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The Improvements That Will Add the Most Value to Your Home

Photo: Courtesy of The Joy of Film

Tim Ellis

Chairman, NAHB Remodelers

Making home improvements will enhance your home’s comfort as well as add to its value. However,  not all home improvement projects are created equally. 

While the cost and value of your home improvements will vary based on many factors, if you have an older home, the following projects often have the biggest impact when the time comes to sell your home. 


From cooking to catching up with friends and family, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Not only will you enjoy a new kitchen, potential home buyers are attracted to a modern, functional space. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 “Cost vs. Value Report,” homeowners can recoup about 80 percent of the cost of a minor kitchen remodel. 

Moderate updates like replacing outdated appliances or cabinets are great ways to makeover a kitchen. And even small adjustments, such as changing out old hardware or adding a new faucet, can add up in a big way.   


If you have bigger underlying issues like mold or water damage, you should consider a complete bathroom remodel. If that’s not the case, however, your bathroom does not need to be completely gutted to add value to your home. 

Updated materials or fixtures can make a big difference with first impressions. A recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey of home buyers revealed 63 percent of people preferred a white toilet, tub, and sink. 

Interior Paint 

A fresh coat of paint with a personalized or bold hue is a welcomed choice, but only if you’re not looking to sell your home anytime soon. If you are putting your home on the market, neutral colors are ideal. 

The color of your walls is only a small part of your home, but it can influence a potential home buyer. When buyers walk through a home, they often visualize what it would be like to live in the home, so it’s best to use paint colors that won’t distract potential buyers.


Another big-ticket home improvement — but one that will add significant value to your home — is a roof replacement. Remodeling magazine estimates that homeowners can recoup about 68 percent of the cost of an asphalt shingle roof replacement and 61 percent of the cost of a metal roof replacement. There are many roofing options available for homeowners, from a variety of colors and textures, to longer warranties and enhanced energy efficiency. 

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