We’re sure you’ve heard it by now, but the COVID-19 pandemic has really increased the home- improvement market as many of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before. Whether you’re looking to improve your space for your own benefit, or you’re thinking about renting or selling in the near future, there are many ways across the budget-spectrum in which you can add value to your home. Here are just 6 of our favorites!
1. Refresh your space with a paint-lift
One of the most cost-effective, easiest ways to update your space is with paint. Paint can bring a fresh, bright feeling to a worn, dated space. Estimates vary, but a new interior paint job is said to provide a 107% Return on Investment (ROI).
When it comes to which colors to choose, the options are quite literally endless. If you’re looking to list or rent your home in the near future, it is best to stick with neutral tones. Neutral colors are timeless and they allow an array of visitors to easily see themselves in the space as neutral colors coordinate well with a variety of styles and textures.
Last thing to consider when painting: don’t cut corners! Doing the necessary prep-work ahead of time is worth it, and it is especially important to consider necessary precautions if working with an older home that may have lead-based paints.
2. Replace worn or dated flooring
Flooring comes in all sorts of varietals; hardwood, tile, stone, cement, carpet, laminate, vinyl.... so many options! And while hardwood appears to still be king as far as ROI, many other flooring options are available today which mimic the look of hardwood but on a much more budget-friendly scale. Laminates and vinyls in particular are making a strong showing in today’s market, particularly as they are inexpensive, simple to install (even for the DIY homeowner!), easy to clean and manage, and help promote a more allergen-free environment. As with paints, the options for flooring are endless. It is best to do your research to see what would fit your space well, and talk to a realtor in your market to learn about existing trends within your region.
3. Upgrade those fixtures
Take a moment to look around your home and notice all the fixtures that adorn your space. From the more simple wall and light outlet covers, to the more complex lighting fixtures, there are many opportunities for improvement. Fixtures can be a super-simple way to upgrade your home, and they are an item that can really show the age of a home when they have not been updated. While you’re updating your space with new paint, think about the electric outlet covers and light switches; updating those can be done for a few dollars but can make a big visual difference. If you don’t have it in the budget to update your kitchen or bathroom, you can add value by changing out pull-handles and knobs on cabinets, replacing faucets, and even changing out doorknobs.
Also take a look at the lights in your space; perhaps it is time to upgrade your dining room light, or consider adding ceiling fans to bedrooms to promote better airflow. Disclaimer: whenever considering changing out electrical items, be sure to take appropriate safety precautions and talk to an electrician!
4. Consider your curb appeal
Remember the old adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression”? The same is true for your home! There are a variety of ways in which you can improve your outdoor space to bring about added value. Landscaping, sidewalk/driveway repair, updated exterior paint, and even lighting can turn heads - in a good way! - towards your home.
On the list of ways to improve your home, these last two do require a bit more of the budget, but if you’re able to do so, they can bring a LOT of value to your home. For renovations, kitchens, bathrooms and landscaping all bring about a significant ROI. As a general rule of thumb, you really don’t want to spend more than 5-15% of your home value towards a kitchen reno, and around 3-7% towards a bathroom.
There are many ways to approach a renovation, from hiring a contractor, doing it yourself, or even taking the middle ground and playing contractor yourself while hiring subcontractors to do different pieces of the job. Make sure to do your research and understand all the ins-and-outs of your project, and the overall scope of work, so that you can plan your budget and timeline appropriately.
6. BONUS improvement: Help protect the earth - through energy efficiency and solar power
Last on our list of ways to add value to your home is solar power. “Especially here in Hawaii, adding solar to your home not only helps you save tons of money - because solar is cheaper and cleaner than HECO power, but it also raises your property value which is a wise financial investment into your real estate,” explains Bill Schoonover with Hi-Power Solar.
While solar energy is very beneficial here in Hawaii, where we average 271 sunny days per year, many regions of the US have seen an increase towards solar power. A recent study from Zillow found that having solar installed in a median-valued Hawaiian home increased its value by 4%. Nationally, the added-value of solar ranged from 3.5% to 9.9%.
At present, there are many financing options available to those who are interested in solar options, as well as various tax credits. It is important to talk with a local representative as tax credits vary by state and region.