Smart renovation projects that provide big return

If you’re planning on tackling some major home improvements next year, it’s a good idea to do some research first. If increasing your property value and eventually getting a high return on your investment (ROI) is important to you, steer clear of projects that don’t have universal appeal and aim for improvements that a majority of buyers are seeking.

Did you know that a sunroom addition is considered one of the worst renovations for getting a high ROI? A home office remodel is right up there, along with an upscale garage addition. All three projects provide only an estimated 50 percent cost recoup.

Here are five projects that could see a recoup of up to 80 percent of your investment:

1. Flooring. Today’s buyers prefer hardwood, even in places like bedrooms. If hardwood isn’t in your budget, there are a number of excellent quality laminate substitutes out there that look as good as hardwood and last nearly as long. If carpet is old, dirty and worn down, replacing it will also offer a good return on your investment.

2. Bathrooms. If your bathroom is stuck in the 80’s and desperate for some TLC, you can tear it out and rest easy knowing that you will likely recoup most of the money you spend on the renovation when it comes time to sell. Spend a few extra dollars on fancy faucets and light fixtures – these are good selling features.

3. An income suite. A properly completed and legal income suite is one sure way to raise the property value of your home. Plus, you can look forward to collecting rent each month you remain in the home.

4. Kitchens. We’ve all heard it before – kitchens sell homes. Even when completed on a budget, a kitchen renovation will earn you a good ROI. Buyers look for new or refinished cabinets, pretty backsplashes, new flooring and upgraded appliances.

5. A finished basement. Any time you are adding living space to a home, you are appealing to buyers. The key here is to avoid expensive, luxury finishes, like a state-of-the-art wet bar or solid hardwood flooring. Keep the space open and usable, install a drop ceiling and use good quality flooring.

Attic & Basement Storage Ideas to Gain More Space

Maximize every square foot in your small space

There’s a lot you can change about a home, but without a major renovation, square footage is rarely one of them. Making smart use of space can make a room, a floor or an entire house feel bigger. There are plenty of ways to optimize the space in your home to give the appearance of increased space but the key to creating that illusion is to be organized and to find clever ways to maximize every square foot in your home. 

Use mirrors: One simple way to make any room seem bigger, longer or wider is to add reflective surfaces like windows and glass that create reflections. Mirrored tabletops or mirror placed under candles or vases can bounce light in different directions. Get creative with your reflective surfaces.

Every surface counts: Most of us tend to focus on the flat, horizontal space we have available and ignore the endless possibilities of a vertical surface. Shelves, art and objects can be placed on walls to draw attention upwards which creates the illusion of more space.

Brighten up: Make sure to keep curtains and blinds open to allow as much light in as possible. Light makes a room feel larger and more airy. Hanging curtains from the ceiling instead of the window frame will also make the room appear to have more height.

Storage creates space: Storage is the easiest way to make any room appear larger than it really is. Using storage bins under beds, in closets and bathrooms can hide clutter and open the room up to more space. Mudroom benches conceal a lot of items such as wet umbrellas and rain gear that can damage hardwood floors.

Tips for the kitchen: Dark surfaces can be a big culprit in making rooms seem smaller or – as small as they actually are. By giving cabinets and doors a coat of light paint and using glass on doors to lighten the space you can give the impression of a larger kitchen. Hanging a pot rack on the wall will not only give you more storage for pots and pans – it will add some style to your space.

Spacious living places: There are several ways to make the areas you lounge in look larger. Flat screen TV’s can be mounted on the wall or hidden in cabinets and using large, bold pieces of furniture that are proportioned to each other can make any room seem more spacious. The trick is to avoid overstuffed furniture and patterns that are too bold.

Creating width: The quickest way to fix up a space is to give it a fresh coat of paint, however wallpaper can be an invaluable tool for increasing space. Tone on tone wallpaper can trick the eye into thinking a room is wider.

While a small space will always be small, these tricks can help you to make it look and feel larger. Any sort of clutter can quickly reduce that space so make sure to consider storage options to maintain the illusion of more square footage.