You don’t have to be planning on selling your home right away to put time, effort, and money into increasing its value through renovations and DIY undertakings. In fact, as a home’s value increases due to these projects — it often becomes more livable for the current owners as well. Improving functionality, space, and appearance can pay off dividends in terms of comfort and quality of life.
There are many proven strategies for increasing the value of your home, in Denver and most cities. Denver buyers may be more concerned with energy efficiency and smart home tech, as well as a usable outdoor space to enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather. If and when you decide to sell your home, you’ll have a higher return on investment and an edge over the competition.
How Much Do Renovations Increase Home Value?
Depending on your budget, renovations can be kept on the smaller side or they can be more robust projects that result in a higher ROI for your home. Smaller DIY projects such as power washing the exterior of the home or re-mulching the garden beds can easily be kept under $100 while adding on an addition to the house can be in the range of $50,000-$100,000. Before any home renovation project is chosen, homeowners should consider an appropriate budget for their financial situation.
The size of the renovation doesn’t always equate to the size of the home value percentage increase. When listing a home for sale, hiring a professional to stage the space properly can result in a higher sale price. Buyers are better able to form an emotional connection with the house and this tactic requires no construction project. According to data collected by the Real Estate Staging Association, an average investment of 1% of the home’s value to hire a professional stager has the potential to secure an ROI of between 5%-15% over the asking price.
Every home is different and what one house benefits from in terms of renovations, another one may not recoup the cost. Consider the current market, the surrounding homes, and the priorities of a potential buyer moving to the area. Rest assured, you can improve your home’s value while on a budget by embracing a “do it yourself” mentality and tackling projects one by one.
- Refresh the Exterior
Refreshing the exterior of a home falls into the same vein as the importance of curb appeal. This may include replacing an old, outdated front door or slapping on a fresh coat of paint. Garage doors need TLC from time to time as well, especially those that have peeling paint and rust. The first thing that a buyer notices is the front of the home and adding character-building touches such as a rustic wooden door or a dramatic glass paneled door can greatly improve the immediate appearance of those walking towards the entryway of the home.
If your porch could use some personality, columns or wraparound open lattice could be just the addition needed. This doesn’t have to break the bank but it goes a long way in improving the structure and exterior appeal of the home.
- Renovate the Kitchen
For many buyers, the kitchen can be a make-or-break consideration when deciding on a new home. It’s no coincidence that kitchen renovations are one of the most popular projects, along with bathroom overhauls. Outdated appliances and cramped cooking space combined with minimal countertop area can immediately turn a buyer off, especially if they’re an avid home cook who plans to utilize the kitchen space on a daily basis. This is a larger renovation project, depending on what needs to be done.
Complete kitchen renovations carry an estimated cost of $80,000, per the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of Realtors. The estimated recovered cost sits a bit lower, at $60,000. However, the emotions associated with a renovated kitchen rank positively and can encourage a buyer to overlook other details about a home that may be less than perfect. Even minor updates, such as appliances or cabinetry hardware can improve the overall functionality of the kitchen.
- Remodel Bathrooms
Buyers are prone to closely scrutinizing bathrooms in their potential homes. Upgrading faucets and cabinets can go a long way in making a bathroom feel updated. Outdated fixtures can make the entire space feel old — which can then carry over to the rest of the house. Remodels don’t require entire overhauls. Instead, repaint the walls or add a neutral wallpaper and replace the tiles if they’re chipped and outdated. Leaky faucets and shower heads can be an immediate source of frustration to interested buyers as well.
Luxurious features, such as heated bathroom floors and spa bathtubs with jets are certainly appealing touches — especially during the cold winter months. These not only increase a home’s value, but they can also make a house stand out from its competition in the minds of interested buyers.
- Increase Usable Square Footage
Since homes are valued by their livable square footage, it only makes sense to increase the usable area within a home when possible. The more livable space, the better. This doesn’t mean you have to add on an extra bathroom or a mother-in-law suite, though. This is especially true when budgets are tighter but homeowners are still wanting to increase the functionality of their home.
Building a laundry room can be reasonably priced at under $10,000 and is especially convenient for families with children that always seem to produce endless amounts of dirty clothes. Tackling an unfinished basement is a great way to attract buyers, especially if they can see themselves transforming it into a game room or a home movie theater. The average cost of finishing a basement in 2023 is under $23,000.
- Add Smart Home Technology
Especially true in the luxury home market, buyers want to see houses that will be suitable for their tech-savvy inhabitants. Updating a home with smart home technology, such as security systems, automated light and temperature controls, and video doorbells can be a key selling point over comparable houses in the area.
These upgrades can make a home feel more appealing to potential buyers. This tech can also be used to make an older home feel more modern, especially for younger families looking to stay up-to-date with current trends. 61% of millennials favor smart-tech homes, along with 59% of parents with children who are living at home, according to research by Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
- Create a Home Office
As companies transitioned their employees to a work-from-home model during the COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners soon discovered that they didn’t have usable office space. Instead, they flocked to the kitchen table or a makeshift desk in the living room. Creating a quiet office space does wonders for attracting potential buyers who spend their days taking calls and participating in Zoom meetings from home.
Colorado Homes & Lifestyles cited home office space as one of the trends in 2021. Consider implementing storage and organizational solutions within the office, so buyers can clearly see a space wherein they could work efficiently and comfortably. Homes with pre-designated home offices may be the deciding factor for potential buyers who work from home full-time or who have a hybrid schedule.
- Increase Energy Efficiency
The energy efficiency of a home is becoming an increasingly important factor for buyers who are concerned with rising energy costs and protecting the environment. Homes designed to be sustainable for years to come have an edge over those with outdated HVAC systems and inefficient lighting. LED lights, double-paned windows, and solar panels can all boost a home’s value and be a selling point to buyers conscious about their energy output.
Boosting a home’s efficiency doesn’t require noisy renovation projects or contractors spending weeks doing construction. Simply choosing one project at a time, such as replacing windows and installing water-saving features, can result in greater energy efficiency over time. Upgrading windows and doors and applying weatherstrips can prevent drafts during the wintertime, therefore preventing heat loss and further insulating the home.
- Design Outdoor Living Space
It would be a shame to have a home in Colorado without a comfortable outdoor living area. One of the major benefits of living within the Centennial State is enjoying the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, as well as breathing in the crisp, fresh air with an evening glass of wine.
Potential homebuyers want to be able to mentally picture themselves kicking their feet up on an outdoor patio set or grilling a juicy steak on the deck. If the home already has a deck in place, add a fresh layer of stain to make it look refreshed. Consider stringing up outdoor lights or adding a few native plants to make the space feel inviting. Homebuyers looking for a space to host friends and family will naturally flock to the backyard.
- Update Interior Finishes
While updating the finishes within a home may sound like a superficial endeavor — it can work its magic by transporting buyers into a more modernized house. This works well for homeowners who don’t want to tackle intensive renovations. Painting interior walls, replacing worn-out light fixtures, and staining wooden components can be reasonably done by owners with even limited DIY experience. The cost of these projects is generally low and has the potential to increase a home’s value by thousands of dollars.
Zillow reported that homes with a dark door, such as black, charcoal, or a smoky color, sold for $6,000+ more than expected. In this scenario, a sub-$100 bucket of paint represents a smart investment. Throughout the rest of the home, keeping paint colors cool and neutral is the best choice as they will appeal to the widest audience. Bold colors aren’t for everybody, similar to the way that busy wallpaper designs have the propensity to turn buyers off.
- Freshen Up Curb Appeal
Sprucing up the curb appeal of a home makes a major impact on how potential buyers (and appraisers) envision the rest of the house. Studies have argued that curb appeal may account for up to 7% of a home’s value. First impressions matter — especially when you’re trying to sell a house. This is the first thing that buyers see and it’s critical that they’re intrigued to look inside.
Luckily, much of the work can be done on your own. Adding new plants, flowerbeds, and a fresh layer of mulch can go a long way in freshening up the property and adding a pop of color. Homeowners will want to keep their lawns well-manicured, as overgrown weeds don’t create an inviting view. Sellers can even rent a power washer to clean up the driveway, walkways, and siding.
- Invest in Professional Home Staging
What’s the point of putting in all the legwork and not showing it off? Sellers that hire a professional home stager can rest assured that their home will be shown in the best possible light. Stagers can pinpoint the features that make the home most attractive and showcase them to potential buyers. The goal is to ensure that the space looks open and livable so that buyers can envision themselves occupying the home and even how their furniture may suit the space.
Home staging may sound like a project that homeowners can tackle on their own, but it’s often best to leave it to the professionals. Sometimes, it takes a pro’s eye to really bring a place together and help buyers see themselves settling into their new Denver abode.