Is digging up the backyard to put in a pool worth it? What about upgrading a tired-looking kitchen with gleaming marble countertops? And what about installing high-tech speakers—throughout the house? If you’re planning to renovate your home, you may already be asking yourself these questions. But when it comes to increasing your home’s appraisal value, the answer to them isn’t always a resounding yes.
To help ensure that your reno dollars are well spent, the team at LearnVest asked real estate experts across the country to weigh in on the top five home improvement dos that can boost resale value—and five don’ts that just aren’t worth the extra expense
Reno Do #1: Upgrade Your Kitchen
All of our experts agree that a kitchen renovation should be at the top of your list, since it’s the heart of a home—the room where families spend most of their time. But where to start? A couple of givens include upgrading to stainless steel appliances and installing countertops made from engineered stone or granite, because these fairly easy changes will improve the aesthetic appeal of the space. Details can also make a difference, like putting shiny knobs on cabinets and purchasing a sparkling new faucet for the sink.
Another wise kitchen upgrade? Knocking down a full or half wall, so you can connect the kitchen to a den or living room. “It makes the kitchen feel more spacious,” says Phyllis Rockower, owner of the Real Estate Investors Club of Los Angeles in California. “If you’re cooking, you can still hear what people are saying during a party, or keep an eye on your kids while they’re playing.”
Reno Do #2: Revamp Your Bathroom