3 Top Home Renovations To Increase Property Value

August 4, 2015


Homeowners are usually overwhelmed with the many projects needed to make their properties stand out from the neighborhood competition and to appeal to prospective buyers. Whether you’re putting work into minor projects or more extensive renovations, how can you really be sure that your improvements are worth the invested money, time, and effort? To start, you can stick with updating the areas that are guaranteed to see an increase in property value and return on investment (ROI). To make the process easier, the most important areas include: exterior updates and decorative touches, kitchen renovations, and window replacement.

Updating The Home’s Exterior

The first thing that potential buyers see when visiting a prospective home is the exterior. If the roof, siding, front door, and garage are in a terrible state, there’s a great chance that the buyers won’t be very interested about the inside of the home. Even keeping up with the property’s landscaping is key — it’s not called “curb appeal” for nothing!


A 2014 ‘Cost vs. Value’ study conducted by Remodeling Magazine came to the conclusion that updating the home’s exterior siding with a fiber-cement material can recoup 88% of the homeowners initial investment. When renovating your own home, be sure to choose the best siding material that suits your needs and that of the property. If the home is in an area with inclement weather, vinyl siding faces the possibilities of cracking or warping, whereas fiber-cement is created through a mixture of sand, clay, cement, and wood pulp to be highly durable and long-lasting. There are many options for long-lasting, sustainable siding that will bring a sizable return including options that are made from eco-friendly construction materials.

Exterior Doors

Updating the front door and entry way is a major improvement for the value of your home since it is the first thing the buyers see and walk through. Both the front door and the garage door have a return of at least 83% when swapped out for more current fixtures. Replacing the front door with a steel door with a half-glass panel and new lockset is widely recommended since it requires significantly less maintenance than wooden doors. Spending about $2,000 on replacements for both the entryway and garage doors, is likely to result in a high chance of seeing your money returned almost in full when closing the sale.


Deciding on new roofing can be tricky when considering updates and renovations to your home during resale. A new roof may not necessarily add any value to your property depending on the rest of the conditions, but an old roof in need of extensive repair may cost you more. Buyers may work a damaged roof to their advantage and negotiate a lower selling price in order to make their own changes once the sale has been finalized. If a roof repair is on your list, you may be lucky enough to see about 67% return on your investment. Another area to consider are solar panels to improve energy and utilities efficiency.


In 2007, a study conducted by HomeGain determined that an investment of just $500 dollars towards new landscaping design brought a return of about four times the initial cost. Maintaining the landscaping can be crucial for your home. Consider it as marketing for the property — potential buyers want to see the home framed nicely and with a lawn or garden that is clearly cared for.

Cookin’ Up Repairs In The Kitchen

The kitchen is the area of the house that is the tipping point for a resale. No matter the rest of the home, buyers are going to look towards the kitchen as a priority when making their decision and putting in their offers. Even if the other rooms in the home need fixing up, most buyers are going to want move-in-ready kitchens. Kitchen projects have a wide range of options to help with upfront costs that can be anywhere between a few thousand or upwards of tens of thousands of dollars.

Minor Repairs

Updating your kitchen can be as easy as putting in some elbow grease over the course of a few weekday evenings or during a long DIY weekend. A minor kitchen remodel under $25,000 may actually see up to 87% ROI. Consider the following minimal cosmetic treatments to make the home shine:

  • replacing out-dated cabinetry, hardware, and lighting
  • updating existing flooring and molding
  • installing new appliances or countertops
  • neutral paint on the walls and ceiling throughout the home
Major Renovations

If it works within your budget and selling timeframe, you can gut the existing kitchen down to the studs and rebuild with modern functionality in mind. A major project can see a return of about 74% for the home’s overall property value. You will likely have to enlist the help of a professional kitchen and bath interior designer, but the guidance will be well worth the reduced stress compared to planning a major remodel on your own.

Replacing Windows For Maximum Efficiency

It may not seem like an obvious repair, but updating the home’s existing windows can bring about a return of nearly 79% when you sell. Single-pane, wooden windows can negatively impact the property value and increase your energy costs while you’re still living there. New windows improve curb appeal, as well as provide a source of natural light and noise reduction inside the home. The potential for your energy bills to be reduced is 25% while you’re still living within the home. The average ROI for new windows is around 87%, so there is no sense in putting off the window replacement any longer.

Homeowners in the following locations see a greater ROI when replacing windows:

  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Orlando
  • Miami
  • Chicago
  • NYC
  • Boston

Unfortunately, desert living doesn’t reflect the same benefits. In arid climates, you just won’t see the return on your investment that the bigger cities do — you’d be lucky to get a 62% return in the southwest.

Don’t just approach and tackle projects without a game plan, instead put your focus and efforts into areas that are guaranteed to improve the property value of the home. This will ensure a quicker resale experience. Consider your property against comparable home values to figure out what makes the most sense for your home. Consult your local real estate agency and peruse the previous years’ Cost vs. Value home renovation study for better direction during the resale process.

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About Charles Parker

Charles Parker is the Digital Marketing Manager for Feldco, the #1 Window Supplier and Home Renewal Company in the Midwest, based out of Chicago, IL. A home renovation and DIY enthusiast, Charles also enjoys trying new loose leaf teas from around the world and staying active with cycling and hacky sack.

View all posts by Charles Parker

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