Do you need to renovate your home before selling?

Recommends what home renovations worth investment

Which home renovation is worth spending depends on your project goals and budget.

If you plan to maximize the value of your home for later resale, consider investing in low-cost projects that offer a high return on investment. On the other hand, if your goal is to create a space tailored to your unique lifestyle, you can consider projects dedicated to increasing the comfort and usability of your living space.

Which home improvement is worth investing in?

The renovations worth investing in are those necessary to prepare your home for a potential buyer. Depending on the current state of your home, this may mean completing a major renovation or refreshing the home’s overall aesthetic for a more dated look.

“Buyers want to make sure they don’t overspend when they buy a home,” said Jill Franks, a leading interior designer and project manager at California-based home improvement company Freemodel, which is dedicated to maximizing property values.

There are several home improvements that will increase the value of your home, but finding one that provides a high return on investment will help you determine the best use of your budget.

Build an add-on

Add a new bathroom

Average price: 80,000 dollars

Average value: 50,000 dollars

Return on investment: 63%

The total cost of the project will depend on whether you want to add a full bathroom with a tub or shower or a half bathroom without. Depending on how many bathrooms your home currently has and the ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms, if you plan to stay for a while, adding an additional bathroom can make your home more livable or increase property value, especially if your home currently only has one bathroom.

The cost also depends on whether you’re adding extra square footage to your home with an addition or freeing up space in your current floor plan. If you can find a way within your existing floor plan and the extra bathroom adds significant value to your real estate price, then it may be worth the investment, says Franks.

Add a new bedroom

Average price: $172,500

Average value: $100,000

Return on investment: 56%

According to Franks, like adding a bathroom, adding a bedroom is only something to consider if it increases your comfort or the value of the property by at least twice the investment cost. This is because it takes time to get permits to build the addition and complete the project.

It’s also one of the most expensive home renovations a homeowner can make. However, if homeowners can find extra space in their existing floor plan to add an extra room, they can reduce the cost and timeline of the project, making the investment worthwhile.

Renovate your kitchen

Average price: 80,000 dollars

Average value: 60,000 dollars

Return on investment: 75%

Kitchen renovations often involve removing existing kitchen cabinets and countertops and replacing them with an updated floor plan. It’s more expensive than a minor renovation, which can be as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint and updating the hardware.

If you’re planning to put your home on the market, a small update may be just what your kitchen needs to freshen up the space so that a potential buyer can envision themselves in the home. However, one thing to remember when selling is to avoid emotional attachment to your personal aesthetic and stick to timeless colors and finishes so that potential buyers can imagine themselves living in the home for a long time.

Renovate your bathroom

Average price: $35,000

Average value: $25,000

Return on investment: 71%

If your bathroom space is limited, you can increase its functionality by updating its current layout. This maximizes your available square footage and is more cost-effective than building an additional bathroom from scratch. Refreshing your existing space can also add a unique flavor to your home that sets it apart from other listings on the market, says Franks.

Renovate your basement

Average price: $57,500

Average value: $49,250

Return on investment: 86%

If you have an unfinished basement, you can significantly increase the value of your home by finishing the space. This increases the usable area of ​​your home and can provide space to add an extra room to your home.

It’s also an opportunity to add additional living space, such as an in-law suite or rental apartment. The project has become increasingly popular during the pandemic, Franks says, as more people need a separate place for family members to move in or seek an additional income stream to supplement their earnings.

Update the exterior of your home

New roof

Average price: $12,000

Average value: $12,000

Return on investment: 100%

New garage door

Average price: 2000 dollars

Average value: 2000 dollars

Return on investment: 100%

New vinyl siding

Average price: $18,300

Average value: $15,000

Return on investment: 82%

New fiber cement siding

Average price: $18,600

Average value: $16,000

Return on investment: 86%

Replacing your roof and siding often has a high return on investment because they are necessary repairs and can last for decades. You can also improve your home’s overall energy efficiency, which lowers your utility bills. Disabling your garage door not only adds charm, but also gives you the chance to incorporate smart technology that allows you to close your garage door remotely in case you forget.

“Buyers today want to walk into a home and feel like they’re walking into a home that they can live in for a while before spending money, even if it’s not their dream home in terms of cosmetic aesthetics,” says Franks. .

Replace doors and windows

New steel front door

Average price: 3150 dollars

Average value: 2000 dollars

Return on investment: 63%

New fiberglass front door

Average price: 3500 dollars

Average value: 2100 dollars

Return on investment: 60%

New vinyl windows

Average price: 30,000 dollars

Average value: $20,000

Return on investment: 67%

New wooden windows

Average price: $48,000

Average value: 30,000 dollars

Return on investment: 63%

Franks says that changing your front door can improve the overall look of your home, but it’s not a wise investment because buyers usually only focus on whether the front door is functional.

Instead, if your budget allows, consider replacing your windows. Energy-efficient windows help insulate your home and keep extreme weather conditions out. On average, replacing old windows can reduce your energy bill by 12% – which is good news for potential buyers and will increase your overall property value.

Major and minor repairs

Capital repairs: It involves a major or dramatic change in the structure of your home. Due to the scope of the project and the materials used, major repairs and remodeling are generally more expensive than minor renovations.

Minor repairs: Focuses on cosmetic changes to your home’s existing structure. Small renovations can be more cost-effective than a major renovation because it generally focuses on changing small details to freshen up the space, such as replacing hardware or flooring.


Home improvement projects like replacing your roof and siding are a surefire way to recoup almost all of your investment. But other projects, such as building a bathroom or bedroom addition, may cost more than the buyer is willing to pay.

When considering where you want to invest your money in your home, you should first consider the purpose of your project. “The idea of ​​renovating is to make it your dream home if you live in it,” Frank said. “But if you’re selling it, it’s to increase dollars in your pocket.”