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Renovating your home can be a massive undertaking—especially on top of buying, selling, and moving—so it's important to know whether the payoff will be worth your hard work and money spent. Ultimately, you want to make improvements that add enough value to increase the overall asking price of your home. Keep reading to find out which home renovations are most likely to get you a return on investment.

Add square footage, or improve what you already have

It shouldn't come as a surprise that increasing livable square footage will add major value to your home. Adding high-value space like another bedroom or bathroom or expanding a room like the kitchen will almost always pay off. But if you don't have the time, budget, or space to go bigger, you can always go better. Finishing a basement or attic has a potential ROI of 75%, and converting a porch into a four-season room can add up to $50 per square foot to the value of your home, depending on your local market.

Remodel your kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it makes sense to focus your renovation efforts there, making sure the space is functional and appealing. Some of the main features that buyers look for are center islands, walk-in pantries, and increased counter and cabinet storage space. However, sprucing up your kitchen doesn't have to be a major project—cosmetic updates like switching out fixtures/hardware (lights, faucets, cabinet handles) or redoing your backsplash can make a big impact too. A thoughtful kitchen remodel can get you a return anywhere between 52% and 76%.

Renovate your bathroom

Nobody would call the bathroom the heart of the home, but you can't deny that it's a pretty important part of your house. Making sure that your bathrooms are functional and sanitary should be the top priority. Beyond that, though, cosmetic updates like refreshing the hardware or redoing the tile can go a long way. If you want to go bigger, consider replacing your large fixtures with in-demand versions like a dual-sink vanity or an energy-efficient toilet. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, homeowners can recover up to 57% of the cost of a bathroom renovation. 

Amp up your outdoor living space

Nothing beats the option to entertain or relax outdoors. A great outdoor living space can go a long way in increasing your home's value. A major addition such as a pool or an outdoor kitchen could be a slam dunk or a big risk depending on where you live, but adding or improving an outdoor space like a deck, porch, or patio is a good investment. For example, installing a classic wood deck can recoup anywhere from 65% to 80% of expenses. Other changes, like updating your fencing or adding a fire pit, are less of an undertaking that will see a good return.

Boost your home's curb appeal

You don't get a do-over on first impressions, so don't forget to include your home's curb appeal in your renovation plans. Upgrades that offer good potential returns include replacing the garage door (93%), replacing the windows (66-67%), replacing the front door (85%), and replacing the siding with vinyl or fiber-cement (67-68%). Adding manufactured stone veneer, even to part of your home's exterior, can recoup just over 91% of its cost.  

Replace attic insulation

It's not the flashiest, most exciting renovation, but replacing the insulation in your attic leads to savings on monthly energy bills—something that's undoubtedly attractive to homebuyers. Whether you go with batt, blown-in, foam board, or spray foam, if it's done correctly, attic insulation oftentimes recoups nearly its entire cost in added value. 

Replace or repair your roof

Nobody wants a roof that might leak or fall down. Much like insulating your attic, making sure your roof is sound isn't particularly exciting, but it will provide a good return on investment. If you want to go the extra mile, consider installing solar panels while you're up there. According to Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for approximately 4% higher on average than homes without solar energy.

Slap on a fresh coat of paint

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go. A coat of fresh paint in a classic or contemporary color instantly transforms both the interior and exterior of your home, making it look crisp and clean. And considering that the average cost of a gallon of single-coat-coverage paint is only around $38, it's probably the biggest bang for your buck you can get.

If you're considering a home renovation, the most important thing you can do is your research. Depending on where you live and the cost of labor and materials, some renovations will add more value to your home than others. Still, buyers are likely to pay more for a property that's well-kept and move-in ready, with modern updates. Your agent at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group can help you decide which renovations are likely to get you the best return on investment.

The Masiello Group is a second-generation family company that has been a trailblazer in New England real estate since 1966. With now more than 35 offices throughout northern New England, we're the largest residential real estate firm north of Boston to offer a complete suite of home services, including buying, selling, mortgage, title, insurance, relocation, and more. 

Our agents are eager and excited to meet your real estate needs! 

You can find more information on today's market and other real estate trends by reading our blog weekly at

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