Home Repair Projects with the High Return on Investment

Two hands pointing at a kitchen drawing for home projects.


When real estate prices are high and the cost of building materials are stable, almost any well-planned home improvement project adds value to your home. However, when the housing market starts slowing down, and the costs of lumber, steel, and other building materials are driven up, homeowners need to be pickier in their choice of upgrades to get the best ROI. The recently released Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report is an excellent bellwether when it comes to individual remodelling projects that bring the most value to your home. Here are the winners.

The front door of a home is lit up at night as part of a home project involving lighting.

Replace the front door

Although it’s often downgraded to an afterthought, the front door is an ultimate statement to your style. By replacing the old one with a new solid wood door with quality hardware, you’ll breathe life into your home’s entire street presentation. If that’s too big of an expense at the moment, at least consider updating the existing door with a fresh coat of paint. Then go a step further and decorate your entryway, following all the standards rules of increasing the curb appeal. Add a new welcome mat, a couple of planters, and a new house number.

A backyard with a fire pit - perfect for home projects!

Create a backyard patio

Backyard patios seem to be at the top of Cost vs. Value lists even in wintertime. A backyard oasis is a welcome addition, as no one can say no to place where they can escape from the tribulations of everyday life, and with an addition of a heating element such as the fire pit, it can be used all-year-round. Creating a perfect patio is all about achieving a sense of intimacy and relaxation to your outdoor sitting area. You can anchor it around a central focal point such as a fire pit or keep it together using an area rug. Add plenty of comfortable seating, and the work is done.

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Focus on multiple inexpensive updates

While big home improvement projects certainly carry more ROI value than small ones, it’s often the small, affordable updates that together make the most impact. This is especially important when budgeting for home loan returns. Perhaps our parents taught us to believe that a home loan is a life-long debt, but they certainly didn’t teach us how to pay your mortgage off in 5 years while staying on the side of the law. Instead of counting pennies and seeing if the dollars take care of themselves, invest in new hardware and lighting features, throw out damaged, worn out, and mismatched items, refinish and deep-clean the flooring, and choose a smart colour scheme for the interior.

A modern bathroom with a white tub and sink for home projects.

An extra bathroom

If you’ve meditated on adding an extra bathroom to your home, now might be just the time to do it. This year’s Cost vs. Value report gives a bathroom addition a staggering 60% of the total bathroom costs that can be recouped in the home value increase. When adding another bathroom to the equation, the biggest consideration should be the layout. Since you’re building the room from scratch, you ‘have more freedom not to repeat the mistakes from the previous bathroom and to design it by your standards. Make sure to plan the layout around the number of people who’ll use it, and perhaps include a few age-friendly features, such as rim-less shower, automated lighting, raised toilet, etc. If you already have a bathroom, having the second one more accessible to seniors might just be the selling point you need.

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A wooden deck with a tree in the background, perfect for home projects.

Add a deck

Similar to backyard patio additions, decks are experiencing a jump in popularity this year. While decks made of wood are not far behind, homeowners are hugely interested in decks made of composite, weatherproof materials. These days, setting up a deck is not much different from introducing an open concept living and dining space. Basically, you need plenty of seating for your guests to gather, with accessories like drink rails, ceiling fans, and umbrellas. Finally spruce up the visual component with a combination of outdoor rugs, pillows, and potted plants.

While large home improvement projects might make a bigger impact on potential buyers, it’s usually minor improvements that net a higher ROI. In both cases, it’s important not to go overboard, as renovating above the standards of homes in your area might produce satisfying features, but leave a questionable ROI value, as potential buyers also consider the property location, nearby transport routes, amenities, etc.

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