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5 Home Improvement Projects that May Pay You Back

Home improvement sales have jumped during the pandemic as people take advantage of extra time at home. In a recent survey, more than one-third of respondents were either planning a project or had already started one. If you’re among them, you may be wondering which projects can deliver the most return on investment (ROI). Here are a few options that have a history of adding value and may even pay you back.

1. Update Your Landscaping

Fresh mulch, flowers, pruned shrubs, and a mowed lawn can add up to real green. A National Association of Realtors® (NAR) outdoor remodeling report estimated that the right landscaping could deliver a 100% return on investment (meaning a homeowner could get every dollar – or 100% – back). Simple lawn maintenance, including regular fertilizer treatments and weed control, offered even more ROI, 267%.

2. Paint High-Traffic Areas

Painting is a simple do-it-yourself project, and it could add 1-2% to your home’s value, according to a past Consumer Reports estimate. Choose colors that appeal to a wide audience and prioritize painting high-traffic and visible areas. These may include your exterior (which can boost curb appeal), living area or kitchen. If you’re working from home, you may also appreciate some fresh paint wherever you office.

3. Install a New Door

A quality door could open the way to financial returns. NAR’s 2019 Remodeling Impact Report projected that a new fiberglass or steel front door could deliver a ROI of 74-75% respectively. Garage doors fared even better with an estimated ROI of 95% get your labor or material costs down and you may get all of your money back). Look for doors that will make a good first impression and are energy efficient.

4. Refinish or Install Wood Floors

If you have hardwood floors, more value might be under your feet. The same NAR report projected that refinished hardwoods could offer a 106% return on investment. New wood floors were expected to provide a 100% ROI.

5. Add Attic Insulation

Insulation is a perennial home improvement pick. It topped Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report in back-to-back years and was last estimated to deliver 107% ROI in 2017. For information on the best insulation for your region, see Energy Star’s recommendations here.

Most of the estimates above are based on professional installations, meaning you may uncover even more ROI by doing these projects yourself and saving on materials. Make the right choices, and you may build some equity into your next home improvement trip.