Summer is finally upon us -- are you going to take advantage of the prime home renovation season?
Summer affords us the free time and good weather to take on those home improvement projects that have been bumping around our brains since December.
Home improvement projects are, rewarding, fun and satisfying, but the savviest homeowners will also make them value-adds. Not all home renovation ideas are created equal -- some will add tremendous value to your home and others won't be anything other than a money pit.
When deciding what to prioritize this summer, you should be aware which projects have the best return on investment. Always balance your needs and wants -- you shouldn't force yourself into a project that you won't enjoy just because it adds value to your home.
However, a little extra knowledge can never hurt either -- maybe some of the following facts will help tips the scales one way or another as you prioritize your summer to-do list and get moving. Even if you aren't considering selling, think about the long-term. Your future-self may really appreciate the work you do this summer!
Kitchen and bath renovations usually get the best return on investment. Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List, advises that the ROI is usually around 85% for renovating these types of rooms. She does caution to remember that "the goal is to keep up with the Joneses, but don't be the leader in your neighborhood. If your neighbors all have two bathrooms, don't put three in your house."
If you'd rather avoid plumbing projects, think about upgrading the backyard. Building a deck provides a solid return on investment because it adds living space square footage at a relatively low cost, according to HouseLogic. Decks are ideal for uneven backyards, so don't get discouraged even if you have the most slanted property - these you can easily track measurements, budgeting and material inventory with an app on your phone.
If you like the idea of working outside, don't underestimate the value of putting a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your home. John Kmiecik, regional vice president for the National Association of Realtors, points out that first impressions definitely matter - "When I'm sitting with my buyers in my car and we pull up to a home, if it doesn't look halfway decent, my buyers in many cases say, 'John let's take a pass on this, because I just don't like the outside.' "
Even if you aren't immediately planning on selling, you still want a nice fresh coat of paint on your house to impress visitors, neighbors and passers by.
Another one that people often overlook is adding customizable shelving to a room that could use it. Everyone loves additional storage space, especially if it's in a room like a home office or family room where people would want to store media, books or toys.
Doityourself.com recommends installing a system that allows shelves to be moved around and re-arranged. Not only will it give you the option to give things a fresh new look down the road, it will increase the appeal of the home to buyers, since they know they can arrange the shelves how they like.
Remember, you don't need to be thinking of selling to consider home value. By choosing summer renovation projects wisely, you can enjoy a do-it-yourself project, reap the benefits of home improvement, all while putting money in the pocket of your future self by choosing a value-adding project.