It’s time for a home makeover, but where to start? As fun and creative as this process can be, anyone considering remodeling their home knows that it’s more involved than choosing new paint colors and upgrading appliances. A properly planned home remodel also takes into account how the renovations will affect a property’s value.
Renovations to update or repair will likely increase your home’s value. Keep in mind that should you decide to sell at some point, an outdated home or one in disrepair may be priced on the market below what the repair or upgrade would have cost. Also understand that buyers may not be able to finance renovations with a typical fixed-rate mortgage, so your fixer-upper may end up being challenging to sell.
Whether you plan on selling your home at some point or not, making smart home improvements can make your home more comfortable and enjoyable to live in and can increase your estate’s financial worth.
To get you going on this rewarding ride, we’re sharing five top ways to make your home remodel pay off.
1. Fix What’s Broken
Repairs may not be the most exciting renovation you can imagine, but let’s face it, buyers won’t be dazzled by an upgrade if the home still needs major maintenance work. Excitement over a brand new kitchen will certainly be tempered by standing water in the basement.
Most buyers are limited in how much they can put toward a new home, and if they know that the home will require spendy repairs right off the bat, the investment will likely seem too large or overwhelming. Realtor.com advises home buyers to make sure to invest in a home that is functional. If dated, you can make it your own in time with improvements after purchasing. This could mean that sellers who make renovations while overlooking necessary repairs may not only be misspending their money, but may also be hurting their chances on the selling market.
When it comes to deciding what repairs might be necessary, you know your home’s weaknesses best. However, Realtor.com suggests focusing on making sure these areas operate properly:
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
2. Improve Your Curb Appeal
Realtors repeatedly share that first impressions are crucial when it comes to selling a home: If buyers aren’t impressed when they drive by, they’re not likely to stop for a tour.
Additionally, home shopping is now often initialized by online searches where a stunning home shot is critical for attracting interest. That’s why improving your home’s curb appeal is one of the best ways to make your home remodel pay off.
If you’ve been letting your front yard live a life of its own up to this point, deciding where to begin may be a challenge. Consider consulting with a local garden center for design advice, or seeing what works for your neighbors. As a rule, trim overgrown shrubs and, when planting, use plants of varying colors, heights, and textures.
Making exterior improvements also yields an excellent return on investment. You can do as little or as much to your home’s exterior as is necessary. Some suggestions include:
- Replace old siding.
- Replace the porch, steps, or walkway.
- Remove outdated awnings from the doors and windows.
- Remove or replace worn railings.
- Repaint the house and front door.
Keep in mind that if your home’s last paint job was prior to 1978, you’ll need to test for lead before you can sand or scrape off old paint.
Porch, Patio, or Deck Addition
Home stagers remark that “51% of home buyers find outdoor living spaces the most attractive quality when searching for the perfect home.” If your home doesn’t already have a porch, patio, or deck, adding one could allow you to better enjoy the outdoors while you live there, and give you an excellent return on your investment should you sell later on.
When choosing a material for your outdoor space, remember that ceramic tile is water- and flame-resistant and also offers frost- and slip-resistant options, making ceramic tile ideal for spaces exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuations. U.S. News reports that the building industry is seeing more and more homeowners who want an outdoor living space, regardless of the climate.
A growing trend in home design incorporates an indoor space that flows to an outdoor living space. Ceramic tile is ideal for an indoor-outdoor living space because you can carry the same surface indoors and out for design continuity and durability.
3. Focus on the Kitchen and Bathroom
If you can only choose a couple rooms to revive during your remodel, focus on the kitchen and bathroom. Just minor remodels of these two rooms have been shown to provide the best interior room return on investment.
We aren’t surprised that the kitchen and bathroom are so important because we spend so much time in these two rooms. Making sure these spaces shine is critical to our personal long-term comfort and to making a good impression within the housing market.
As with home repairs, you don’t have to spend a lot on your kitchen and bathroom in order to increase your home’s value.
When deciding what to update in your kitchen, think surfaces: floors, countertops, and walls. You want these surfaces to look nice and to be highly functional. The kitchen is the hardest-working room in the house, so if your upgrades don’t help get the job done, they’re not worth your time or money.
Fortunately, ceramic tile makes choosing a material for these surfaces easy. Kitchen floors see a lot of traffic, and ceramic tile’s durability meets the challenge effortlessly. With slip-resistant options, ceramic tile flooring is an ideal choice for an area where spills are likely a daily reality.
Easy cleaning also eliminates the need for harsh chemicals. Regular sweeping and wiping with water and — at the most — a little soap will do the job.
Unlimited design options (colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and styles) mean you can have any flooring look you desire (including wood, marble, and stone looks), and with a longer lifespan and lower life cycle cost than other flooring options.
Ceramic tile is ideal for your kitchen countertops as well, as it is stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and incredibly versatile. Have the look of marble or granite — with all the superior benefits of tile — without breaking the bank, or design a look that is uniquely you. In some cases, you may even be able to tile directly over your current countertops!
While your kitchen walls may benefit enormously from a fresh coat of paint, to really make an impact, add a backsplash with a unique combination of ceramic tile shapes and colors. A backsplash will also protect your walls from liquid and grease splashes, and ensure that messes are easy to clean up. Behind the range is a focal area to add a feature backsplash, or tile your kitchen island for a quick decor upgrade with high impact.
An upgrade can turn your bathroom into a luxurious retreat with these smaller-scale remodeling trends that have been shown to pay off:
- Updated fixtures: One of the simplest renovations you can make in your bathroom is updating fixtures. Updating the faucets and shower head can give your bathroom a new feel, especially if you coordinate with new hardware on cabinets as well.
- Universal design elements: Universal design entails making a home accessible to people of all abilities, including those who are older, which may enable them to stay in their home or “age in place.” Consider a curbless, wheelchair-accessible shower; this universal design feature gives independence to those who otherwise would need assistance and/or makes caregiving easier. The curbless shower format is popular in decor looks ranging from the simplicity of minimalism to the abundance of maximalism.
- Walk-in shower: If you’re choosing between adding a tub or updating the shower, opt for the latter. Many buyers will expect bathrooms to have walk-in showers. Floor-to-ceiling steam showers are particularly popular right now.
Water resistance should be top of mind when making your bathroom surface material selection. No matter how careful you are, water is likely to splash in a bathroom. Ceramic tile’s waterproof installation methods provide protection for your shower, flooring, walls, counter, or backsplash.
Coordinate bathroom tiles for a cohesive look or consider unique tile combinations that complement one another. Ceramic tile also helps keep your bathroom clean, as it is inhospitable to bacteria, mold, and mildew.
With ceramic tile’s infinite design options, you can create a functional and truly beautiful bathroom that will provide you many years of low-maintenance joy.
4. Make More Livable Space
Instead of moving to a larger home, perhaps you can convert space that isn’t currently livable, such as the attic or basement. Adding a fun, usable space makes going through the forgotten boxes stored in these spaces worth it! Ceramic tile is inhospitable to mold and fungi growth, which makes tile especially desirable for basement conversions where water or moisture is a possibility.
If feasible, adding space can be a great way to extend your time in a home you love, but may have outgrown, while also increasing its value for selling down the road. Research suggests that your home’s sale price will increase by 30 percent for every 1,000 square feet added.
Ceramic tile offers a wide variety of styles, shapes, and colors to suit any decor and help you incorporate your new space into your home’s original design for a cohesive look.
5. Be Healthy and Sustainable
Going green in your home can save you a lot of green in the long run.
New heating and air conditioning systems could save you as much as 30 to 40 percent on utility bills. If you opt for a solar-powered water heater, that number could jump up to 80 percent. Energy-efficient appliances, doors, windows, and other options are also a smart move, and there are some tax credits and rebates that make energy-efficient purchases easier on the wallet.
These energy-saving renovations will not only lower your bills now, but will also give you top returns on your investment. According to research published in The Appraisal Journal, you can expect your property’s value to increase by twenty times your annual energy savings.
Another way to provide a healthy and sustainable environment lies underfoot — ceramic tile flooring. Ceramic tile emits no volatile organic compounds, contains no plastics or plasticizers, and will not harbor dust mites, mold, or bacteria. And, there is peace of mind with ceramic tile flooring knowing that it doesn’t burn or smoke in a fire.
Ceramic tile can also save you money once installed. Besides easy maintenance, ceramic tile can make your home feel cooler in the summer and, with inexpensive radiant heating, warmer in the winter.
Because it has the lowest life cycle cost of any flooring option, ceramic tile also adds value to your home, as it will last longer than other surfaces. This long life makes it a smart choice for reducing embodied carbon, as well as other negative environmental impacts, such as resource use, and demolition waste. You won’t need to update your flooring to attract a buyer when you decide to sell, and your buyer won’t need to update the flooring anytime soon, either.
There you have it — five ways to make sure you get more bang for every buck you spend on your home remodel. Now that you know where to start, you can be confident you’re making a smart investment and start daydreaming about the fun part… such as what kind of ceramic tile will best suit your new space!