Find out how these home improvements can maximize your return at resale.
#1 Minor Bathroom Remodel
Average return at resale: 102 percent
It costs about $10,500 to replace the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity, and fixtures. You’ll get back an average of $10,700 at resale, a recoup rate of 102 percent.
If you can pipe a child’s name on a birthday cake, you can re-caulk a tub. Use a softener like CAULK-BE-GONE to get rid of the old caulk. Fill the tub with water after you’re done to stretch caulk while it dries.
If your old tub is too large to fit out the door, re-glaze it for a like-new finish. Cost: $300 to $400.
Remove dated wall coverings and apply a fresh coat of paint. For damaged walls, spray-on texture provides quick coverage.
Replace old shower doors or remove them to add the illusion of space.
NOTE: ROI values and remodeling costs are subject to change.
#2 Minor Kitchen Remodel
Average return at resale: 98.5 percent
A minor kitchen remodel averages $15,000 for $14,775 at resale, a recoup rate of 98.5 percent. Do a minor remodel when your kitchen needs a cosmetic update and not a drastically different floor plan.
A $15,000 kitchen update covers 30 feet of re-facing for cabinets and drawers, a new wall oven, cooktop, sink and fixtures, laminate countertops and resilient flooring.
Put recessed lights 3’ to 5’ apart on center and 18″ from cabinets to light the countertops. Running the lights between two joists is easier than running through the joists.
Cover old vinyl with floor leveler so the pattern doesn’t bleed through. You can’t put a second layer of vinyl on if the subfloor is below-grade concrete.
Brighten up the kitchen by sanding and painting existing cabinets. It’s much less expensive than buying new ones.
#3 Deck, Patio or Porch Addition
Average return at resale: 90.3 percent
Adding a 16×20 ft. pressure-treated wood deck with a simple pattern costs about $11,000. At resale, you’ll get about $10,000 of that back, a recoup rate of 90 percent.
Add eye-appeal with decorative planters on the front porch, patio and decks.
Give a courtyard an impressive entry with an inviting gate, lighting and mature plantings. Small improvements will have a big impact at closing.
Use bold plantings to emphasize features, or to distract the eye from flaws.
Run-down stairs lower your profit margin, so make sure porch railings are safe and attractive.
Camouflage unattractive air conditioning units with a wooden trellis.
In the West, the recoup rate reaches nearly 100 percent.
#4 Basement Remodel
Average return at resale: 90.1 percent
The average basement remodel costs just over $51,051 and returns $46,010, so you’ll recoup about 90 percent of the cost.
What do you get for $51,051? A 20 x 30 entertaining area with wet bar, a 5×8 bath, recessed lighting and a laminate floor.
Remember when finishing walls, you should keep your drywall panels a half-inch away from concrete floors, so they don’t absorb moisture.
Always fix flooding problems first. Add French drains, bigger gutters or re-slope the yard to keep water out. Test to make sure the fixes work before investing time or materials in a basement.
Want just the wet bar? Buy 10 linear feet of cabinets, a laminate countertop, a stainless steel drop-in bar sink and an under-counter refrigerator for about $2,500.
Cover concrete floors with an easy-to-install modular subfloor so floors won’t be cold. Add carpet squares with a traction backing for an amazing transformation.
In the West, basement remodels return 108 percent of cost.
#5 Living Room Updates – Decor
Average return at resale: 66 percent
It costs around $1,350 for staging and updating living room decor with new light switches, outlet covers, floor registers, crown molding, chair rails, and drapes, plus fresh flowers and accessories.
Details add dollars. Crown molding gives a room a crisp, clean finish that buyers love. Choose molding that complements window trim and floorboards. Prices start at around $1.40 per linear foot.
Shift furniture away from the walls to make living rooms feel larger and more contemporary. Create a seating area around a feature you want buyers to notice, like a dramatic fireplace.
If you’re staging your home to sell, don’t move excess furniture and clutter into the garage. Rent a storage unit for about $1 per square foot per month.
New window coverings are a cost-conscious way to add a punch of designer color. For low ceilings, create the illusion of height by positioning drapes and valances higher on the wall.