Home improvement, also known as remodeling, is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s home. The goal is to improve the house’s appearance and functionality. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including: Adding beauty and style, improving comfort, addressing safety issues, and increasing resale value.
Regardless of motivation, most homeowners undertaking a remodel or renovation hope the project will boost their home’s value, says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at contractor search and homeowner finance site Angi. But “not all home projects add value,” she warns. “And some actually detract from it.”
The most valuable home improvements are those that pay off when it comes time to sell the house, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. Among the most valuable upgrades are kitchens, baths and master suites. Other worthwhile projects include refinishing hardwood floors, upgrading insulation and replacing garage doors. It’s important to remember that buyers may not appreciate your taste. For example, if you install marble flooring in your bathroom, it will likely be too high-end for most buyers. It’s best to keep upgrades in line with the rest of the neighborhood.
It’s also a good idea to avoid going into debt for home improvements. Taking out loans and credit cards can lead to financial disaster when interest rates rise and your renovation is finished. Instead, save up cash and opt for the least expensive projects to minimize your debt load.