A cartoon of a DIY handyman doing home improvements.

Home Improvements: Your Guide to a Better Living Space

We’ve all been there. You walk into your home after a long day, and instead of feeling comforted and relaxed, you’re met with the nagging feeling that something needs to change. Maybe the peeling paint in the hallway, the outdated kitchen cabinets, or the creaky old windows let in a draft. You realize it’s time for some home improvements.

But where do you start with home improvements?

The world of home improvement can be overwhelming, with so many projects to choose from and varying costs associated. But don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are the steps to take to transform your home into the haven you deserve. 

Step 1: Prioritize Your Projects

Before you start tearing down walls or ripping out cabinets, take a moment to prioritize your projects. Consider the improvements that will add the most value to your home and improve your quality of life. For example, remodeling your kitchen or bathroom can significantly increase your home’s value while also enhancing your daily living experience.

Step 2: Set a Budget

Home improvements can be costly, so setting a budget before you start is important. This will help you avoid overspending and ensure that you can complete your projects without breaking the bank. Remember, some improvements, such as energy-efficient upgrades, can save you money in the long run.

Step 3: Do Your Research

Once you’ve prioritized your projects and set a budget, it’s time to do some research. Look into the cost of materials, labor, and any other expenses associated with your projects. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and help you plan accordingly.

Step 4: Get Your Hands Dirty

Now comes the fun part: getting your hands dirty. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring professionals, there’s nothing like seeing your home transform. Remember, home improvements are not only about increasing your home’s value but also about creating a space that you love.

Step 5: Enjoy Your New Space

Once the dust has settled and the work is done, it’s time to enjoy your new space. Whether you’ve added a new deck, remodeled your kitchen, or simply given your walls a fresh coat of paint, take the time to appreciate your hard work and enjoy your improved home.

Home improvements can be daunting, but with the right planning and prioritization, you can transform your home into a space that adds value and brings you joy. So don’t wait; start your home improvement journey today!

Understanding Home Improvements: What Adds Value and What Doesn’t?

When it comes to home improvements, not all projects are created equal. Some can add significant value to your home, while others may not offer a good return on investment. Let’s delve into the world of home improvements and discover which projects are worth your time and money.

Kitchen Remodeling: A Worthwhile Investment

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, and for good reason. It’s where meals are prepared, family and friends gather, and memories are made. So, it’s no surprise that kitchen remodels are among the top home improvements that add value to your home. 

Upgrading your kitchen doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul. Even minor updates like replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models, installing new countertops, or adding a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference. Remember, potential homebuyers often pay special attention to the kitchen, so any improvements in this area are likely to pay off.

Bathroom Boost: Increase Your Home’s Appeal

Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are the most scrutinized by potential buyers. A well-designed and updated bathroom can significantly increase your home’s appeal and value. This could involve replacing outdated fixtures, installing new tiles, or even adding an entirely new bathroom if your home only has one. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while bathroom remodels can increase your home’s value; they can also be costly. Therefore, planning your remodel carefully is crucial and ensuring it’s a good investment.

Attic or Basement Remodel: Expand Your Living Space

If you’re looking to add more living space to your home, consider remodeling your attic (yes) or basement (not so much in Oklahoma!). This can be a cost-effective way to increase your home’s value, as renovating existing space is often cheaper than adding on. Whether you turn your attic into a spare bedroom or your basement into a home theater, this type of remodel can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Deck Addition: Enhance Your Outdoor Space

Adding a deck to your home provides additional living space and enhances your outdoor area, making it more appealing to potential buyers. Adding a deck can be relatively inexpensive compared to other home improvements yet offer a high return on investment.

Energy Efficiency: A Smart Move

In today’s environmentally-conscious world, energy-efficient upgrades are becoming increasingly important. These can range from installing energy-efficient appliances to improving your home’s insulation. Not only can these improvements reduce your energy bills, but they can also increase your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers.

While these home improvements can add value to your home, it’s important to remember that not all projects will offer a good return on investment. For example, while a swimming pool might seem like a luxury that would increase your home’s value, it can actually deter some buyers due to the high maintenance costs. Similarly, converting your garage into a living space might seem like a good idea, but it can actually decrease your home’s value if off-street parking is highly valued in your area.

In the end, the best home improvements are those that add value to your home and improve your quality of life. So, before you start any project, do your research, set a budget, and, most importantly, choose improvements you’ll enjoy.

DIY vs. Hiring Professionals: Making the Right Choice

When it comes to home improvements, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether to do it yourself (DIY) or hire professionals. This decision can significantly impact your project’s cost, timeline, and outcome. 

DIY: A Cost-Effective Option

If you’re handy and enjoy the satisfaction of creating or fixing things with your own two hands, DIY could be a great option for you. It can save you money on labor costs and give you the freedom to work at your own pace and make changes as you see fit. 

However, DIY isn’t for everyone. It requires time, patience, and a certain level of skill. If you’re not confident in your abilities or don’t have the necessary tools, you could end up spending more time and money fixing mistakes. 

Hiring Professionals: A Time-Saving Solution

On the other hand, hiring professionals can save you a lot of time and stress. Professionals have the experience and expertise to get the job done right the first time. They can also handle larger, more complex projects that might be beyond your DIY abilities.

However, hiring professionals can be more expensive than doing it yourself. It’s also important to do your research and hire reputable professionals to ensure you get quality work.

The Impact of Home Improvements on Your Home’s Value

While home improvements can enhance your living experience, it’s also important to consider how they’ll impact your home’s value. Some improvements can significantly increase your home’s value, while others might not provide a good return on investment.

Improvements That Add Value

According to a report by CNBC, the top four home renovation projects with the best returns on investment are HVAC electrification, garage door replacement, stone veneer siding, and steel entry door replacement. Minor kitchen remodeling also provides high returns, but major kitchen and bathroom renovations do not. 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, the following chart shows the costs recovered from various projects.

ProjectCost Recovery
Add New Primary Bedroom Suite56%
Add New Bathroom63%
Kitchen Upgrade67%
Bathroom Renovation71%
Complete Kitchen Renovation75%
Attic Conversion to Living Area75%
Closet Renovation83%
Basement Conversion to Living Area86%
Insulation Upgrade100%
New Wood Flooring118%
Hardwood Flooring Refinish147%

Improvements That Might Not Add Value

On the other hand, some home improvements might not add as much value as you’d think. For example, while a swimming pool might seem like a luxury that would increase your home’s value, it can actually deter some buyers due to the high maintenance costs. Similarly, converting your garage into a living space might seem like a good idea, but it can actually decrease your home’s value if off-street parking is highly valued in your area.

To sum it up, when planning home improvements, it’s important to consider the cost and your personal preferences and how the improvements will impact your home’s value. By making smart decisions, you can create a home that’s not only more enjoyable to live in but also more valuable.

Navigating the Costs: Budgeting for Home Improvements

Home improvements can be a significant investment, so it’s crucial to budget wisely. The cost of home improvements can vary greatly depending on the project’s size, complexity, and the materials used. Here’s how to navigate the costs and budget for your home improvements.

Understanding the Costs

The first step in budgeting for home improvements is understanding the costs involved. This includes the cost of materials, labor, and any permits or fees. It’s also important to factor in a contingency for unexpected costs, as home improvement projects often end up costing more than initially anticipated.

Setting a Budget

Once you have a rough idea of the costs, you can set a budget. This should be a realistic figure that you can afford without stretching your finances too thin. Remember, doing a smaller project well is better than cutting corners on a larger project.

Saving Money on Home Improvements

There are several ways to save money on home improvements. One is to do some or all of the work yourself, although this should only be attempted if you’re confident in your abilities and have the necessary tools. Another is to shop around for materials and labor to ensure you’re getting the best price. 

Home Improvements: A Journey, Not a Destination

Home improvements are a journey, not a destination. They’re about making your home a better place to live, not just increasing its value. So, remember to enjoy the process, whether you’re planning a major renovation or a minor update. After all, the goal of home improvements is to create a home that you love.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on home improvements may seem like a daunting task at first glance. However, by employing effective planning and prioritization techniques, you have the power to embark on a transformative journey that will not only enhance the value of your home but also fill your heart with immense joy. Whether you choose to revamp your kitchen, give your bathroom a modern facelift, or even add a stunning deck to your abode, each project you undertake brings you closer to the realization of your dream home. So why delay any further? Embrace the opportunity to embark on your remarkable home improvement journey today and unlock the boundless potential that awaits you!

Home Improvements FAQs

What are major improvements to a home?

Major home improvements typically involve structural changes to your home. This could include remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, adding an extension or a deck, or converting your attic or basement into a living space.

What’s the difference between home improvement and remodeling?

Home improvement generally refers to projects that improve the functionality or value of your home. This could include anything from painting a room to adding a deck. Remodeling, on the other hand, typically involves more significant changes to the structure or layout of your home.

What adds the biggest value to a house?

itchen and bathroom remodeling, adding living space, and enhancing curb appeal are among the home improvements that can add the most value to a house.

What is the most common home improvement?

The most common home improvement projects include painting, bathroom remodeling, and kitchen remodeling.