What Upgrades Increase Home Value (19 Worthy Upgrades)

what upgrades increase home value

Whether you just purchased a new home or you are preparing to sell your current house, you’ll want to know which upgrades are worth investing in and how they can increase the value of your home.

Many people think that adding a swimming pool or a koi pond can add value to their home. However, like many others, those items should only be added to your home for your own personal pleasure and not for trying to increase your home’s value.

If you want to know which upgrades do increase a home’s value, keep reading to find out!

What Upgrades Increase Home Value?

Below we will share with you the best investments to make in your home if you want to increase its value. Some are simple and relatively low in cost, while others can be more expensive but well worth the price when it comes to your home’s value.

We will start with the easiest upgrades and work our way down to the more significant projects. Once you’ve made your way through all of our suggestions, you can decide which ones will work for you and fit within your budget.

1. Fix All Minor Repairs

If you have leaky faucets or your toilet is constantly running, you’re going to want to fix that immediately. This also pertains to holes in screens, broken doorknobs, loose cabinets, etc.

Anything that looks broken is broken! You need to walk through your entire home and start making a list of minor repairs. If you can’t fix all of them yourself, do what you can and then call a handyman to finish the job.

You should also be mindful of any mold or rotted wood; this needs to be addressed immediately. If you have a leak in your roof, find out if it can be repaired.

Any house that needs a bunch of minor repairs is losing value every single day. Once you get everything fixed, you’ll immediately see an increase in the value of your home.  

2. A Fresh Coat of Paint

Many people underestimate the value of a fresh coat of paint when trying to increase their home’s value. If you are looking to sell your home, potential buyers will notice the paint on both the inside and outside of your home before anything else.

If you have old or outdated paint in your house where even you cringe every time you look at your walls, what do you think other people are thinking? Take the time to apply a fresh coat of paint to your walls and see how fast your home looks freshly updated!

Here are some suggestions for the best colors to use in your home:

  • Main Areas – Off White, Creams, Tans
  • Living or Dining Rooms – Eggshell White, Neutral or Earth Tones
  • Bedrooms – Soft Pastels (yellow, blue, or pink)
  • Kitchens and Bathrooms – Off White or Soft Pastels

Naturally, you can paint your house whatever colors you want, but keep in mind that not every color is appreciated when it comes time to resell your home.

Tip: Stick to neutral colors if you are planning on selling your home in the near future. If not, use whatever colors you want and go bold if you want to accent a particular wall.

3. Add Some Trendy Items

If you want your home to look like a million bucks, you need to add some value to your personal belongings, including the decor in your home. You’d be surprised what an accent rug or leather chair can do for a room!

Take time to browse some home design magazines and find some looks that match your style. You don’t need to spend a fortune on all new furniture, but a few good buys could really add richness to your space.

You should also consider rearranging your furniture to allow for easy traffic flow which gives an open room appearance. The more space you can create, the better! Too much furniture can backfire, so only keep what works best for your home.

When it comes to home value, everything isn’t about renovations and big projects. Sometimes the tiniest details can make all the difference. Remember, perception is key when trying to impress somebody, especially potential buyers.

4. Update Your Landscaping

When somebody pulls into your drive or parks in front of your house, what will they see? If your home doesn’t have any curb appeal, you’re going to want to add some features that make your house stand out from the rest.

Planting trees is always a good idea, they are great for the environment, and when fully grown, they will provide shade for your home, which can significantly cut your cooling costs in the warmer months. Bush lines and shrubs are also environmentally friendly and look nice.

However, don’t go overboard; a few plants or flowers are a welcome upgrade. But, if you make your yard into a tropical oasis, it could backfire on you and end up costing you more than a few bucks with all the upkeep. You should also make sure that your weeds are under control! 

Note: If you are planning on selling your home, consider keeping your landscaping minimal and clean-looking. Potential buyers will look to see how much upkeep is needed when viewing your home.

5. Ditch The Clutter

Nobody likes looking at the clutter, but somehow we all find ourselves accumulating more and more stuff. Take a weekend to go through all your ‘extra’ stuff and eliminate anything you haven’t used in the past six months.

Believe it or not, clutter makes a room look and feel smaller. So if you have clutter in every room, your home appears to look smaller than it actually is! Most home values are based on square footage, but the way you fill your space can have an impact on its value.

Once you get rid of all that unnecessary stuff, you’ll instantly have more room. This is great for increasing your home’s value since people automatically look around to see how much open space is available.

Tip: If you want to make your room look bigger, add a large mirror to double the appearance of your space visually.

6. Upgrade to New Energy-Efficient Fixtures

If your home has a ceiling fan in every room that looks like it’s been around the block a few times, you need to replace those with brand new energy-efficient ones that not only keep your space cool but also save you money on your utility bills.

Ceiling fans can add character to any room, and they are quite functional when it comes to regulating the temperature in your house. Take advantage of this by installing ones that complement your space instead of reducing its value. 

7. Change Window Accessories

If you like your privacy, we totally get it. However, those oversized drapes and curtains aren’t doing you any favors when it comes to home value. People like to see rooms that are filled with natural light, so you’ll want to swap those floral patterns for something a little more modern.

If you must have some type of window coverings, shoot for shutters or vertical blinds, which can allow the sun to shine in. This little trick can make your home feel both larger and warmer. And if you really want to go all-in, try leaving some of your windows clear of any coverings!

However, we don’t suggest doing this in your bedrooms or bathrooms unless you live in a secluded area where privacy is not an issue.

8. Get Rid of The Popcorn Ceiling

These may have been popular back in the 70s, but nowadays they just date your house and make it look really old. Not to mention that it has been discovered that these types of ceilings could contain asbestos and are a considerable downgrade in your home’s value.

We suggest consulting with a professional before trying to take on this project yourself since there could be health risks involved. Trust us; once you have standard ceilings, you’ll be thankful you made this upgrade. Plus, it will add instant value to your home! 

9. Update Your Bathroom

You don’t have to do a complete renovation to make a statement in your bathroom; you can simply make some small changes that will add more value to your home. Start by removing that old wallpaper and replacing it with a textured or faux finish.

Next, swap out your old lighting fixtures for something more modern or elegant. You’d be surprised how much detail is in the lighting, and this small change can make a world of difference and have your bathroom looking fantastic in no time!

Last but not least, consider installing some new tile if your bathroom floor is looking old or outdated. This alone can make a significant impact on your home’s value.

Fact: The data on Zillow’s website shows that remodeled bathrooms can yield the biggest returns in terms of actually boosting your home’s resale value.

10. Replace Your Carpet

You knew this was coming; carpet is such a hot topic when it comes to the value of homes. Some people believe that carpet is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, while others strongly believe it keeps their homes warmer during the colder months.

Regardless of which side of the fence you stand on, we can all agree that stained, outdated carpet needs to go! You can either replace it with a new carpet or go for a completely different look, such as installing wood floors or ceramic tile. 

The same goes for area rugs; if yours is showing a lot of signs of wear and tear, it’s probably a good time to toss it. You can decide whether or not you want to replace it or go for a different vibe in your home without it.

11. Update Your Kitchen

Just like bathrooms, kitchens are a huge factor when it comes to your home’s value. If you can’t afford to do a complete remodel, why not make some small changes that can increase the value of your home without putting a massive dent in your wallet.

You can easily get rid of an old microwave that looks like it has been around a few decades and simply replace it with a shiny new version that is more economically friendly. This little swap can also save you more money on your monthly energy costs as well.

You should also consider removing any old wallpaper and giving your kitchen a fresh coat of paint. If your budget allows, consider getting a new sink that complements your space and adds appeal to your home.

Many potential buyers will want to see the kitchen in your house before any other room, so making some small upgrades is both beneficial and smart. Even if you aren’t planning on selling your house anytime soon, you’ll love the look and feel of your upgraded kitchen!

12. Paint or replace your kitchen cabinets

If your house is older than 20 years and you still have the same cabinetry, you may want to start thinking about upgrading to a more modern look. This is especially a good idea if your cabinets are dating your house and don’t add any value.

Some people treat this as a DIY project, but if you don’t have the experience to do this yourself, it’s always better to call in a professional. Sure, it may cost you more money, but it will be well worth it in the end. 

One of the first things potential buyers look for when viewing a house is the craftsmanship and quality of the cabinets. We know it’s tempting to try and do some home upgrades yourself, but this isn’t a good one to test your skills with.

Note: If you have solid cabinets that just look unattractive, you can easily get away with just updating the doors and fixtures. Wood cabinets can easily be sanded and painted if still in prime condition.

13. Refinish or Restore Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can look fabulous when they are maintained. However, those same hardwood floors can drastically reduce the value of your home if they are worn out and scuffed up pretty badly.

You can easily rent a sander and floor buffer to get your hardwood floors looking brand new again. But, it’s not an easy job. In fact, many people choose to call in professionals to get their hardwood floors back in pristine condition.

But once they’re finished, you can expect the value of your home to increase with this upgrade. Nothing looks better than some shiny well-oiled hardwood floors! 

14. Replace Single Pane Windows

Let’s face it; old drafty single-pane windows aren’t doing you any favors. In fact, they are hurting your bottom line when it comes to both finances and the value of your home. Everybody is looking for energy-efficient windows when thinking about purchasing a new house.

If you don’t already have them, you can easily recoup the investment with the money you will be saving monthly on your energy bills. Plus, you can get a green energy tax credit on your income tax returns, and you may even qualify for other credits from your local utility company or state.

If you are thinking about listing your house on the market, then having new energy-efficient windows is a huge selling point. Either way, only positive things can come from this type of investment. 

15. Replace Your Front Door

People often underestimate front doors, but we can assure you that the material of your front doors (and any other entry doors) matters! When it comes to your home’s efficiency, you need a solid door to keep the air in your home protected.

There are tons of designs you can choose from; some are super fancy while others are more basic. But the one fact that matters the most is the quality of your doors. When somebody opens your front door or grabs the handle to close it, they are checking out how solid it is.

Your doors can not only add value to your home, but they can also make you feel safer!

16. Clean Your Siding

If the siding on your house hasn’t been cleaned since the day it was installed, now is an excellent time to get a power washer (you can rent one for a relatively low cost) and get all the dirt and scum off your siding.

When somebody drives down your street, the first thing they will notice whether or not your siding has been taken care of. This is a major selling point for people who want to put their houses on the market.

Keeping your curb appeal in the positive can add more value to your home. If you don’t want to take on this project yourself, there are plenty of companies out there that will do it for you.

17. Add a Patio or Deck

If you have a nice backyard, adding a deck or patio will instantly upgrade the value and appeal of your home. Depending on your budget and space, you can find various deck designs online and choose one that complements your home.

This is also a great DIY project for the brave who like to build things from scratch. You will need to get some supplies and materials and have the proper tools to get the job done correctly. As always, if you don’t know anything about building a deck, contact a professional.

The return on investment (ROI) is relatively high, according to HGTV, which claims that you can recoup anywhere from 65% up to 90% of your initial investment. Not bad for adding more space to your home!

Plus, decks and patios make a home feel more inviting. It’s nice to know that people have a place they can sit and relax while enjoying nature. Add a few flower pots or a small herb garden and make that space really cozy.

18. Replace Your Garage Door

If your garage door looks like it is on its last leg, you need to consider upgrading it to a new one! In fact, replacing your garage door has a 97.5% recoup rate on investment, according to Zillow.

You don’t have to go for one with all the bells and whistles, but if you plan on selling your home, it can’t hurt to have a garage door that automatically opens and shuts. People love this convenience, and it makes them feel safer in their homes.

19. Convert Your Basement Into Livable Space

If you have an unfinished basement, you have an opportunity to add more value to your home. Converting your basement into a livable space is ideal for any home that is located in a state that promotes homes with basements.

It can be a huge selling point when you decide to put your home on the market. Basements that have been renovated to accommodate more living space offer families more privacy, which means these types of homes are in higher demand.

If you want to do this to your unfinished basement, it’s wise to hire a contractor and make a plan. You can go big or small, but keep in mind that the ROI will be limited when it comes to extravagant upgrades. 

If you are doing this for your own pleasure, the sky is the limit. However, if you are considering refinishing your basement as an investment to later use as a selling point, keep the renovations to the basics.

Wrapping Up

There are plenty of home improvements that you can do that will add value to your home. Keep in mind that smaller projects are generally more appealing and add more value to your house faster than any huge renovations.

Try to do as many upgrades as you can to increase your home’s value, but don’t risk your financial health on any investment that doesn’t have a decent ROI. The most important thing to keep in mind, regardless if you are planning to sell or not, is to make your home feel like a home.

Dean Luoma

As a long-time homeowner, Dean has been working on his own home projects for over 30 years. He is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Minnesota, helping clients with the buying and selling of their homes.

Recent Posts