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5 Renovation Projects with the Best Return on Investment

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Homeowners and homebuyers alike have the struggle of deciding if they should renovate a home. Renovations can cost thousands of dollars and be very time consuming - making buyers cringe and sellers groan. How can you avoid these headaches?

When thinking of potential renovation projects it is important to consider if the costs are going to outweigh the benefits. If you're hoping to sell your home soon - one to two years - you want to prioritize projects that are going to give you the most return on your investment. Ultimately you should make decisions based on your budget, time constraints, and the type of home you are renovating. A modern kitchen can look out of place in a historic home just as wood paneling looks dated in a newer, updated home. The projects below can be adapted to many different styles and budgets, making them a good starting point for those looking to both upgrade their home and spend wisely.

1. Entry Door Replacement/Remodel

According to Remodeling Magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value index, the national average ROI for replacing an entry door with a new steel door is 101.8%. There are many other options for door renovations as well, including low cost DIY projects such as adding a fresh coat of paint or installing numbers or new hardware, which can increase value with less out-of-pocket expense. Think of it this way - people are going to judge your home by its curbside appeal just as they judge books by their cover.

2. Insulating the Attic

Insulating your attic is a triple threat - energy efficient, money saving, and a high return on investment. In fact an insulated attic recoups (on average) 116.9% of its investment. This renovation typically costs less than $2000 and will help in the long term by cutting energy and heating bills for monthly savings. It will also be to your benefit if circumstances change and you decide to stay in your home long term.

3. Adding an Attic Bedroom

If you have the space, time, and money, converting an attic space into a bedroom can be a worthwhile project. Creating an attic bedroom typically will increase your home value by $39,908 because you are adding additional square footage. However it is important to note that the costs of this renovation can add up quickly. Consider that you'll need to strengthen the floors, have stair access, and add a window.

4. Remodeling the Kitchen

A kitchen remodel is consistently at the top of most desired renovation projects and the benefits for potential homebuyers can be huge. Having an updated kitchen will increase your resale value while making a big impression on buyers, but it is important to consider how this space will integrate with the rest of your home. Kitchen remodels can be extremely costly; go in with an idea of what you are looking to replace entirely and what you can remodel. If you are planning on purchasing new appliances, consider lower cost options for other aspects of the kitchen such as re-facing countertops or refinishing and replacing knobs on cabinets.

"Since kitchens are what really attract buyers, it is important to use reputable contractors who can do the job right, " says Michael Conville, CEO of Beacon Construction Group, a luxury contracting company in Palm Beach Florida. "Paying to have the job done right means you won't have to spend dollars re-doing small details."

5. Siding Replacement

The appeal of new siding goes back to the first item on this list - curb appeal. New siding can completely change the look of your home. It can bring a modern touch or a rustic feel that will bring your home's look together. Fiber cement and vinyl siding have the highest ROI of siding options according to the 2015 Cost vs. Value study and vary in cost, yet replacement jobs such as this are typically better for returns. This is a great option for those that feel satisfied with a home's interior but are looking for a major appearance change.

No matter the renovation, make sure you keep in mind not only the potential buyer but your own opinions as well. Renovating something simply because it is trendy can mean a dated home in just a few years!