Home Renovations That (Almost) Pay for Themselves

Please welcome Sarah Landrum from Punched Clocks for today’s guest post on home renovations.

Pop quiz: Is your home perfect, or is there room for improvement? Answer: Room for improvement, right? Whether you want to repaint the dining room or swap out the drapes, there’s always something that could use some sprucing up. The real issue becomes whether your renovations are going to merely look good or add actual value to your home.

Before you make any plans for home renovations, check out this list of upgrades that practically pay for themselves in adding value to your home.

Hopefully, they can do both. Here are some home renovations that almost pay for themselves.

1. Insulating Your Attic

Just because you have insulation in your attic doesn’t mean it’s effective. This is especially true if that insulation is several years old. New insulation can significantly reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home. You might also discover in this process that there are areas in the home such as crawlspaces, basement rafters and between walls that could be boosted with a level of insulation.

This is an improvement that you won’t have to sell your home in order to benefit from. You should see a difference on your next power bill.

2. Expanding Your Storage Space

Follow a prospective homebuyer through an open house and you’ll see them make a dash to the closets. You’ll hear a huge sigh of relief if they happen to stumble upon a walk-in closet. Expanding your home’s storage space can be very attractive to a future buyer, not to mention how much of a help if can be for your own needs.

A contractor might discover there’s additional space behind your existing closet walls that would allow you to open things up. You could also renovate your attic to make room for more “stuff.”

3. Adding a Bedroom

Speaking of renovating that attic, could it work as an additional bedroom? If so, then you might want to opt for this renovation. According to Remodeling Magazine, setting up an attic bedroom can run around $35,960. That’s a lot of cash outlay, but it can become a major recoupment with the national average of 82% for this project. That’s certainly money well spent.

4. Remodeling Your Kitchen

The most popular area in any home is the kitchen. A kitchen that looks “dated” or “worn out” will be a turn-off. The first thing those buyers might want to do is renovate a kitchen, and that can put them off the entire purchase.

When you remodel a kitchen, you also have the opportunity to bring in more light and space. If the geography of your home allows, you could bring in a skylight or expand on a kitchen window. Whatever you do, try to avoid moving the sink. Replace it, but don’t move the plumbing to the other side of the room. That will add money to the project.

5. Finishing Your Basement

An unfinished basement comes across as one of those DIY projects that will never get done. Of course, all that’s standing in the way of completion could be some drywall installation. Finishing a basement brings your home one step closer to completion.

It’s also an area that is sought after by many homebuyers. A finished basement represents a potential family room, home movie theatre or man cave. That’s very attractive.

6. Replacing Your Garage Door

We all know first impressions matter. On a home, that first impression starts at the garage door. It’s what draws the eye and sets the tone for the entire home façade.

As renovation projects go, replacing a garage door is extremely affordable. For a relatively inexpensive renovation, upgrading your garage door provides a return on investment of over 90%. It also provides you with the opportunity to upgrade the entire look of your home. A plain metal roll-up does the trick, but a wood door with windows will look amazing.

7. Replacing a Backyard Deck

You might not be replacing a backyard deck as much as building one out. With either choice, you’re extending the living space of your home, and that’s a good thing. If you have a pre-existing deck, then consider the condition. Don’t just paint fresh stain over rotting wood. It makes smarter sense to replace the whole deck.

When you do replace the deck, consider shade. Depending on the situation of your home, it might be nice to have an enclosed deck or one with an awning.

8. Renovating a Bathroom

If you’ve ever stood under a rain showerhead, you know what a life-altering experience that can be. That’s just one of the many upgrades you can make to a bathroom. Often, you might be “stuck” with using the same space as your current bathroom. That can work when you replace the tile, fixtures, tub and shower.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised what you can accomplish in such a small space.

9. Installing a New Roof

It’s not so much how long you’ve been living in your home, but instead how long that roof has been up there. If the roof has reached its 20-year anniversary, it might be time to start thinking about replacement. You’ll want to bring in an inspector, but preferably one that doesn’t work for a roofing company. If that inspector says you’ve got more life left in your roof, then put this renovation on the back burner.

However, if that same inspection reveals several problem spots, then replacing will not only upgrade your home, but also protect it from future water damage. It only takes one rainstorm to ruin a home!

10. Replacing Your Front Door

A welcome mat is a nice touch for your front door—unless you’re looking up from that mat to a door that has seen better days. As with replacing your garage door, swapping out your front door can totally transform the look of your home. You could consider widening the door, as well.


As you settle on these projects, try to think outside of the box. Also, think about your own lifestyle. These renovations are just as much for your family to enjoy as they are an investment in your future.

About Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks, a lifestyle and career site all about happiness and success. In addition to career advice, Sarah enjoys dishing out tips for saving money and making the most out of life. Connect with Sarah on social media @SarahLandrum and subscribe to her newsletter for tips to help you make the most of your salary.
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9 Comments

  1. There seems like there is always something to be done or upgraded when owning a home. I would include central air on the list. We added it years ago. I’m sure it added value to the home, but it keeps everyone happy during the hot days of summer. 🙂 Well worth the investment.

  2. It’s good that every room and stuff in our house are suitable to our needs. That is what makes it a perfect for our house. Along the process, we try to provide like adding another room or renovation to meet the needs of every member of our family.

  3. Windows can be another big one! Even in our relatively new house, the builders cut corners and installed drafty ones. Replacing is definitely on our to-do list!

  4. All fantastic add-ons for the home. Maybe I’m slightly biased, but lots of opportunity for brick here, both in terms of insulation for the home and sheer good looks. Nice post!

  5. Absolutely! we had redone our entire house but didnt pay much heed to the garage door, then one day a friend working in real estate mentioned the importance of the first impression!

  6. You are so right about replacing your garage door. It truly can give your home a new look for an affordable price. There are so many choices available so take a look online at what’s available before making a final choice.

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