Yahoo Homes recently came out with an article that listed the Top 10 most popular home remodeling projects that aren’t worth your money. Apparently, even though the economy is in revival mode (didn’t you get the memo?), these 10 projects won’t give you the return on your investment when you sell your home.
The trouble is, maybe you’re not going to be selling your home, maybe you plan on sticking around for a few years. Maybe (gasp!) you even plan on raising all of your kids in your home until you send the youngest off to college (and your oldest is only 6 now). But we digress. Let’s get to the list, and see what other options there are for your hard earned dollar.
Here’s a thought: liven up your outdoor space instead! Invest in new patio furniture, some potted plants, even outdoor lighting to cast a soft glow. Stain your deck or have brick or concrete refinished, and you’ve added outdoor living space at a mere fraction of the cost. Done.
2. Home office remodel (ROI: 48.7 %, Cost: $29,066, Resale value: $14,155)
If you’re in need of a dedicated office space, make use of a corner of your basement. Cordon off a section of space with a room divider, throw down a plush area rug, add drywall or even room dividers with cork board for extra wall space. Hang curtains from extension roads to hide concrete walls and use floor lamps for additional lighting. Now, you'll just need to figure out how to keep the kids out...
3. Upscale Master Suite Addition (ROI: 53.7%, Cost: $236,363, Resale value: $126,860)
HouseLogic, a National Association of Realtors’ site recommends taking advantage of existing spaces instead, by converting an attic or basement. We concur. Other options include an overhaul of your existing space. Have your carpets professionally cleaned, remove everything from your closets and install a closet organizer. Update furniture by repurposing furniture. Use end tables for nightstands and take the old night stands and convert them into storage for the master bath, adding a concrete or granite top (small sections of which can be found on the cheap). If you have wood floors, have them refinished and bring in an area rug with new colors, add interesting artwork – blow up black and white family photos and simple words to frame over the headboard. Add task and mood lighting and update draperies and bedding.
4. Upscale Garage Addition (ROI: 54.7 %, Cost: $85,592, Resale value: $46,791)
Rather than adding on, try a remodel of your existing garage space. Add some simple wall hooks to get all those brooms and rakes out of the way, pick up some wire shelving to store all your outdoor shoes. Hang some plastic crates sideways for storing towels, rags, tools, bug sprays and other garage essentials. A coat of black paint on the outside of the garage door will keep the door from showing all those dirt and scuff marks so prevalent on typical white doors. And a large welcome mat will keep dirt and grass where it belongs – outside!
5. Bathroom Addition or Remodel (ROI: 57.8 – 59.8%, Cost: $39,578 - $76,429)
Rather than adding a new bathroom or spending a fortune on an upscale remodel, focus on sprucing up the one you’ve got! You can use Interior Designers’ tricks to make your bathroom remodel look high-end. Instead of spending a large chunk of your budget on a custom pattern-tiled shower surround, choose a less expensive tile and add a small section of patterned tile to give the room a customized look. Rather than opting for all the most expensive fixtures, pick one high end item you must have, and make that the focal point of the room – a glass bowl sink, for example – and then go with lower-cost fixtures for the bath, shower and cabinetry to save on budget.
6. New Upscale Composite Deck (ROI: 58.9 %, Cost: $36,385, Resale value: $21,437)
Composite decking is growing in popularity and the material lasts longer and comes with extended warranties. But as the Yahoo news article mentions, it can cost up to seven times as much as pressure-treated wood, and costs more to install. If you do plan on staying in your home for many years, and don’t mind the upfront costs, you might want to consider going with composite decking. But if you have to stick to a budget, your wallet will thank you for choosing pressure-treated wood.
7. Major Kitchen Remodel (ROI: 59 %, Cost: $113,097, Resale value: $66,747)
As with a bathroom, a kitchen can be remodeled without spending a fortune. Use those same Designers’ tricks to get a high-end look on a budget. Rather than choosing all commercial-grade appliances and the highest end countertops, shop around! You can usually find deals on “floor models” of appliances, and these stores typically have a few high-end models with scratches or dings that they’re willing to sell at a discounted price. Chances are, once that fridge or stove is installed, no one will be able to see the scratch in the side, anyway. You can also opt for a lower-grade of cabinet and choose a more expensive hardware to give it a higher-end look.
As with any home project, look before you leap. There are usually ways to cut costs without scrimping on quality.
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