Fewer Americans are buying homes due to rising housing prices and mortgage rates being more than double what they were a year ago. Instead, they opt to stay put and make repairs, renovations, and improvements to their current homes to better suit their needs and way of life. While improvements might improve our happiness in our homes, some can increase the value of a home more than others when it comes time to sell or refinance.
The best home upgrades, such as a new deck, refurbished kitchen, or bathroom, can be expensive. The most popular home improvement projects are new bathrooms, followed by pricey kitchen and basement improvements. Specifically, you should consider how much of the project’s costs will be recovered when you sell your property and increase its value and asking price. Here are five home improvement projects worth the cost in 2023.
1. A Bathroom Remodel
Potential buyers will likely spend a lot of time in the bathroom. The functional value of a well-designed bathroom makes a home more appealing, so ensuring this room is spotless and up-to-date is in your best interest. Some home improvement projects to consider for your bathroom include a bathroom cabinet installation, swapping out obsolete fixtures, and adding new flooring and lighting. Most people desire a spa-like experience in their bathrooms, so modernizing yours is a wise investment.
Bathroom upgrades have been a renovation favorite for a while as they offer great returns on investment and significantly enhance a home’s aesthetic and functionality. According to a 2023 cost vs. value report by JLC, 22% of homeowners are planning a bathroom remodeling project, which is projected to be the third most popular home improvement project for 2024. Depending on your bathroom’s size and style and if you select high-end materials, bathroom remodels typically cost between $6,600 and $16,700. You may spend up to $28,000 if you go all out and completely remodel your bathroom.
Remodeling the bathroom to increase size, replace outdated fixtures, upgrade materials, or both, to improve usefulness or appearance (or both) is always in demand and makes a good selling point. In fact, before putting a house on the market, more than 25% of Realtors advise remodeling the bathroom for a home improvement. The price range is wide, averaging between $70 and $250 per square foot, and the ROI is between 68% and 71%. ROI-wise, less is more, just like with kitchens: According to Forbes, significant bathroom renovations that involve rearranging the space and employing high-end materials only yield returns of 36.7 to 46%.
Even if you’re not planning to resale the home and move, you can still benefit from undertaking a bathroom remodel project. Think about it. What is the first thing you do after a long, exhausting day of hard work in the office? You probably run a bath or at least take a hot shower to unwind.
Remodeling your bathroom can improve your quality of life at home in several ways. For example, if you choose to add an extra vanity, you won’t have to wait in line in the morning when you’re in a rush to get to the office. It’ll also give you more storage, which you can use to store your bathroom essentials separately from your partner’s.
2. A Kitchen Remodel
According to the 2023 cost vs. value report by JLC, around 17% of homeowners plan to start their home improvement with a little kitchen remodel in the following year since it has the third-best remodeling ROI of all projects. Small-scale kitchen remodeling ideas include refinishing cabinets, changing a few appliances, installing new flooring, and replacing worktops. Installing a new sink and faucet is another simple but popular kitchen remodel project. In more major kitchen remodels, homeowners frequently choose to redesign the entire layout, move or add gas, electrical, and plumbing lines, install high-end appliances, or add new countertops or an island.
Kitchen renovations are a favorite among homeowners because people spend most of their time in the home in the kitchen, whether busy cooking during the holidays or meeting family for Sunday breakfast. According to HGTV, the typical home improvement kitchen renovation price range is $14,500 to $40,000. It goes without saying that having a contemporary, functional kitchen can make even the most basic activities, like cooking, eating with others, and having company over, more enjoyable.
Additionally, it is a strong selling point for future homebuyers. In a 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of countertops and cabinets, a minor remodel may involve several things. These include switching out appliances for newer, greener models, updating cabinets with shaker-style panels, installing refreshed countertops or a sink, changing hardware, installing new flooring, and painting the walls.
According to the 2023 cost vs. value report by JLC, most of the remodeling a kitchen design service will perform is cosmetic. You can recover up to 85.7% of your costs in this way, except for the appliances. Keeping ROI in mind, scale back the project. It’s interesting to note that substantial kitchen renovations that involve altering the space’s size or layout or adding new cabinets yield much lower returns: 41.8%.
Overall, an excellent, affordable method to update your kitchen without altering the footprint is to replace the cabinet doors with a more traditional Shaker-style front if you have a little extra money. Consider changing your backsplash, redesigning your kitchen island, and replacing some of those large top cabinets with open shelves. Consult an architect or kitchen designer to make the most of your space.
3. Repaving Your Driveway
It may never occur to you to link a new or renovated driveway to increased curb appeal and house resale value, but first impressions are important for potential homebuyers. Talk to paving providers at your local home improvement expo if you want to update your driveway. One of its most evident advantages is the decreased cost.
When comparing the costs of maintaining or repairing your driveway or parking lot throughout its lifetime, repaving may appear to be a more expensive option, but this is only true during construction. Due to the robustness and longevity of asphalt paving, your property won’t need maintenance, repairs, or replacements as frequently. The straightforward structure of driveways also lowers the amount of raw materials required, which lowers the price.
Make sure you pick paving companies that provide quick, helpful, and effective driveway, paver, and construction services to commercial and residential paving clients. Innovative designs, top-notch supplies, cutting-edge machinery, and engineering know-how are necessary for outstanding results. Various colors, textures, and styles are available for modern and conventional driveway materials and block pavers.
If the surface of your current driveway is fractured, but the base is still in good condition, you’ll be happy to know another option besides full repaving work exists. Resurfacing entails removing only the top layer of material and reinstalling it. According to This Old House, it’s less expensive than replacement and typically costs between $1 to $10 per square foot. It’s also known as capping or overlay.
4. HVAC Upgrades
When your air conditioner is broken or not functioning properly, summers and hot days can be intolerable. Even the best unit will ultimately need to be repaired. As your AC system works hard to keep your home cool, its components deteriorate, gather dust and filth over time, and operate less effectively. You may need to replace your AC unit sooner than you’d like if you fail to keep up with routine maintenance and stay on top of repairs.
An HVAC check up isn’t the most glamorous makeover. Still, it’s fashionable and reflects the growing interest in renewable, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient HVAC systems (heat pumps replace electricity-guzzling air conditioners to heat and chill a home). According to the 2023 cost vs. value report by JLC, a check-up can be costly, typically reaching $17,747 for a 2,000-square-foot property, but the ROI is excellent at over 100%.
HVAC companies provide inspections ideally conducted towards the beginning of the spring and/or fall seasons. Your HVAC system will transition from heating to cooling or cooling to heating when the weather changes, often in the spring and fall. An experienced HVAC technician can ensure everything is in functioning order and your system is prepared for the change.
Insulating your home can significantly lower your energy bills, which is a relatively inexpensive investment. According to research by the U.S. Department of Energy, insulation in your attic and basement walls and around doors and windows can prevent up to one-third of the energy required to heat and cool your home from being wasted. By making your home more energy-efficient, you can minimize energy loss while raising the value of your home.
This may result in considerable energy savings each month. The quantity of dust, pet dander, and other allergens in the air in your house can also be reduced by tune-ups. It’ll keep these particles at bay because you’ll regularly change the filters.
5. Siding Replacements
Faded or damaged siding can take away from the aesthetics of any home. The siding material you opt for determines your home’s design and style. Home siding installation is a solid and economical way to start a home improvement, offering various solutions to fit different tastes and price ranges. With the roof, siding is the first line of defense against the weather. There are numerous siding choices to think about.
Siding is typically low-maintenance, simple to clean, and available in many colors, textures, and styles to achieve a beautiful yet practical appearance, unlike other exterior options. According to Heartland Builders, for a typical home, installing new fiber-cement siding will cost about $20,000, but you can anticipate recovering more than three-fourths of that expense when you sell the house.
If you’re looking for a vinyl siding replacement for your outdated home siding, a home improvement company can combine the best of all worlds: functionality, durability, cost, and aesthetics. A vinyl siding specialist can assist you in selecting from a wide range of siding options, including various colors, finishes, and thicknesses, for your new vinyl siding. According to Bankrate, with a marginally greater ROI, vinyl siding can be more cost-effective than fiber-cement siding, where the $16,348 average cost assumes that 1,250 square feet will be replaced with new siding; upon resale, you should recover about 94.7% of your investment.
Updating with vinyl siding will give you a minimal maintenance look that increases your home’s curb appeal and energy efficiency. You can be sure it won’t peel or decay and is known for its sturdiness and longevity. Vinyl siding also comes in various colors and offers a one-time siding solution.
You can also find insulated vinyl siding options if you’re angling towards the energy efficiency benefit. Another great option is fiber cement siding. They’re available in various color options, are long-lasting, and offer versatility in terms of style.
Choosing a professional you can rely on to complete the job correctly is the most effective way of maximizing the return on investment from your home improvement project. While trying DIY to increase your return may be tempting, it frequently goes wrong and causes more harm than good. Always obtain competing bids for any job, and as a ‘buffer,’ add 10% to the lowest estimate because additional costs almost certainly will arise. If you need to fund a project, consider applying for a home equity loan or line of credit, paying special attention to the interest rate and projected monthly cost.
Before you start, ensure you can fit these monthly payments into your budget. It makes more sense to put off a major remodeling to conserve money, pay off debt, and wait for interest rates to decrease. You should also consider how long you plan to remain in your current residence and how remodeling will impact your life. If you’re not planning to move soon, remodeling will be more of an investment in your lifestyle than the home’s resale value.
Never think twice about investing back into your home. There are only benefits on the other end. That said, not all home improvement projects have a major impact. Some will add more value to your home than others, while other projects will mainly impact your lifestyle while you live in the house. Use this read as a guide for home improvement projects to consider in 2023.