If you’re feeling the itch to remodel, you’re not alone. In 2021, home improvement sales in the United States amounted to around $538 billion, and they are projected to top out at almost $600 billion this year. The question is: which improvements pay off when it’s time to sell?

More than ever, the kitchen is the heart of a home. So it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most popular targets for renovation. The good news: if your kitchen needs a cosmetic update rather than an all-new floor plan, it may very well pay you back. According to the home media giant HGTV, a $15,000 investment in re-faced cabinets and drawers, appliances, sink and fixtures, laminate countertops and resilient flooring will boost your home’s value enough to recoup nearly 98.5% of your cost.

You’re less likely to break even with a major renovation – unless your home has gone up considerably in value and your kitchen has failed to keep pace. Investing in quality appliances and solid cabinets can enhance the value of your home, but don't go overboard with high-end flourishes and high-tech appliances. These are things buyers may not want to pay extra for.

Experts are divided about the return you can expect on bathroom investments, some saying that a limited renovation can pay back nearly 100 percent, others say that people just aren’t that interested in bathrooms. That said, a dated, dark, cramped bathroom is a definite turn-off, and a minor remodel may be well worth the cost. Replacing items like an old tub, tile, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures can nearly pay for itself. With a larger budget you may be able to expand the space, and add designer touches, linen closets, lighting and more. But it may not add enough value to your home to make it worth the expense.

Replacing old windows with new, energy-efficient ones pays off in the short run with lower energy bills, and down the road when you sell. Replacing ten 3x5’ windows should run about $9,700. On average, you can expect to get back around $8,700 when you sell.

Many experts point to a garage door replacement as an improvement that is likely to pay for itself at resale. And don’t forget your front door, especially if it’s dated or damaged.

Replacing siding can be a big job, but almost nothing has as much impact on first impressions. By changing out old, poorly insulating siding for something energy-efficient and low-maintenance, you get to reap the rewards in the short term as well as at resale.

Adding a porch, deck or patio can enhance your home enough to possibly recoup the cost. And a minor investment in professional landscaping can do wonders for your home’s curbside appeal. Even if it doesn’t increase the value of your home, it may increase its salability. And in the meantime, you get to enjoy your upgraded outdoor spaces!


This article is designed to provide informative material and is distributed with the understanding that it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and interpretation are not guaranteed.