What Home Improvement Projects Make a Difference When Selling

What Remodeling Projects Increase Property Value When you’re getting ready to sell your home, the to-do list can seem overwhelming. You have to store away all the clutter and personal stuff, deep clean the carpets, organize the kids’ rooms, make sure the kitchen is spotless, and the list goes on.

The last thing you might be thinking about is adding even more projects to the list. But when those projects can mean a higher asking price later on, or even better, a bidding war among potential buyers, you might just perk up to the idea!

Tackling projects that can increase your home’s value might take a bit of time and money, but they can really pay off in the long run. That being said, not all home remodeling projects are equal.

Some actually pay off, but others can cost you a lot of money and not be of value to your buyers. Of course, some of these projects will change in value from state to state (most people don’t need pools in Wisconsin), but in general, they’re beneficial nationally.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best home projects that will actually increase your property value. Which one will you tackle when you’re ready to sell your home?

Paint Your Home’s Interior And The Front Door

Whether you have paint colors that aren’t ideal for selling or your current paint job is chipped and worn out, adding a fresh coat of paint to your home’s interior is relatively inexpensive and makes a statement. Consider going with a light brown color that won’t make the room feel small or claustrophobic.

To make the room pop and the ceilings feel taller, paint the ceiling either white or 2-3 shades lighter than the wall color you choose. Neutral colors are a standard go-to option for interior painting because not only are the shades that most people don’t mind having in their home, but it doesn’t distract buyers when they’re looking at the space.

Buyers might get turned-off by a pink bathroom or a dark green kitchen, but a light beige tone through the whole house is unmemorable and straightforward, in a good way.

In addition to your home’s interior, consider giving your front door a facelift. If the door is in excellent condition, merely adding a new coat of paint can make a big difference. And according to Zillow, painting your front door in a shade of black can add up to $6,200 to the selling price!

It’s (Still) All About The Kitchen

If you’ve ever watched an HGTV show about home selling, you already know that updated kitchens are one of the most significant selling points when your home goes up on the market. Fresh, updated kitchens add a wow factor to your home that buyers will remember. Light, bright paint colors, updated cabinetry, new appliances, and a new countertop are all worthwhile investments.

And while you could potentially do an entire kitchen overhaul, there are plenty of cost-effective upgrades that will impress potential buyers. Some of those projects include replacing cabinet hardware, updating the lighting, and clearing up clutter to offer more counter space. In fact, small kitchen remodels generally have an ROI of 80%, as compared to 65% for more substantial remodels.

Add, Replace, Or Repair Your Deck

Sitting on your deck after a long day, sipping on a glass of wine, reading the paper: it’s the American dream! Not only can a deck add some space for hosting on spring and summer nights, but it can appeal to potential buyers. According to Inman, a professional deck can have a 73% return on investment!

If you already have a structurally sound deck that is just lacking a bit of pizzaz, you can always bring new life to it by repairing any broken boards, giving it a power wash treatment, and adding a new layer of high-quality stain.

If your deck has seen better days, it might be time to consider replacing it. Decks in poor condition are not only an eyesore (and a sad one at that), but they can be dangerous. Between 2003 and 2007, its estimated that over 20,000 people were injured in porch and deck collapses. Replacing your deck will not only provide you with a revamped backyard space, but it will attract buyers.

Turn Your Bathroom Into A Spa

Often the bathroom is one of the rooms that we don’t pay a whole lot of attention to. And while we may not give it much thought when we’re using it on a daily basis, buyers will either be impressed or entirely turned off by your bathroom’s design. Not to mention, on average, bathroom remodels will command a 70% return on investment.

Simple additions like peel and stick backsplashes, high-efficiency toilets, and updated bathroom vanities can completely overhaul the look of your bathroom without costing you an arm and a leg. Some updates you can make that are also relatively affordable include resurfacing your tub, painting your bathroom a relaxing, light color, and re-evaluating the organizational features of the space.

Give Your Lawn And Garden Some

Two words: curb appeal. Even though we’re told not to judge a book but its cover, often this is precisely what we do when we’re looking to purchase a home. A front yard that’s covered in weeds and messy garden beds instantly sends a signal to potential buyers. If this is what the outside looks like, chances are they don’t even want to see the inside.

A clean, organized, weed-free yard, however, makes a huge statement that encourages buyers to take a peek inside. Think of it this way, your home’s curb appeal is essentially the buyer’s first impression of your home, and first impressions are everything.

While it may seem like a big job to revamp your yard, it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of curb-appeal enhancing yard projects that can be done in a weekend. Here are just a few to consider:

Weed Maintenance

Go through your garden beds and pull out any unsightly weeds. Though you can do this by hand, find some of these natural weed killers to save yourself some time. It’s best to pull weeds in the fall and winter, as you have less of a chance of pulling out some plants that actually belong there.

Once you’re done, apply plenty of mulch to prevent the weeds from returning. Mulch will also provide your garden beds with plenty of healthy nutrients that they’re probably begging for.

Plant Low-Maintenance, Colorful Perennials

Planting some low-maintenance plants will add a pop of color to your front yard without requiring a whole lot of work on your end. Colorful perennials will add some excitement especially in the darker seasons like winter and early spring, where everything seems to be a bit grayer.

Some colorful options include black-eyed susans, hostas, asters, and hydrangeas.

Give You Lawn Some Attention

When it comes to the lawn, you can start from scratch and replace it entirely, or, if it’s in good shape, there are some simple additions you can add to really make it pop.

If you choose to replace it entirely, consider opting for grass seed that is adapted to your local climate. This will encourage your grass to grow fuller since the seeds are already adapted to your yard’s soil and weather conditions. Make sure to water the seeds on a regular schedule, especially if it’s in the middle of summer.

If your lawn is in good shape and just needs a bit of cleaning up, consider adding lawn edging. Lawn edging is available in a variety of different materials and creates a clean edge that makes your yard look clean and organized. You can add physical edges like stone pavers, or for a quick fix, you can invest in a lawn edger to clean it up for an open house.

Leigha Staffenhagen


About the author: Leigha Staffenhagen is the managing editor of Insteading.com, a homesteading and sustainability site focusing on everything from gardening and raising chickens to off-grid living and tiny homes.