- By Signature Home Services
- In Backyard, Bedding, Cabinets, Handyman, Paint, Remodel vs. Sale, Return on Investment, Stainless Steel, Windows, Wood
May is National Home Improvement Month, which gets a LOT of us thinking about that kitchen remodel…home maintenance…or other “back-burner” projects we’ve been sitting on for a while.
But while May can be a motivator for bigger projects you’ve started or have been waiting to start, keep one thing in mind: home improvement in the form of preventative maintenance can be LOADS more valuable than you think (and even as valuable as a major remodel).
EXPERT TIP: Painting window exteriors before it’s “overdue” can help protect your home from wood rot (and the pest infiltration that comes with it. Believe me, this is NOT an emergency you want to show up later…
But back to this Home Improvement Month idea. Home improvement projects are usual taken on for at least one of these three major goals:
1: Personal comfort or enjoyment
2: Long-term maintenance goals
3: And market resale value
One of the great things about preventative home improvement is that it hits ALL three of these goals simultaneously. Comfort, long-term safety and a bigger check when you choose to sell your house later on? Sounds like a no brainer to me.
The hitch with preventative home improvement is that it’s not always an immediately obvious option. We tend to repaint after the paint job is long overdue, or address insulation problems after they’ve already started acting up, fix the deck years after recognizing it needs fixing, and, in general, let problems appear before we think to act.
This is natural, so don’t beat yourself up—too much. After all, there’s nothing to solve if there’s no problem, right?
The error in our thinking around home maintenance and improvements
The problem with this “natural” way of thinking is that those problems that pop out of nowhere as “emergency” situations—like wood rot issues, plumbing disasters, roofing issues and more—can leave you and your family without your basic comforts while the emergency is addressed.
All of these MAJOR problems not only need to be fixed immediately, but can cost a fortune and at a moment’s notice. But preventative improvements can help avoid all these problems while saving you a great deal of money.
Another problem we face when thinking about preventative improvements or maintenance comes with choosing WHAT exactly to improve…in other words, picking projects at random is neither effective nor financially sustainable. Likewise, solely looking around your favorite rooms might not be a winning strategy, either.
A BIG factor in choosing what projects to think about is the value you’re getting for the cost…but not just the “return on investment,” there’s the “return on enjoyment” for you and your family, too! For example, you might be bouncing off the walls to renovate the master bedroom…you just have to determine whether your goal is to get a return on investment at sale time (usually within five years) or the return on enjoyment by building out the space you know you’ll LOVE.
Diving into a little data on resale values, the cost vs. value ratio for redoing bedrooms in 2019 is pretty high, but NOT ALL renovations will bring the same return. In fact, many home improvement projects won’t be valued any higher than the cost of renovation…but some are much closer than others. Here are some examples of a variety of projects with statistically lower cost vs. value ratios, if you are leaning in the direction of a long-awaited home improvement this month.
EXPERT TIP: We do have the 2019 Cost vs. Value report, so shoot us a message if you’d like a complimentary copy!
Steel entry door replacement
The front door is VITAL for two very important reasons:
1: For one, the front door is the first and last line of defense when it comes to home security. Cameras and fences help a lot when keeping your home safe, but if your front door isn’t strong and secure, the rest can’t do much to stop someone trying to get in.
2: Second, the front door is how you and anyone coming in will greet your home! It’s the first thing you see and interact with—and, by extension, the first thing any guest will see and interact with. Fittingly, the front door deserves to be strong and sturdy while looking welcoming and beautiful.
A steel entry door replacement on average costs $1,772 and carries a resale value of $1,503, an 84.8% return on investment.
Minor kitchen remodel
A kitchen model won’t always include the kitchen sink!!
Redoing a kitchen can be sort of like redoing a bedroom in that they’re both VERY personal and intimate spaces with a big impact on your daily life, and a major improvement in either space isn’t necessarily going to add a lot of value at sale (relative to the cost). That said, the kitchen is still a fundamentally important and integral part of your life. Cooking up meals for your kids and talking to the whole family at dinner are things that should be happy, comfortable and fulfilling (in more ways than one). For these reasons, minor kitchen remodels tend to have a much higher return on investment.
A minor kitchen remodel on average costs $21,714 and takes on a resale value of $17,092. That’s a 78.7% return on investment.
Whether repairing an old deck or putting in a new one altogether, decks are an EXTREMELY popular home addition that are sure to bring loads of short-term, personal enjoyment while also ensuring a long-term increase in your home’s value.
The addition of a wooden deck costs on average $12,460 and will resell at $10,073 with an 80.8% return on investment.
All in all, preventative and long-term home improvements are a SURE way to better enjoy your home while not having to worry about sudden emergencies, while and also being able to enjoy an increased home market value—should you consider selling your house in the future.
So, while National Home Improvement Month is still in full swing, check those doorways, check on the paint around your windows, give your home a once-over and make SURE your house is prepared for the brutal Texas summer heat!