While many assume that any investment into their home is a safe investment, that isn’t exactly true. Some projects yield a better ROI than others and a poorly conceived and carried out home improvement project can actually cost a homeowner way more than it should. The following six tips can help you to more wisely invest in your home.
Do plenty of research
Winging a home remodel is a recipe for disaster. You don’t want to just jump into a project and then move from one to the next without any real plan. A good place to start if good ROI is a goal is to research projects that tend to get you the best return. Try to prioritize projects that will pay for themselves over time like new attic insulation or stainless steel, energy efficient appliances. In addition to researching which projects you should do, it’s also a good idea to research the anticipated costs for such projects.
You can stretch your home improvement budget and maximize ROI by doing some of the work yourself. While you should certainly leave some job to professionals, the more you can do yourself, the more sound your investment. Some great DIY projects include repainting, upgrading light and plumbing fixtures, installing baseboard radiator covers, simple landscaping work, and swapping out cabinet hardware.
Hire the right people
Who you hire can be the difference between a successful remodel and an absolute disaster. Unless you want your contractor to take your money and disappear with the work unfinished or unsatisfactory, you need to get several estimates, ask around for recommendations and read plenty of online reviews. Don’t hire anyone without a license and proof of insurance.
Avoid changing your home’s layout
The most expensive remodels and the ones that will get you the worst return are those than involve changing your home’s layout. Building an addition or tearing down walls have all kinds of unanticipated costs. Not only will you need to hire an architect but you’ll probably need an electrician and plumber to reroute electrical wiring and plumbing, respectively. Instead try to work with your existing layout without trying to move around anything fixed whether it’s a shower/tub or the kitchen sink.
Energy efficient upgrades
The safest home improvements are the ones that make your home more energy efficient. Glazed windows that let it less light and reduce cooling costs are a safe bet. Replacing your asphalt shingle roof with metal or installing solar panels on top of your existing roof will not only add immediate value to your home but they will save you money in the form of lower energy bills.
Do the little things
A final good rule of thumb: it’s often the smallest, simplest projects that yield the best returns. Don’t sink a fortune into a luxury full-scale kitchen remodel because you’ll never find a buyer willing to pay you what it’s worth if the value of your home far exceeds that of all the neighbors. Addressing roof leaks, repainting or restaining the kitchen cabinets, and installing a tiled backsplash in the kitchen however, are small upgrades that improve the functionality and appearance of your home and will be sound investments.