Get the most out of your home remodel

Get the most out of your home remodel

Whether the goal is to increase a home's selling price or just to enjoy greater luxury, everyone has a different reason for beginning a home remodeling project.

However, not all remodeling jobs will create the same return on investment, so it’s important for homeowners to understand their priorities and goals when starting a new home remodeling project.

"There are two ways to go about a remodel," says Joe Shoback, owner of the highly rated Hudson Home Improvement in Jersey City, N.J. "One, you can remodel with the view towards selling your home. The other way is to take the view that you're going to be living in the home for the next five years."

Shoback says the two remodeling jobs with the highest return on investment typically include kitchen and bath remodels. He says he gets a lot of calls for these projects because homeowners know they will get a good return on investment, and they are areas where people spend a lot of time in the home.

“A kitchen is the first place people go when they are looking to buy a house,” says Nick Reynolds, owner of highly rated Eye 4 Design and Renovation in Eagle Rock, Calif. Reynolds agrees that both kitchen and bathroom remodels are the top projects for a high return on investment.

Reynolds adds that bathroom remodels are usually much cheaper than kitchen jobs but they still add a high return on investment.

On the other hand, some remodeling projects will not add a lot of resale value to a home, but they still add a quality of life value if the owner plans to stay in the home for several years.

Most remodelers agree that installing a swimming pool won't really add much to a home’s overall value. In fact, some would suggest it discourages sales because of maintenance issues. Some buyers might be turned off by the extra work required to maintain a pool.

“I believe that items such as spa tubs, hot tubs and swimming pools don't add value to as great of a degree as more conventional remodeling projects,” Reynolds says.

Alessandro Ferreguetti, owner of highly rated United Remodeling in Brighton, Mass., says he sees a lot of homeowners incorrectly assume minor maintenance repairs will affect a home’s value.

“From my experience, something that doesn’t really add value to a home is just your average maintenance,” he says. “Don’t think that if you get your gutters replaced that it’s going to help much. You do maintenance to protect the house, and you can’t expect to get that money back. It’s like a car. If you replace the brake pads, it doesn’t increase the value of the car.”

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