Home projects and renovations generally fall into two categories. They’re either a passion project — upgrades that personalize living spaces and make them more comfortable — or, they’re meant to increase the value of the home and, hopefully, get a return on the investment.
With some planning, you can find home projects that overlap these two spheres: they fit within your budget and improve your surroundings and are also worth the money beyond quality of life.
At around $4000, changing out your garage doors is a pretty hefty investment. Yet, remodeling experts say most homeowners recouped around 94% of the replacement cost when they sold their homes. Even if you don’t foresee selling your home in the future, an old, dented, outdated garage door decreases curb appeal. More importantly, a garage door that doesn’t open and close properly could be a safety hazard.
A fresh coat of paint throughout your home not only freshens up the aesthetic but also improves the mood of its residents. And, should you decide to sell, it presents a “cared for” vibe to potential buyers.
If selling is your main objective, stick to neutral colors and white trim. Professional painters charge, on average, $350 to $850 to paint a room, depending on the square footage and the height of the ceilings. Expect to pay up to $2400 for a 1500-square-foot home, and between $2100 and $3900 for a 2500-square-foot home.
Refurbishing the floors makes a massive aesthetic difference and improves energy efficiency. Most realtors agree that wood floors, which cost between $5 and $10 per square foot, are one of the best home investments you can make.
In tropical climates, like Florida, ceramic tile or stone flooring is a better choice. You’ll pay between $12 and $25 per square foot for these options. While most people focus solely on the aesthetic value of new flooring, you can also add better insulation underneath to deter moisture and keep the interior temperature cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Lining your attic with loose-fill insulation keeps energy costs down, which pay off over time. The average cost of fiberglass batt insulation is between $1000 and $2400. For a 500-square foot space that you insulate yourself, it could cost anywhere between $150 to $700.
Expect to pay between $1000 to $2100 for blown-in attic insulation. If you’re an experienced DIYer, you can rent a blower for around $100 per day and do the job yourself for $500 or less.
A new front door upgrades your home’s appearance as soon as it’s in place. Although classic wood doors are a traditional choice and can be repainted as you wish, they don’t hold up as well over time due to constant exposure to the elements. Most people choose either fiberglass or steel doors. While fiberglass works better amidst fluctuations in seasonal temperatures, you can’t beat the strength and security of a steel door.
If cost is a factor in your decision, you’ll find that fiberglass doors cost more than steel ones. The average cost for replacing an entry door is between $900 and $1300.
Inoperable, drafty, or inefficient windows aren’t doing you or your monthly utility costs any favors. However, it is a pricy venture to replace them. Vinyl windows run between $400 and $650 each, while wood windows will cost you between $700 and $1000, including installation. Energy experts recommend installing double-paned, energy-efficient windows with an Energy Star rating, which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, will save you between $125 and $465 a year in utility costs.
Realtors and buyers alike count outdoor living spaces as a premium when determining the value of a home. The most popular are cedar or redwood, but composite decks are close behind. In 2022, the average cost for building a deck falls between $15 to $30 per square foot. The final cost depends on the materials, style, size, and any extras you decide to add.
The siding on your home takes the brunt of Mother Nature’s wrath throughout the year. Depending on what materials you choose, on average, you can replace siding for $4300 for lower-end materials or up to $35,000 for more costly materials.
Stone is the most expensive type of siding you can install, while wood and stucco cost much less.
As a large percentage of the population ages, the demand is increasing for homes that offer accessible features, especially in the bathroom. Wider doorways and lever-style doorknobs are two popular upgrades.
Zero-clearance showers that don’t require stepping over a ledge to get in, toilets with a higher seat height, and grab bars that allow you to steady or pull yourself up are in high demand among home buyers. Costs for these upgrades range between $3000 to $15,000 on average.
Nothing spruces up your home’s curb appeal like landscaping. Plus, the possibilities are endless. Plant trees, shrubs, and flowers for added color. Include hardscapes, like decorative bridges, stone retaining walls, flagstone patios, fountains, or gazebos. If your lawn isn’t lush and green, consider replacing it with a healthier one or looking into xeriscaping.
A professional landscaping job for a ¼ acre lawn design runs around $10,000 on average, but if you’re only replacing the grass, expect to spend $3000. While simple, less-costly redos may be an easy DIY upgrade, more extensive projects are usually better off in the hands of a professional.