Purchasing a home is one of the largest investments you’ll make over the course of your life. For many their home is their greatest investment and maintaining that investment is paramount. A great way to preserve its value is through good maintenance habits and updating the home as needed. Even smaller home improvement projects can be an ideal way to increase the value of your home exponentially.

Be it a small weekend project, or a major renovation that last months, each home improvement project has its own set of unique costs and concerns that you must consider before beginning- but they also have their own returns on investment. Not all changes will be worth the same amount, and there’s no set guide on how to calculate which improvements will net you the greatest return. Depending on the market and your location, some features may be worth more than they would be in another time or place. Despite this, there are some common options that are sure to offer a high ROI.

  1. Keeping your Home in Good Repair – With owning a home comes home repairs. While minor issues like a damaged porch step, a chipped backsplash tile, or a worn section of hardwood flooring may seem minor; collectively they may be considered a sign that the home has not been well maintained. Replace or repair any malfunctioning fixtures such as sinks or showers. Ensure all electrical connections, fans, and lights are operational. Obviously, major home systems such as central heating and air or appliances like a stove can be more costly, but a home without these modern conveniences may not even be considered by today’s buyers.
  2. Adding Square Footage – In terms of investing time and money, adding more usable space to your home can lead to a solid ROI. Square footage is always worth it! Although building an addition, offering a totally new space, can be a large up-front expense, converting unfinished space like an attic or basement into more usable space, can be more cost effective and can offer a higher ROI than an addition. A new family room or additional bedroom will appeal to more buyers than an unfinished space. Don’t forget that living space can also be outside- a new deck or patio area can add valuable living space to a home.
  1. Updating– While vintage and retro homes, such as mid-century modern homes, may be popular with some buyers, it is important to ensure the home is in good repair. Examine your home to identify areas that may need updating. Kitchen remodels that offer more style and usability offer fantastic ROI. Bathrooms are another room that can often benefit greatly from a remodel. Avoid costly changes with limited market appeal and lean towards more popular trends that fall in line with what’s seen in comparable homes on the market.
  1. Paint – A fresh coat of paint can help transform a house, both inside and out. Painting is an affordable way to update a room. Choosing modern colors can quickly help make a dated home feel fresh and current. Choosing calm and neutral tones allows a buyer to see themselves in the home.
  1. Doors and Windows– Tired doors and windows can easily age a home. Replacing them will not only improve the aesthetic of your home, but will also make it more energy efficient. Garage doors in particular are a great place to invest a little time and money.

Regardless of whether you’re considering a weekend project or a major remodel, understanding the return on your investment can help you make the best choice for your project. Home improvements can be costly and if you’re considering listing your home for sale in the future its even more important to be sure you can recapture your cost.