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When you’re a homeowner, summer isn’t just about long weekends on the lake and trips with the kiddos to the county fair. It’s also the perfect season to work on home improvement projects and increase the value of your home for when it’s time to sell or refinance. Here are a few outdoor and indoor projects worth considering when you’re budgeting for the best return on your investment (ROI).
Whether you’re looking to put in some elbow grease yourself or pay a professional, a little money goes a long way in the landscaping game. According to John Gidding, host of HGTV’s show “Curb Appeal,” the ROI for landscaping can be more than 150% (Washington Post).
Concrete sidewalks, driveways, curbs, gutters and patios are prone to crack and settle over time. Resurfacing or replacing sidewalks and driveways surrounding your home can keep your neighbors and family safe and help you avoid lawsuits caused by a neglect. They also have an ROI around 80%.
A deck, patio or porch addition can provide additional opportunities to enjoy your yard, host unforgettable barbecues enjoy the summer heat from the comfort of the shade. They also up the value of your home with an ROI of 90%.
Decking has come a long way since the days of splintering wood deck boards. High-performance composite decking from companies like Trex are built to last. They may cost more upfront, but they are designed to weather scratches and stains better and eliminate time-consuming maintenance. Figure out the value of your time, and you’ll likely want to upgrade your existing deck with composite.
Give your house a facelift and paint the exterior this summer. Stay on top of the color trends and boost the value of your home by giving it a fresh paint of coat. While painting the interior has higher ROI (107% ROI for interior painting compared to 55% ROI for exterior painting), the exterior is just as important to protect your home against fading, mold and more. Interior painting is also a great task to take care of during the summer months. Roll up your sleeves, ready your steady hands, crack a window and get to work!
Blocked or damaged gutters can lead to leakage that damages your roof or foundation. Gutter maintenance can be a great summer cleaning project to take on yourself. After setting your sturdy ladder, remove dry leaves to prevent mold growth and discourage insects and birds from nesting in your gutters. If it’s been a while, professional cleaning and gutter inspection may be a good idea. Professionals can help inspect for damage and, like a dentist, catch things you may not be addressing in your routine cleaning.
Solar panels are a great addition to your home. Not only are they environmentally smart and a sound long-term investment, they increase your resale value. Buyers who are factoring in monthly electricity bills are often happy to spend more for the solar panel upgrade to your house.
Egress windows do more than let in more light and improve your home’s value, they are a critical safety measure that protects your loved ones in case they must escape through windows during a fire. If you live in an old home with smaller basement windows, seriously consider upgrading them to egress windows this summer. The renovation may require contractors to dig out the land surrounding the window — a job best done during the summer months.
Detached garages may cost more, but if you have the land for one, they add increased value to your home, especially if you build an apartment above the garage. Attached garages are easier to build, requiring three new walls instead of four and can take advantage of your home’s existing electricity and plumbing. Both are good investments that keep your car protected or make space for your work bench and garden tools, so you can take on more summer projects next year.
Kitchens are the heart of the home, and with a 100% ROI on kitchen renovations, even minor kitchen improvements are a smart move. Replacing cabinet fronts, hardware, countertops, appliances, flooring and repainting are all great kitchen upgrades for summertime. Plus, while your kitchen is out of commission, it’s easier to prepare and grill food outside than it is in the winter.
Before you start a major project, chat with your agent to see if any additional coverage is needed. New additions may not be covered under your current policy and upgrades could have an effect on both the home's market value and replacement value.