Home Improvements with Best (and Worst) ROI

If you ask any homeowner if there is something they would improve in their home, almost all of them would say YES. What would follow varies, but the fact that the property would benefit from a home improvement intervention is certain. For some homeowners, these projects come straight from the heart and are meant solely for making their house dreams come true, but others are more concerned about the potential return on investment. Regardless of the reason behind your decision to work on your house, knowing what you could get for your buck if you choose to sell is always a welcome information. So, what are the house renovation projects that bring the best and the worst ROI?

Renovations with Best Return on Investment

home renovations with the biggest return on investment

House Maintenance

No upgrades can make up for lousy home maintenance. You need to make sure everything is in the top shape before coming up with new projects. Think basic and think small. If your roof is leaking, by all means, deal with it first. No roof repair has ever sold a house, but a broken roof will make a house not sell for sure. The same goes for a wet basement and dysfunctional windows. Fix it. For yourself. Buyers will shy away from investing in a property that has been neglected for years, but you shouldn’t be living in it either.

Get rid of all unnecessary clutter and fix what has been broken. You would be surprised with the rise in curb appeal these simple activities would bring you.

A painting job is always a smart choice, but don’t use any overly vibrant or outdated colors. Sticking with the neutrals has been proved to be homebuyers’ most popular choice.

Small Adjustments

Less is more. Small-scale projects generally reap higher returns, and they don’t require much effort nor paperwork. Consider upgrading an entrance or a garage door (if they won’t end up being too fancy), converting an unused area under the staircase into an extra storage, building a walk-in closet or a fireplace.

home improvements with best roi

Installing Hardwood Floors

Installing wood floors can be rather expensive initially, but with a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years, it always pays off. Home buyers are more likely to pay the extra buck for the house with hardwood flooring, so if you are thinking about refreshing your floors add them on your list.

Converting an Attic

It may not be Instagram worthy, but putting insulation in your attic will bring you the best returns in both energy bills and market price. Stuffing some fiberglass insulation under the roof and hardening the floors is reported to be the only home renovation that redeems more funds than you spent.

Attics are usually abandoned spaces, or they serve as storage rooms. But they can be so much more than that. With the ever-growing prices in the real estate market, the majority of homeowners are choosing to upgrade, rather than moving up. An attic is a perfect candidate for converting into a master bedroom, kids’ room or even a home office. The popularity of this type of home renos is on the rise because it is the only way to add a precious, extra living space without a significant investment of time and money.

attic conversion


If an attic conversion is out of the question or it just isn’t enough, scaling up is your best choice. Add what you are lacking, but make sure the extension connects well with your current house. The best way to make sure you are not ruining the layout is to hire a professional who has the necessary skills and experience to come up with a plan that won’t spoil the design and yet meet planning laws and the budget.

Kitchen Renovation

A new kitchen can make or break the sale of the house. Spending way too much on a spotless chef-worthy kitchen may not be the smartest idea, but updating to meet your needs and aesthetics is still one of the essential renovations you could do. After all, having stainless steel appliances and granite counters is a new kitchen standard, so having anything above that would not be enough.

Adding a Deck

Outdoor living is gaining in popularity these last few years. Whether it is the fact that people are trying to save by spending more time at home, or their craving for a private outdoor retreat to help them rest from busy schedules and fast-paced lifestyle, but a deck addition has raised to become one of the most popular home improvements at the moment. For both homeowners and homebuyers.

Renovations with Worst Return on Investment

sunroom the worst roi

Unless they are a special wish of an owner, some home improvement projects are best avoided. Adding a sunroom is reported to lead this group of not-so-smart investments, closely followed by building an extra master suite, an upscale garage addition, a third bathroom, a whirlpool bath construction, and a home office remodel.


We need to underline a few things you should keep in mind. What projects would yield the best returns depends on the housing market you live in, the value of the rest of the houses in your neighborhood, the value of your property, the quality of renovation that has been done and how long it has been since you made the improvement.

It is extremely important to fully know your budget before making any decisions. You should always allocate an extra 10-15% of the sum for any unexpected expenses that might happen along the way. Also, make sure to hire a reliable renovation contractor who will treat your hard earned cash with respect. If you fail to do so, any project will end up in spending way too much.

The truth is it is hard to measure the value you get from a renovation that brings you joy and raise the quality of life. If you are renovating to sell, home maintenance and small touch-ups will probably yield the best returns but don’t try to put a price tag on the enjoyment you will bring to your family.