Let’s take a quick quiz:
Which is the top home improvement project that brings the best return on investment?
A. A major kitchen remodel
B. A bathroom addition
C. A bedroom upgrade
D. A minor kitchen remodel
While all these projects add value, beauty and function to your home, itâ€™s the minor kitchen remodel that comes out on top this time, according to REMODEL Magazine.
For 2018, the highest-ranking return-on-investment project was the minor kitchen remodel (81.1 percent) while a major kitchen remodel only returned 59 percent, said Michael Stoskopf, CEO, HBA of Southeastern Michigan.
â€śREMODELING found a similar pattern with bathroom projects, with the highest returning project being a Universal Design bathroom renovation at 70.6 percent while a bathroom addition project only returned 59 percent,â€ť he said.
But todayâ€™s buyers also have another focus in addition to traditional kitchen and master bedroom/bathroom remodels â€“ and technically itâ€™s not even inside your home. Itâ€™s the great outdoors.
â€śAnother area gaining popularity is outdoor living space, including the transition from the house to the outdoor patio/veranda,â€ť said Stoskopf in an email.
Most homeowners will undergo a home renovation project for one of two reasons: They want to increase enjoyment of the home they plan to live in for years or they plan to sell and want to make the home as attractive as they can to potential buyers.
Both are great reasons, but just remember that they are not the same, he said.
â€śHomeowners must weigh the time and cost for any planned remodeling project against the outcome they hope for once the project is completed,â€ť said Stoskopf. â€śFor a consumer looking to ultimately sell their home soon after the project or projects are completed, the decision is decidedly more of a financial one, centered around investment cost vs. expected increase in the sales price. On the other hand, for a consumer who is looking to keep their home for years to come following the project, the decision becomes a much more emotional one, centered around the expected enjoyment of their new space.â€ť
So how can a homeowner decide which home improvement project is best for their specific situation? Again, look at the reasons behind your decision. If you seek increased comfort or convenience, begin upgrades that will â€śmake the home your own,â€ť said Stoskopf.
If you are preparing to sell, consider those projects that will improve your financial windfall after the sale of your home, he said.
In addition to home remodels, those looking to place their home on the market will benefit from taking the time to hire a home inspector to walk through the property. This professional can identify items in need of repair and/or replacement so a prospective buyer spends their time falling in love with your home and dreaming about their familyâ€™s future there instead of taking notes on what needs fixing or upgrading, said Stoskopf.
For most people, a home is the biggest investment they will make, so protect your investment by hiring a qualified home contractor.
â€śWhether you are trying to gain value prior to a sale or making the house you just bought into a home that fits your lifestyle and taste, take the time necessary to ensure you select licensed and insured professionals that you trust to do the work,â€ť said Michael Stoskopf, CEO, HBA of Southeastern Michigan.
He offers these tips:
â€˘ Consider members of a nationally-recognized residential construction industry trade association, such as the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan
â€˘ Strive to get at least three bids in order to better ascertain what the real price of your project will be before starting/committing to it