Posted by: Bill & Gayle McCord | April 5, 2010

Home Improvements to Make

The exterior of your home and the condition of the yard is the first thing anyone will notice as they pull up- whether it's friends or buyers.

What improvements are worth our money?

Now that spring has arrived and Easter has come and gone, many people start to tackle spring cleaning and all those house projects you’ve put off. As you decide what to fix and what to wait on, take a look at some common upgrades home owners make:

  • Most realtors will agree that curb appeal is not only the first thing clients notice, but also considered as clients debate which house feels most like home.  Just keeping up with regular lawn care, including planting flowers, will impress future buyers (and your neighbors!).
  • Most homeowners would appreciate an upgraded kitchen- but be careful what you choose to upgrade.  Go with visible upgrades, such as granite counter tops, but you don’t have to spend top-dollar on everything.  Use Consumer Reports for great tips on recent products that are affordable.
  • Most buyers appreciate space– whether you clean it out and keep it clear or add space with an addition.
  • While it’s nice to consider energy-efficient windows, know that not all buyers are willing to reimburse you for your efforts.

Here are some typical returns for common updates:

Project Average Cost Average Amount You’ll Recoup
Replacing the roof $18,042 67%
Replacing the siding $9,910 83%
Turning the attic into a bedroom $46,691 77%
Extra closet space $1,250 50%
Remodeling the bathroom* $15,789 78%
Minor kitchen upgrades $21,185 83%
Installing an energy-efficient window $325 50%
Minor landscaping up to $1,000 100%

For a guide to the top 10 home improvements, make sure to check back with us on Wednesday!



  1. What about painting? Brannan and I painted one of the houses we rented (with permission) and it completely updated it and changed the feel of the house. In fact, they said if it would have looked like that before, they would’ve stayed there! We are all about the paint.

    • Definitely! I think because painting is such an inexpensive return on your money, that list did not even include it. As long as you go fairly neutral (most people don’t want neon or even stark white, but rather warm, neutral colors), you’ll absolutely see that money back (and probably sell your house faster).

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