated space, sure to be the heart of your home.

Walk-In shower

Jet tubs used to be the top choice for master bathrooms, but these days, a walk-in shower is often preferred. It costs about $3,500 to $4,000 to install a walk-in shower, but a more elaborate tile version can cost you considerably more. Most of the time, you can expect to recoup about 60 to 70 percent of your investment. If you have the budget, you may want to consider extra touches like body jets. Another mater bathroom option growing rapidly in popularity? Standalone tubs.

Curb appeal

If you are thinking about investing in some upgrades, don’t forget your home’s exterior. Updates like replacing a weather-worn front door and putting in new landscaping won’t cost a great deal out of your budget. But, it’s the first thing buyers will notice. Another often-forgotten upgrade for your home’s exterior? Replacing your outdated, faded garage doors. While you’ll not spend as much as with other renovations, your return will typically be over 90 percent.

Renovations can be expensive. As your real estate agent, I can provide you with advice on what updates make the most sense for your home and neighborhood. I also have some tips for updates that won’t cost much at all, but could appeal to buyers if you are getting ready to list.

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