These DIY Home Improvement Projects Will Give You the Best Return on Investment

07/19/23  |  Julie Latsko

Best ways to upgrade your home to make a fast, profitable sale.

To sell a home is a time-consuming, sometimes stressful commitment. More than that, it is lucrative. If you are contemplating selling, give yourself sufficient time to prepare before you put your house on the market. Buyers look for upgraded, fashionable homes, so sellers often remodel before they make a sale. Home improvement projects can ensure a person like yourself sells fast and makes a profit. Homeowners or professionals can upgrade the interior and exterior of the home, depending on a person’s preference.

Renovations and remodels increase your home's return on investment or ROI. ROI is measured by the percent of value recovered from each project, which adds value to your property. It compares what a person paid for an investment — in this case, a renovation project — to how much they made back. For the purpose of the statistics used in this blog post, know that the ROI formula is gross return minus cost divided by cost. There are many ways, big and small, to upgrade your home for a raise in value. Before listing your home, consider making these upgrades to increase your ROI.

Invest in the exterior

A home’s exterior is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Because of this, sellers could focus on curb appeal. The outside of a home sets the precedence for the interior. If a buyer approaches a house with outdated roofing or an unkept yard, they will walk into the home with unsavory expectations. Investing in your house’s exterior can be as simple as incorporating an outdoor living space, planting flowers, or installing an outdoor firepit or fireplace.

For the best ROI on the exterior of your home, consider re-roofing the house. According to a 2022 report conducted by the National Association of Realtors, or NARs, upgrading your roof will secure 100% ROI. Realtors estimate new roofing can not only increase the value of a home, but sellers can recover the entire cost of the project in a sale. Roof work is difficult, but with the right tools, materials, and understanding of the safety necessities for the project, a prospective home seller can do this project on their own. Before undertaking a project such as this, be sure you completely understand the roofing process and safety procedures.

A new garage door was also reported by NARs to have a 100% ROI. Such a project is estimated to cost around $2,000, as reported in the NARs study, and such a small fix can do a lot for your property’s curb appeal. Installing a new garage door, however, is heavy work. A professional could easily do this job, as could an experienced DIY-er.

Upgrade interior walls and floors

Interiorly, most homebuyers look for well-taken care of walls and floors. Consider repainting the entire interior in a warm neutral color. A seller could repaint their home on their own to ensure a fast sale once the house is on the market. Investing time, energy, and money into a project like this will ultimately pay off. Newly painted walls are attractive to potential buyers, and colors that are easy to decorate with, like grey beiges or sandy tones, introduce warmth into the home. Fresh paint means a buyer would not have to repaint upon move-in.

When it comes to flooring, buyers contemporarily are most attracted to hardwood floors. If a seller like yourself already has hardwood floors installed, a simple refinish can turn a profit. Repair holes, scratches, or scuffs by patching, sanding, buffing, staining, and sealing. A tedious task, refinishing hardwood pays off. NARs says the ROI for a hardwood floor refinish is 147%. A DIY-er could make all of their money back from the project and more.

In a home that does not have hardwood floors or only has hardwood in some spaces, a person with the right tools and mindset could install new wood floors at an ROI of 118%. Installation of hardwood floors is easier than ever. While the process takes time, technological advances and new services have made it so a person can keep order already finished hardwood flooring online. You can nail or glue hardwood floors after properly calculating the room’s area and sanding and leveling the subfloor. On a concrete subfloor, glue the panels down. You could glue or nail the hardwood panels if the subfloor is wooden. If you are not interested in doing it yourself, a professional can also be hired for this task, but the process has been made so much simpler for DIY-ers in recent years.

Remodel kitchen and bathrooms

A home’s kitchen and bathrooms are majorly important to potential buyers. House hunters pay close attention to the quality of these rooms, so a remodel or renovation of them is alluring. For a person on the hunt for tougher, larger-scale remodels, a complete kitchen renovation increases a home’s value. Kitchen renovations ensure an ROI of 75%, according to the NAR. The best part is, with a genuine understanding of carpentry and careful planning, a home seller could complete this project on their own or with their support system.

Kitchen upgrades, which are less laborious than renovations, have an ROI of 67%. Upgrades can be as simple as repainting or staining cabinets, installing a new, attractive sink, and installing other new appliances. An updated kitchen certainly pleases potential buyers, and the hard work involved in such a project will be well worth it in the end.

Upgrading and renovating a smaller space, like a bathroom, is easier than a kitchen renovation. Bathroom renovations secure a seller a 71% ROI. A person could completely re-do their bathrooms on their own or upgrade some features here and there. New vanities could be installed in the bathrooms with virtually any surface. For example, a sink installed in a dresser makes for a charming vanity. A once mundane bathroom can be made luxurious by replacing or even simply framing the sink. Sellers could also retile their bathroom backsplash and floors for a clean finish. Simple fixes such as these are sure to help a seller make a profit off their home sale.

Next steps

Once you have made upgrades to your home for sale, hire an experienced, trusted realtor. Chicago agent Julie Latsko has years of realty and home design experience and can even talk you through DIY-ing home upgrades and renovation projects. When you’re ready to put your Chicago home up for sale, Julie can be an asset. She is an educated and passionate agent ready to help you sell your Illinois home. For more information on home upgrades and selling, contact Julie Latsko today!

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock