5 Renovations That Add the Most Value When Selling Your Home

When preparing to sell your home, renovations are one variable that you can control. If you invest time and money to make the right improvements, you can increase your home’s value.

If you aren’t able to do updates, knowing how your home’s current condition measures up to today’s trends can help you determine the value you’ll get when selling it.


A Bolt and Beam professional can help you understand how cash offers work, where the fair market value originates, and your eligibility for an instant cash offer.

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There are infinite options for renovations but not all are wise investments. Let’s look at the five most valuable renovations, which focus on your home’s functionality, safety and efficiency.

5 renovations that add the most value to your home:

  1. Solid Structure and Foundation
  2. Outdoor Finishes for Curb Appeal
  3. Long-Lasting Kitchen and Bathrooms
  4. Optimized Energy Efficiency
  5. Increased Square Footage

1. Solid Structure and Foundation

Structure is particularly important. If you have a good foundation and features that help protect that foundation, you’ve preserved your investment and can give buyers confidence in the house. This could include replacing the roof along with gutters and downspouts, or fixing a shifted foundation or cracks that allow moisture into the home.

When thinking about the structure of the home, assessing and updating the condition of your electrical, plumbing and insulation can be helpful in avoiding future damage.

Although these can be major renovations to take on, they provide huge value when selling your home and prevent even bigger repairs in the future.

2. Outdoor Finishes for Curb Appeal

Buyers get peace of mind seeing quality external finishes on your home. A high-end garage door looks great and protects the house from the elements. The same goes for new windows, storm windows and exterior doors. These improve your home inside and out, helping to secure, insulate, heat and cool the home efficiently.

National Data in the 2019 Cost vs Value Report shows you can recoup 97.5% of the investment you make on replacing your garage door, which is trending as the project with the highest return. Adding a stone veneer to the front of your home is listed as having the second highest recoup value.

Improve curb appeal by fixing an old deck or patio space, or creating one. This ranges from repairing a worn down wooden deck and refinishing it, to building a new space. Another lower cost and lower value option is to use patio tiles to set the stage for a fire pit, seating area or pergola. These renovations should be easy to maintain, providing low-maintenance features at the home and creating more living space.

3. Long-Lasting Kitchen and Bathrooms

Rooms that take a beating benefit from renovations before selling, as they often look the most run down or outdated. With the amount of work the kitchen and bathrooms do on a daily basis, they’ll need a little love before a prospective buyer will see they can be useful spaces for years to come.

Along with simpler updates like paint and flooring, new counters and cabinets can erase signs of wear and tear. Prevent future disaster by updating plumbing and fixing any leaks or clogs.

Renovations range from gutting and redesigning the entire space, to painting old cabinets and replacing faucets, depending on your resources and what you hope for in return.

Most importantly, focus on practical and functional updates as opposed to unique design choices. Research current improvements made to kitchen and bathroom spaces before yours was built. For example, cabinets reaching the ceiling fill in the space and provide more storage, which is a modern improvement.

Look for issues caused by moisture in both bathrooms and kitchens. Are the rooms properly vented outside or is your bathroom exhaust fan blowing damp air into your attic?

Installing efficient appliances in your kitchen provides cost savings and another signal that the home is low-maintenance. This goes for bathrooms too where new plumbing features use less water and prevent unwanted leaks, such as an updated toilet, shower head or faucets.

4. Optimized Energy Efficiency

It’s a selling point to have new energy-efficient appliances and equipment, such as a new water heater, heating and cooling system, smart thermostats and other updated technology you can afford.

Buyers have peace of mind knowing they don’t need to replace major functional parts of the home that keep it comfortable. With the most efficient equipment, ongoing maintenance becomes simpler too.

The newest technology saves on bills over time, as these features have less of an impact on the environment and they run more efficiently.

Some utility companies make the switch to new equipment more appealing, offering rebates for smart thermostats or credits for adding solar panels. Contact your utility companies to research potential savings.

5. Increased Square Footage

This is a larger endeavor but adding living space is another way to increase your home’s value. It might be simplest to finish an attic or basement. Otherwise, building additional space can be a major improvement, especially if it adds another bathroom or bedroom to a home.

Before doing this, understand what is most desirable in your area and use common sense for what your home is missing. You don’t want to add another bathroom to a home with one bedroom and two bathrooms.

As with any renovations, match the style and quality of the updates to the style of the home and area. Going too high-end means you’ll spend more money than you’ll see in return. Watch this video for tips about understanding home value depending on whether you’re in a buyer’s or a seller’s market.

Tracking Tip

Hold on to all the receipts from your renovations. When you sell the home, those expenses could be tax deductible, increasing your profit from the sale.

As you can see, there are many options for renovations, but only specific ones will increase your home’s value in your local market. Using these 5 renovations guidelines, determine what you can invest to update your home and get the value you expect when it’s time to sell.

Recommended Reading

Each of the projects suggested above are included on the national Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling Magazine. Check out the report for more specifics about the worth of these projects.

This quick questionnaire will help connect you to a Bolt & Beam expert who can get you introduced to the instant cash offer process:

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General concepts to help guide renovation decisions: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/how-to-increase-home-value/

More details on what to renovate and what to avoid renovating: https://www.moneycrashers.com/7-home-improvements-to-increase-its-value/

This video goes into detail about After Repair Value to use comps of houses nearby to understand how renovations can affect your home’s value: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBbl3oW_-TQ