7 Home Improvements that Add Value to Your Home and Your Life
Increasing your home value is usually a key consideration when choosing a home improvement project. Some rennovations can also help your home sell more quickly when the time comes. However you should also think about how a renovation can improve your life. Think how a remodel will improve your comfort, convenience and joy. These additions improve your overall quality of life without breaking the bank. With spring around the corner and for many of us a tax refund coming, there is no better time than now to be inspired by these ideas and make changes to your home! We built our list around the average U.S. income tax refund, which in 2017 was $3,120 according to the IRS.
Bathrooms remodels are best
According to real estate database company Zillow, a mid-range bathroom remodel of around $3,000 is one of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home. Upgrading the toilet and faucets if needed, replacing light fixtures and switching to a pedestal sink or stone countertop with double sinks can return $1.71 in home value for every $1 spent. Upgrading to a frameless shower, costing between $1,200 and $2,500, resulted in overall sold value increase of five percent above expected value and a sale 38 days sooner, according to Zillow keyword research. While the life-changing value of a nicer bathroom perhaps goes unsaid, there are amenities worth considering: a multi-function showerhead, heated towel bars, even a heated floor.
Kitchen updates range from simple to complex
Kitchens are one of the more critical selling features in homes these days. Kitchens have become the center of family activity and a major decorating point of difference in any house. A dated kitchen can be a home sale downer. Fortunately, in many cases you can give your kitchen a trendy makeover for not much money. Resurfacing cabinets or even just changing out the hardware can make a big difference. Adding subway tile or redoing the backsplash updates the look in a weekend. Often a good cleaning and a cool no-hands faucet make your sink like new. Depending upon the size of your kitchen, these upgrades fit within our tax deduction investment. For life value you’ll soon see how much time you spend in your kitchen when you update its look. How did we live with that old faucet all these years?
Fung shui your closet
Is your closet a nightmare? Do you constantly have to reorganize so you can fit all of your clothes inside? A closet makeover might be the right step for you! We use our closets daily and that much traffic trying to choose outfits can cause chaos. Simple fixes abound. Start by organizing. Most people only wear 20 percent of the items in their closet, according to a California Closets designer referenced in a Wall Street Journal article titled, “A Closet Filled with Regrets.” Installing shelving to organize smaller items, and a dedicated shoe rack to minimize time spent hunting for a matching pair, are two fast and simple solutions for your problems. Closet organizers range from simple inserts you purchase and install yourself to custom closets with built-ins galore. Closet remodels run from $1,000 to $3,000 for materials and installation, according to Home and Garden TV. Closets are a big determining factor for your home value. Imagine a potential homebuyer looking into your closet. You also get immediate life value too. Mornings are stressful enough; having an organized closet is one way to start your day on a positive note.
Upgrade home and garage attic storage
Reducing clutter, being better organized and gaining more living space are goals for many homeowners. Certainly your home shows better to prospective buyers if it is neat and orderly. That said, most of us face a conundrum: do we have too much stuff or not enough space? Capitalizing on storage space in your home or garage attic is a fairly inexpensive home improvement. It is a permanent enhancement at far less cost than hauling your stuff to a storage facility and paying a monthly fee. Installing an attic flooring system can range from simple plywood to snap-in systems to finished floors. Easy attic access is key. Carrying storage bins, boxes, Christmas and Halloween decorations, et cetera up and down stairs or ladders is a pain, even dangerous. Fairly new to the scene are attic lifts, motorized platforms that carry storage items between floors. SpaceLift Products makes a lift with computer controlled smart safety features, no restriction on how high you can stack items, and a low profile base making loading and unloading easy. It carries up to 200 pounds and 24 cubic feet of cargo per trip. Transferring items to the attic and back down takes the push of a button and three inches per second travel time. It fits between attic floor joists; installation is easy requiring basic carpentry skills. Many are installed as DIY projects or you can pay a bit more for installation by a handyman or remodeling contractor. SpaceLift makes two models selling for $1,895 and $1,995 with free shipping and a two-year factory warranty. For prospective homebuyers, an attic lift is a unique solution to a vexing problem that makes your home stand out from the crowd. For life value, New York Times Bestselling Author Marie Kondo titled her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” ‘Nuff said?
Consider an outdoor fire pit
Fire pits offer different pleasures in every season. Something primordial in all of us makes gathering around the fire a special pleasure. During the summer months the pit is a perfect place to roast marshmallows, eating them right off the stick or building lots of gooey s’mores! The fire’s warmth makes your backyard the perfect place to relax and chase away evening chills of fall and spring. It’s a great place to hang out with a hot chocolate on a snowy winter afternoon. Fire pits can cost from $100 for a simple, transportable iron bowl you sit on the ground to $1,400 to $5,000 for a professionally installed stone pit or outdoor fireplace. Fire pits are among the most popular outdoor living features, according to The Spruce. It is another unique amenity that makes your home more distinctive with prospective buyers. And it offers many memorable evenings between now and when you sell the house.
Add an outdoor dining area
Having space beyond the walls of your home is an exotic and fun alternative to traditional dining. On a beautiful day the ability to enjoy the weather is made simple by adding an outdoor dining area. This improvement can be as simple or complex as you desire. Your outdoor space can be a table and chairs on the lawn or the equivalent of adding an extra room to your house. Dining al fresco has been a hot restaurant trend for years. Now homeowners are creating the same vibe on their patios and decks. Country Living magazine wrote last year the number one trend was a seamless transition from your home to your outdoor living space. People are using indoor-appearing furniture, side tables and throw pillows, on their outdoor patios and decks. Temporary or permanent screen houses extend the evening and space heaters extend the season. Home Depot has outdoor furniture sets starting below $500 and going up to $3,500 and more. Adding a deck or patio has always been known to add value to your home; making it an outdoor dining and living area adds value to your home and your lifestyle.
Install a bay window
A bay window is its own magic space. The extra panels of glass create panoramic views and pour extra natural light into the room. The bay window’s distinctive architecture becomes a focal point in your home. It adds curb appeal and memorability, boosting your home’s resale value. Add a cushioned seat and the window becomes a special nook for you or a place for your cat to luxuriate in the sun. (Some models add a bit of extra storage under the seat.) The most common rooms to install this feature window are bedrooms, home offices and living rooms. Installation and window unit costs range from $500 to more than $3,000 depending upon window size, materials and other factors according to Home Advisor.