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Renovation ROI: Which Home Improvements Add the Most Value?


Investing in home improvements can significantly boost your property’s value, but not all renovations offer the same return on investment (ROI). Here’s a detailed look at which home improvements add the most value, helping you make informed decisions that will maximize your home’s worth.

Kitchen Remodel: The Heart of the Home

Overview: The kitchen is often the focal point of a home, making it one of the best areas to invest in. A well-executed kitchen remodel can offer a high ROI by enhancing functionality and aesthetics.

High-Value Upgrades:

  • New Appliances: Energy-efficient, modern appliances not only attract buyers but also reduce energy costs.
  • Countertops: Installing durable, stylish countertops such as granite or quartz can significantly enhance the kitchen’s appeal.
  • Cabinetry: Refacing or replacing cabinets and adding soft-close mechanisms can modernize the space.

ROI Insight: A minor kitchen remodel can recoup approximately 80-85% of the investment, while a major remodel may offer a return of 60-70%.

Bathroom Renovation: Creating a Spa-Like Experience

Overview: Upgrading bathrooms can dramatically increase your home’s value, as buyers appreciate modern, luxurious bathrooms. Focus on both functionality and comfort to make the biggest impact.

High-Value Upgrades:

  • Fixtures and Fittings: Replace outdated fixtures with contemporary designs. Consider adding a double vanity or a rainfall showerhead for added luxury.
  • Tile and Flooring: High-quality tiles and heated flooring can elevate the bathroom’s appearance and comfort.
  • Lighting: Bright, stylish lighting can enhance the overall ambiance and functionality.

ROI Insight: A midrange bathroom renovation can recoup 70-75% of the investment, while an upscale remodel may return around 55-60%.

Curb Appeal: First Impressions Matter

Overview: Enhancing your home’s exterior is crucial for making a strong first impression. Simple improvements can significantly boost curb appeal and attract potential buyers.

High-Value Upgrades:

  • Landscaping: Well-maintained lawns, gardens, and pathways create a welcoming entrance.
  • Exterior Paint: A fresh coat of paint or updated siding can transform your home’s look and protect it from the elements.
  • Front Door and Windows: Replacing the front door and windows with energy-efficient models can enhance both appearance and energy savings.

ROI Insight: Investing in curb appeal improvements can yield an ROI of 75-100%, depending on the specific upgrades.

Basement Finishing: Expanding Usable Space

Overview: Finishing your basement adds valuable living space, making it an attractive feature for buyers. A versatile, well-designed basement can serve as a family room, home office, or entertainment area.

High-Value Upgrades:

  • Insulation and Drywall: Proper insulation and drywall installation create a comfortable, finished space.
  • Flooring and Lighting: Durable flooring and good lighting make the basement inviting and functional.
  • Bathroom Addition: Adding a bathroom can further increase the basement’s usability and value.

ROI Insight: A finished basement can recoup 70-75% of the investment, providing additional living space and enhancing overall property value.

Energy Efficiency Improvements: Long-Term Savings

Overview: Energy-efficient upgrades not only reduce utility bills but also appeal to eco-conscious buyers. Investing in green improvements can make your home more attractive and sustainable.

High-Value Upgrades:

  • Insulation: Upgrading insulation in the attic, walls, and floors can improve energy efficiency and comfort.
  • Windows and Doors: Energy-efficient windows and doors reduce heat loss and enhance curb appeal.
  • HVAC Systems: Installing a modern, energy-efficient HVAC system can lower energy costs and improve indoor air quality.

ROI Insight: Energy-efficient improvements can yield an ROI of 60-90%, depending on the specific upgrades and local energy costs.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Extending Your Home’s Footprint

Overview: Creating outdoor living areas adds valuable recreational space and enhances your home’s overall appeal. Outdoor spaces can serve as extensions of your indoor living areas, providing versatile and enjoyable environments.

High-Value Upgrades:

  • Decks and Patios: Building a deck or patio can provide an excellent return, especially when designed for comfort and entertainment.
  • Outdoor Kitchens: Adding an outdoor kitchen with a grill, sink, and seating area can create a desirable entertainment space.
  • Landscaping Features: Incorporating elements like fire pits, water features, and outdoor lighting can enhance the ambiance and usability of outdoor spaces.

ROI Insight: Outdoor living space improvements can recoup 65-75% of the investment, depending on the quality and functionality of the additions.

About cynthia

Cynthia Lippert serves clients throughout Metro Atlanta as a member of the Armstrong Lippert Group. A recognized industry leader, she is a broker associate, as well as a former president (2021) and vice president (2019) of the Atlanta REALTORS Association who understands the business from the inside out. 

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