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Fastest Home Improvements with the BIGGEST Return

Fastest Home Improvements with the BIGGEST Return

Kids just went back to school, and the next looming milestone are the holidays.

YES, that will come faster than you think!

Preparing for the holidays has started earlier and earlier each year, which means other households have already beaten you to the punch on some stuff. (Hello, Christmas in July…)

I’m talking specifically about remodels.

Industry wide, home remodels that will finish before the holidays have already been booked, meaning everyone else with the intention to squeeze a remodel in before November will be left with very few options.

Part of this is due to the demand on the remodeling industry the last 12 months. With families spending more time at home in 2020, demand for home remodels went off the charts.

Another reason remodels have been pushed out so far in advance is the global material shortage. To add to that, the logistics industry is weighted down right now with a HUGE boom in online purchases and a massive shortage of drivers.

Read more about the state of the remodeling industry if you’re curious what it means…

So…what does that have to do with home improvements?!

If you’re reading this now and HAVEN’T already signed a remodel contract for that project you want to do, assume it will not get done before the holidays.

Instead, there are some quick and EASY home improvements you can get done NOW for a huge return right away!!


The Return You Want…The Return You Need

Most people think right away about the return on investment for home renovations. That’s fine, because it is an important number.

However, that’s not the only kind of return I’m talking about.

Since we’re looking at shrinking timeline before the holidays, we also need a return on enjoyment. This helps you make the right choices for you and your household on the home improvements that will make you (and any guests) measurably HAPPIER and more comfortable this year.

In fact, the average percent of renovation investments recouped today has declined. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, this year’s average return on investment was just 66.5% (down from 68.6% just two years ago).

Get your own regional numbers in our complimentary copy of the Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value report

More families than ever are choosing to stay in their current homes instead, which is another reason why remodels got so popular! Instead of braving the seller’s home market right now, families have shifted their thinking to bring their current homes up to their desires and expectations…

It’s THAT kind of return I’m talking about. Your return on enjoyment is more critical now than ever, and the following home improvements make it easy to get a BIG return right away!


  1. Switch out bathroom or kitchen fixtures and hardware

One of the fastest and easiest ways to make a BIG difference in your kitchen or bathroom is to put in new fixtures (lights, faucets…) OR cabinet hardware.

Read more about how to choose the right cabinet hardware

Contemporary Pull

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New drawer knobs and pulls can update your space with a TOTALLY refreshed (and cohesive) look. It’s sort of the “blingy” detail that people notice without noticing!

Lights and faucets, on the other hand, can bring an INSTANT feel and first impression as a room’s “eye candy.”

Read more about how to select the right size of lights!

For advice specific to your space on selecting the right fixtures or hardware, schedule a virtual interior design consultation


  1. Add a neutral paint palette

A fresh coat of paint makes a HUGE difference in any space.

If you really want a big return (both on investment and enjoyment), a neutral paint palette will be the best.

Light, neutral wall colors sell better, it’s true. The idea is that neutral colors allow potential buyers to really imagine their own furnishings inside.

As for return on enjoyment, neutral colors also provide a totally clean backdrop for whatever holiday décor you put up!

Some of the Sherwin Williams colors I find particularly neutral and “clean” are…

  • Agreeable Beige
  • Agreeable Gray
  • Urban Putty


  1. Upgrade to energy-efficient windows

Upgrading your window treatments in ANY way can make a huge statement…but to maximize BOTH you return on enjoyment and investment, why not replace the windows themselves with energy-efficient panes, too?

No matter your future buyer’s values or beliefs, no one can say “no” to more efficient energy use because energy-saving windows pay dividends INSTANTLY with low energy bills.

The right window treatments will do wonders to control the temperature of your spaces, too—you control sunlight that way, and prevent air leakage.

And speaking of return on enjoyment, an upgrade in window treatments can ALSO gain you and your guests new conveniences. Remote-controlled blinds, anyone?…

To see what’s new in Graber Blinds selections, just browse through the gallery below!


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  1. Upscale your garage door

It might not have been at the top of your list, but replacing your garage door has been the one renovation with the BIGGEST return on investment for years.

In 46 out of the 100 markets in the Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value report, this upgrade actually brings in more than 100% in recouped costs on this installation! The average across the country is still a remarkable 98.3%.

Money well spent, clearly!

…Perhaps even better than you realize.

If your garage is connected to your home, there are also garage door energy-saving glazes and insulation that keep spaces inside considerably toastier. Believe me…that will start to sound pretty good come December…


  1. A kitchen “facelift”

How much time do you suppose you’ll spend in the kitchen this holiday season? There’s the time you spend cooking, of course…then there’s the time you spend with the friends and family who invariably congregate there.

No matter how you look at it, the kitchen is a MAJOR part of your return on enjoyment in your home.

You don’t have to do a full-throttle remodel in your kitchen to gain major returns, though.

That full “gut and redo” will be necessary at some point…but this year, try any one of these other valuable home improvements instead:

  • Install new energy-efficient appliances
  • Paint the cabinets
  • Install new countertops
  • Switch out cabinet hardware
  • Get a design pro to help customize your cabinet organization
  • Install new ambient lighting
  • Install a smart speaker (a little music while you cook will go a LONG way)

A minor kitchen remodel actually recoups more of the investment you put in than a major one!! The difference is huge, too (81% of cost recouped for “facelifts” versus 53.5% for full “gut and redo” remodels).

The most valuable return you’ll get out of kitchen improvements, though, will show once holiday cooking starts…


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Ready to start dreaming of that next remodel, even if it does kick off after the holidays? Download our 20-page remodeling planner!

Keep reading to learn what six tasks you’ll be happy you did NOW before the holidays!!

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