Home improvements increase the value of your home, with many home improvements creating a lasting increase in the value of 10 years or more. This means that you are likely to recoup at least a portion of your home improvement costs at the time that you sell your home. According to the annual Cost vs. Value report put out by Remodeling Magazine, the amount of return on investment that you’ll get will vary depending on the project, region, and on the types of materials that you use in your home. If you’re planning on selling your home within 10 years of making your home improvements, you may want to think about how to maximize some of those returns to help your home increase in value.

Getting the Best Return on Value

Part of what gives you the biggest return on value for your home improvements is making sure that your improvements are in line with both the rest of your home and the area where you live. For example, if you have a split level ranch in a neighborhood filled with similarly sized homes, you’re going to get a better return on mid-range materials and upgrades. If you were to put in luxury upgrades into that same home, you wouldn’t get nearly the same return, because you’d have to price the house far outside the norm for that style of home and neighborhood. On the other hand, if you live in a wealthy neighborhood and have a home that reflects this, you’re best returns will be on those luxury upgrades because they are expected for your neighborhood and type of home.

Another factor that will help get bigger returns on investment is something known as universal design. Universal design means creating a layout and design within your home that anyone could use regardless of age or ability. One example of this would be to install faucets that have lever handles, rather than cross handles or knobs. Levers are easy to use even for young children, the elderly, and people who have arthritis or other issues that could make it difficult to turn a cross-handled knob. Other examples of universal design include:

  • Using universal height toilets and counters in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Making sure that entryways are large and you leave plenty of space for maneuverability in all rooms
  • Keeping thresholds low and easy to cross

These little changes don’t make a big impact visually, but they do have a big impact on getting the best return on your investment because it means that more people would be open to purchasing your home.

The last major factor to consider in getting the best return on your investment has to do with creating mass appeal. You can’t please everyone, nor should you try. But if you’re considering installing a color-washed, turquoise hardwood floor in your living room, you may find that you have less return on this than you would on a traditional maple or red oak wood floor because it will appeal to fewer people.

Consider the Timing

Remember that home improvements tend to hold their value for about 10 years, and they do decrease in value over that time frame so the new floors you put in this year will get you less of a return nine years from now than if you sell today. It’s important to keep this time frame in mind when you plan your home improvements.

Do you plan on staying in your home for 10 years or longer? If the answer is yes, then make improvements that are going to benefit you and make you happy – even if that’s a turquoise floor or a bold red bathroom. Are you planning on selling in less than five years? If the answer to this is yes, then plan your improvements around what’s getting the best returns right now by checking out the Cost vs. Value report for your region, and make choices that will both benefit you now and help you get the biggest return later.

Quality of Work

Finally, investing in quality materials and craftsmanship will usually get you a better return in the long run, simply because these things last. Choose the best Pro and materials that you can afford to ensure that your improvements last as long as possible.

If you’re ready to get started, sign up today to get matched with a Pro in your area who can help you maximize your home improvement dreams and investments.