Home Improvement Cost vs Value Guide

Improving the look, feel, or functionality of your home is one of the best ways to add value and it can help you sell your home fast. But the biggest question home owners and sellers alike have are what areas should I improve. To get the most bang for your buck you will want to work on one of these following areas: Kitchen, Bathrooms, Curb Appeal, Functional Utilities.


The kitchen is the place where many family’s spend the most time and as such also are willing to spend more on or walk away from homes without the right kitchen. The kitchen improvements that will translate directly into dollar signs or a quick sale can be found below. After a kitchen remodel depending on how much you change you can expect to recoup 69% – 75% of the costs.

  • Update kitchen cabinets ($6 – $9 per sq. ft.) – Sand and apply a new stain and add new hardware. Skip the 20k custom cabinets.
  • Upgrade appliances ($1200 – $2500) – Getting a newer energy efficient refrigerator, oven, and microwave can set your home apart from the rest.
  • Update the countertops ($50 – $150 per sq. ft.) – If new counter tops are needed this can really change the look of a kitchen for the better.
  • Upgrade the sink and faucet($100 – $450) – Shiny new faucets make a kitchen makeover feel complete.
  • Update flooring if necessary – Old looking linoleum just won’t cut it, update this usually smaller space (compared to the living room or multiple bedrooms) with laminate or tile to give the kitchen a brand new feel.


bathroom remodelBathrooms ¬†are the second biggest area that can make or break a home sale regardless of price. Initially you can update low cost items like paint, lighting, mirror, towel racks, and fixtures. But if you intend to do a full bathroom overhaul you will want to update all of these items. Bathroom remodels while adding value don’t have 100% return on investment but when you sell you can recoup about 65% of the cost.

  • Add extra storage – Extra room for towels, makeup and cleaning supplies can be worth a lot to buyers.
  • Replace flooring($2.30 – $4.70 per sq ft) – Ugly floors can kill the look and feel of a bathroom, if your flooring is old you should update it.
  • Re-grout or re-tile the shower ($6.40 – $10.80 per sq. ft) – A dingy shower or bath can lose a buyer’s interest almost instantly.
  • Paint ($200) and change fixtures ($300 – $500) – New lighting, paint, sink, and hardware can make an old bathroom look brand new without a huge price tag.

    Curb Appeal

curb appealCurb appeal is one of the easiest ways to improve your home and sell it quickly. When the outside of a home looks great you get alot more interested buyers in the door. Curb appeal can add up to 10% of the value of the home as well as help it sell faster.

  • Paint your front door ($25) and get new ¬†house numbers($20) – The entrance of a home says everything, and with such a low cost you don’t have a reason to not to fix these items.
  • Paint your house ($1 – $2 per sq. ft.) – a fresh coat of paint can make the outside of a home look brand new and very appealing to buyers.
  • Mow and fertilize your lawn – A little sweat can go a long way in sprucing up your houses appearance.
  • Work on flower beds ($30-$45) – Beautiful mulched flower beds are the final touch to a gorgeous curb appeal.

    Functional Utilities

The final stage of home improvements is the biggest and that is functional utilities. This includes things like air conditioning, electric wiring, plumbing, and roofing. They are hands down the most expensive items to fix or replace but buyers expect to not have to replace or fix these items when they buy a home.

  • Replace Air Conditioning Unit ($3,000 – $7000)
  • Electric Wiring ($70 – $120 per outlet)
  • Plumbing ($3,000 – $7,000)
  • Roof ($10,000 – $30,000)

While all of these items can add value to your home it’s important to look at comparable listings & prices in your area as well as speak with an experienced contractor before making any repairs.