By Uma Campbell:
Most home renovations are long-term endeavors. Among the numerous articles about home renovation, one aspect stays constant — the changes you make will be the ones you literally live with. Keep that in mind as we take a moment to combine financial investment with personal enjoyment in this short review of popular home improvements.
Interestingly, there’s an abundance of data to help establish the most practical home updates. In fact, there are even ways to measure joy! The “joy score” is a system developed through polling to measure the homeowner’s satisfaction in a home improvement project. Among the top ranked priorities are the following:
- Better functionality and livability
- Durable and long-lasting results, materials and appliances
- Beauty and aesthetics
- Adding more of the owner’s personality to the home
When examining the pure financial ROI, or the estimated payback on your home update, there is another set of values based on data collected on home sales.
The things that homeowners enjoy most about their homes are often the same things that give them value in the marketplace. It actually makes perfect sense, since many of the things we want in our home are also quite popular.
So, where do we start? Based on data from the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI), here are five great home updates to consider.
- Major Kitchen Renovations rank high in terms of both ROI and enjoyment factor. Aside from the living room, the kitchen is where a large percentage of our activities occur. It’s a great place to start! Complete kitchen renovations rank higher. To a large degree, the more you do in the kitchen, the better the return on your investment. During any kitchen renovation, energy consumption is a huge factor. That’s why “Energy Star” appliances are almost always sought. Look for the Energy Star sticker.
- Bathrooms are a sanctuary, and that’s exactly how many of them are designed. Home upgrades may include spa equipment, like a jacuzzi. That can potentially score well with homebuyers.
- Following an energy efficient theme, we shift our attention to replacement windows. This is a big deal, since it can represent big cost savings. Homebuyers are acutely aware of this fact and will rarely miss an opportunity to ask about them. In many cases, it can also enhance the outside appearance of the home, which represents another potential ROI.
- Moving outside, we examine the yard. A patio can add significantly to homeowner enjoyment and ROI. Compared to other renovations like the kitchen, it’s relatively inexpensive.
- The roof! Along with hardwood floors and insulation, this speaks directly to ROI. According to some real estate publications, the roof is a big one — especially when the current roof has more than one layer. Multiple layers can be a deal breaker when negotiating a home sale. It’s why you’ll ALWAYS see an inspector checking it during a pending sale. Among all the home updates, this ranks among the highest, bringing a high ROI, approaching (and sometimes surpassing) 100 percent!
There are numerous ways to update the home, and almost all of them include some aspect of energy savings. The range of energy-saving products and project ideas will almost guarantee that you’ll find the one that’s right for you.
Uma Campbell is a green loving yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California where she enjoys writing about natural living, health, and home design. Connect with her on Twitter: @Umajcampbell www.umajcampbell.wordpress.com