Home » Resources » Improving the Home » How to Choose Your Next Home Improvement Project Purchasing a home is one of the largest and most significant investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Owning your home might not necessarily be a lifetime commitment, which is why you need to maintain your investment to receive the most value when selling your home. If you’re not sure how to begin your home’s renovation, here’s a list of home improvement projects that will add value to your home. Home Improvement Project Checklist Kitchen Remodel If you’re looking to improve the quality of your home or make it more appealing for potential buyers, remodeling your kitchen is one of the largest and most expensive home improvement projects that you can undertake. The cost of a complete kitchen remodel can average upwards of $43,000, including projects like installing stainless steel sinks, laminate countertops, new floors, and upgraded appliances. A kitchen remodel could also involve the removal of obstacles to create an eat-in kitchen or expand the overall feel of the room. The addition of energy-efficient appliances can make your home more affordable to live in, while also increasing the value of the home for future buyers. Painting your kitchen may also offer a relatively inexpensive yet effective way to change your kitchen’s appearance. Bathroom Addition Adding a bathroom to your home can be a great way to increase the value of your investment. When planning to build an additional bathroom for your home, it is important to consider the amount of available space – a half-bath requires at least 18 square feet, while a full bath requires at least 30 square feet. The cost of building an additional bathroom will depend on the cost of materials needed for the type of addition. Once you’ve allowed the space for your planned bathroom, a home improvement project estimator like Home Advisor’s can help you determine the amount needed to finish your project. Watching the websites of Ikea, Home Depot, or Lowe’s for sales may also help you find materials at a reduced cost. Energy-Efficient Insulation Homes modified for energy efficiency can be easier to maintain and less expensive to live in during the colder seasons. If your home needs an upgrade in insulation, this may affect its value on home inspection reports for potential buyers. Addressing areas in need of increased insulation could include searching doors, windows, attics, basements, and ducts for drafts around your house. A thermal leak detector can help you find differences in temperature around your home and add insulation where it is needed. The costs to keep a home both energy-efficient and insulated could include CFL light bulbs that use 75% less heat than traditional light bulbs, a programmable thermostat, and a high-efficiency water heater. A programmable thermostat can help you save money on heating and air conditioning costs by programming when they turn on in advance, and a high-efficiency water heater can help you save anywhere from 8% to 34% on your water heating costs depending on your water usage. Deck or Patio Addition The addition of a deck could increase your home’s value and also add an appealing outdoor living space that future buyers find attractive. The cost to add a deck or patio to your home varies considerably based on the design, materials used, and whether you do the work yourself or hire a contractor. Adding a deck or patio can cost anywhere from $1,200 to over $10,000. If you decide to hire a contractor, it’s important to shop around, read reviews, obtain quotes, and check references. Basement Remodel Remodeling your basement could add immediate value to your home by increasing the amount of available living space. With a finished basement, you can have additional living space for relaxing or entertaining guests. The addition of a finished basement may increase the amount of your home’s heated square footage, potentially increasing the price bracket that your home sells for as well. The costs required to finish a basement vary by square footage and could range from $6,500 to $18,500. Finishing a basement involves installing flooring, drywall, and painting. If your basement does not already have a French drain, this could be an important addition for preventing potential flooding. While the costs and labor needed to finish a basement may be high, the return on investment for this upgrade could be as high as 69%. Why You Should Choose Home Improvement Projects that Add Value to Your Home Improving your home is a great way to get the most value for your investment regardless of whether you decide to sell it or stay put. By choosing home improvement projects that add value to your home, you can potentially ensure that your investment keeps its value regardless of how the real estate market is doing. By choosing these projects, you may improve the quality of your home’s living space and it’s appraised value once you decide to sell it. Best Way to Finance a Home Improvement Project As home improvement costs vary depending on the scope of the project, there are different ways to finance a home improvement project. Credit cards can offer immediate financing at potentially higher interest rates, which can be as high as 29.99% and could prove financially burdensome with the presence of compounding interest. A credit card might offer credit limits of up to $10,000, making them useful for smaller home improvement projects. Personal loans can finance home improvement projects ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. If you’re considering using a personal loan for financing, fixed Annual Percentage Rates (APR) that range from 5.99% to 29.99% and steady repayment terms with fixed monthly payments may make the repayment of your loan more convenient. For financing larger projects, personal loans could offer larger loan amounts and simpler repayment terms than credit cards.