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Home Remodeling with Top-Dollar Returns

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

So you are thinking of upgrading your home. When these thoughts come to mind you start thinking of all the great things you can do to your home to improve it but which to do first and which give you the best return on your investment. Both are not necessary the same and it really matters how long you plan to stay in your home. If you plan 5 to 10 that’s one kind of improvement verses 10-20 years is another. This article focuses on first of the two and mainly the ones that is great for both. Keep in mind you will be deciding on what improvements make you happy and what are best for resale. Although this list is not extensive it will provide you with insights that can help make the most of your home.

#1 New Roof

This one is simple. If you cringe when it rains then you need a new roof. The type of roof, materials used and installation make a world of difference. Today most roof last 20-30 year so make sure you pick one that appeals to you. This remodel will provide you one of the best resale values for your home. Most upgrade give you a return less than the money you put into the upgrade a new roof does the opposite.

The average cost: $7,500

The return: 109% at $8,150

#2 New Vinyl Windows

This upgrade is a close second. One of the most inefficient elements in older Florida homes are the windows. Many home owners spend a ton of money on cooling costs that would be greatly reduced if new windows are installed. However this upgrade is one that should be made if you plan to stay in your home between 10-20 years. This is due to the costs of this project. Yes this upgrade has a strong return on investment but it does not return 100% of your investment so plan accordingly. If you plan to sell quickly make sure the value that it provides is enough

to make you money on the investment.

The average cost: $18,975

The return: 79% at $15,000

#3 Kitchen Upgrade

This one you have to notice that I stated UPGRADE and not remodel. This is due to the focus of a short time frame I mentioned above. Minor changes here can bring a good return. Depending on the condition of the kitchen you may still have to do a complete renovation but be aware you will not the most unless an upgrade is not an option. By upgrading I mean updating cabinets, counter tops, back splash, and appliances. You might think wow, that sounds like a remodel but it is not. I am not saying changing the cabinets for new 42 inch top of the line wood, or converting the counter-top to quartz or getting an induction cook top. I am stating replacing cabinet doors or get cabinets from home depot, upgrading the counter top with granite or composites and getting appliances that are of the 21st century. You don’t have to go overboard just keep in mind you are upgrading not remodeling.

The average cost: $10,975

The return: 57% at $6,300

#4 New Flooring

Tile and Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Yet some tile are just plain out of style where hardwood a little refinishing is a no-brainer. In my opinion in Florida, get rid of the carpet. At least replace it once the ware starts to show. In any case replacing the flooring is one of the top changes you can make. It helps present the home better and gives you great resale value. The figures below take into account a mix combination of refinishing or replacing with wood.

The cost to buy new: $5,500

The return: 91% at $5,000

#5 Better Insulation

Insulation is one of those items that you don’t think of until you are cooking in your own juices and your AC is working overtime. A good indicator that you need more insulation is an AC that is blowing cold air yet the house cools down slowly over a couple of hours. Or when many guests are over and the house can’t get cold. That is when insulation is must. This investment is one of the better one and one that is not too expensive. Although there are many type of insulation out there, the old fashion rolls are the way to go. Keep in mind that the thicker the better and it can be rolled over the existing insulation so don’t throw the old away. Your wallet will love you for it when your electric bills drop.

The cost: $2,100

The return: 76% at $1,600

#6 HVAC Replacement

Ok this one is a little more expensive than insulation but the world of difference it makes causes it to be on our top upgrades to conduct. No one wants to pay high electric bills and sweat throughout the summer. Here in Florida a typical unit will last 5-10 years with proper maintenance. Therefore be aware of the age of your unit and if you plan to stay comfortable in your home plan for replacement. One of major benefits will be a cool house regardless of the amount of people and reduced electric bills.

The cost: $7,500

The return: 67% at $5,000

#7 Owner Suite Upgrade

This is one of my personal item next to a bathroom upgrade. I personally feel that when looking to retire for the day an inviting bedroom makes the evening. What is an evening if you don’t have a great shower or soak in the tub? This is why I am including both in this section. If your floor layout allows (no load bearing walls in the way) expand the room to include a decent size closets. You don’t have to go overboard but adding crown molding, light fixtures, and new furniture can make a difference. Again if your floor plans allow expand the room. Create an area for reading or add a view. Add tile to the bathroom, replace sinks and counter-tops. Create a shower or tub that provides an experience not just water. Increase closet space because we can never have enough. These changes will help with resale and give you that extra ah you deserve after a long day.

The cost: $35,550

The return: 52% at $18,500

To summarize these changes are our top picks for increasing home value while providing the best return on investment. The return is measured by the savings incurred and the return upon sale. The figures of cost and return came from the remodeling impact survey created by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and national Association of Realtors. If you are interested in the complete survey you can download it from their website at

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