Whether you’re thinking of selling your home this year — or just like the idea of a return on your investment (who doesn’t?) — certain ROI home improvements can not only make your home look better, but also increase its market value. “The value of a home improvement varies significantly through two dimensions: your current home value and your location,” says Beatrice de Jong, realtor and consumer trends expert at Opendoor, whose home improvement calculator can help you determine which home improvement and remodeling projects are the biggest affect the value of your home. “Understanding how much a project could potentially add to resale value is the first step in determining whether or not the investment will pay off,” she adds. Read on for a few DIY projects that have proven themselves.
Make a good first impression
“Your entryway or foyer can be an incredibly important place when it comes to the value of your home, as it sets the overall tone for the rest of the space,” says Toronto-based interior designer Ali Budd. “Invest in beautiful tiles and beautiful lighting. Make sure the cabinets are done to perfection with a combination of hanging shelves and drawers. Normally, doors should be consistent throughout the home except for the foyer. Take this moment to create something special, such as: E.g. paneled wood, applied moldings and beautiful hardware.”
Beautify your outdoor space
According to de Jong, buyers can add between about 5% and 12% more value to a home with a manicured landscape. The space doesn’t have to be big, but well thought out. Budd suggests incorporating four main elements: a place to eat, a place to relax, lighting, and greenery for beauty and privacy. “Old-growth trees can be hard to come by and expensive, but even simple trellises with intertwined greenery can provide a lot of privacy between houses and add a big green punch,” she says. If you have the budget, Budd also recommends installing floor lighting. “And if your budget doesn’t allow it,” she says, “don’t underestimate the impact of some pretty fairy lights.” At the front, de Jong says, consider putting up flower boxes, “and don’t forget your front door,” she says . “Give them a fresh coat of paint and maybe even a seasonal wreath.”
Create more storage space
“That sense of calm that comes with knowing there’s a place for everything is unmatched,” says Budd. “The biggest unaesthetic question our customers ask is: do I have enough storage space?” In the living area, freestanding cabinets with drawers allow for quick decluttering, especially for families with young children. In the kitchen, full-depth tall cabinets with pull-out shelves make for great pantry, dish and small appliance storage. “You can also make your kitchen feel twice as big,” says Budd. She notes one limitation: “Open shelves are displays – not warehouses.”
Give it a fresh coat of paint
A freshly painted room will look bright and refreshed – and is pretty easy to do yourself. “Color changes everything!” says Portland, Maine-based interior designer Heidi Lachapelle. “Whether it’s picking the right shade of white or just reapplying what was there before, paint cleans everything instantly.” For a simple, modern approach, she suggests mixing the ceiling, paneling and walls in the same one color and to paint with the same shine. “With time and patience, even a novice can make a fresh coat of paint look professional,” says de Jong. “You don’t need a lot of equipment, and there are tons of tutorials online that go into great detail. Light, neutral colors have the greatest appeal and add significant value to a home.” If possible, opt for a higher quality paint, as inferior paint will chip more easily and require more coats – and don’t skip the primer!