For Americans who own their home, their house is usually both their greatest expense and most valuable investment. There is a growing sense that you can not only protect your investment with maintenance, but increase the value of your home with targeted and judicious improvements.
When measuring the value of home improvement, you must consider the return on investment (ROI) and the increased enjoyment of your home. To take some classic examples, adding a swimming pool has a notoriously low ROI, but increases the enjoyment of almost every homeowner who installs one. On the other hand, planting a few trees has a very high ROI because of the increase in curb appeal, but may not increase your enjoyment of your home as you need to care for, and clean up after, the trees.
Here are four exterior improvements that can provide a positive ROI and improve your enjoyment of your home.
Siding has many advantages over painted stucco or wood shingles. Vinyl siding is durable. Since the color of the siding is molded into the plastic, the color does not chip or flake. Siding is easy to clean and can increase both the curb appeal and value of your home.
Moreover, when your siding is installed, your contractor will be able to check for water leaks. While repairing water leaks might not be visible to the average home buyer, it may make the difference between being able to sell your home and failing a home inspection.
The reason is that water leaks can cause extensive structural damage to floors, framing, and drywall. Additionally, water leaks can lead to mold growth. Mold can lead to serious health problems and can be a basis for canceling a home sale. Worse yet, mold removal can be one of the most expensive forms of home repair depending on the location and extent of the mold growth.
The roof is one of the most visible parts of your home. As such, missing shingles, damaged rain gutters, and cracked chimneys can be spotted instantly by potential home buyers. Repairing a roof can increase the value of your home, improve its appearance, reduce the risk of water damage, and decrease the cost to heat and cool your home.
If your roof is generally in good condition and only needs some touch-up before you place your home on the market, it can be relatively affordable to replace missing shingles, repair flashing around vents and the chimney, and replace rain gutters. The cost of just a few repairs can be more than offset by the increase in the value of your home provided by a structurally sound roof.
Front Door Replacement
While it may not seem like much, a front door replacement can be one of the highest ROI home improvements you can make, at 74.9%. This means that your home value will increase by about 75% of the cost of the new door. Since a new door costs around $1,000, this translates to an increase in home value of about $750.
You only get one chance to make a first impression and your home’s exterior, landscaping, and front door are the first features any home buyer notices about your home. Together, these aspects of your home are called “curb appeal” because they are visible from the curb. A front door replacement can give home buyers a positive first impression that your home is clean and well cared for.
Windows form part of the curb appeal of your home. Broken window panes and chipped or flaking paint on window frames can reduce the curb appeal. Moreover, stuck windows can reduce both your enjoyment of your home and the ability to sell the home to potential home buyers.
The good news is that window replacements almost pay for themselves with a high ROI. When you sell your home, you may recoup as much as 77% of the cost of replacing your windows. Equally important, replacement windows can improve the energy efficiency of the home dramatically. Approximately 25 to 30% of a home’s heating and cooling energy is lost through the windows.
With just a few exterior improvements, such as window replacements, front door replacement, siding, and roof repair, you can dramatically increase your home’s value.