There are many reasons why you might want to buy or sell your home. Maybe you need more space, or you’re moving to a different city for work, or your family has grown and needs more room. But whatever the reason, one thing everyone wants to know when they’re buying or selling real estate is how much their home will be worth in the end. One of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home is through renovations and improvements.

But not all home renovations are created equal — some are sure to boost your house’s value while others won’t do much at all, making your hard work seems like a waste. To avoid that fate, here are eight ways to increase the value of your home without breaking the bank or taking months of time off from work:

Couple in new house choosing color for walls

Should You Hire a Contractor for Your Home Renovation?

While hiring a contractor can be expensive, it can also save you a lot of time and headaches. Hiring someone with experience in your specific home renovation will ensure your project stays on schedule and budget. Just make sure they have all the requirements you need like a stormwater general permit for construction, which is required for construction sites that may potentially discharge volumes of pollutants to surface waters that disturb the soil. Get free estimates from multiple contractors before deciding which one to hire. And once you do hire them, stay on top of them about scheduling, so you know what’s going to happen when—especially if it pertains to your timeline for moving into your new space.

Add a Detached Garage

To add value, simply adding a garage detached from your home will do the trick. A two-car garage typically adds around $20,000 to your asking price. In some areas where space is at a premium, you can get an even greater return on investment with more garages. Always ask yourself if you need to use one before building—just because they make sense doesn’t mean they always do.

Upgrades in Your Kitchen

While you might think your kitchen is a reflection of you and your style, a home buyer would likely see it differently. The reality is that buyers have little regard for interior decorating trends—they’re much more interested in how well kitchens function. If your kitchen is outdated, consider bringing it up to date with new countertops, hardware, appliances, and flooring. Give careful consideration to options like wood floors; most buyers prefer hardwood over other surfaces because they’re easier to maintain and clean.

New Roof or Siding

Not only does a new roof make your home more attractive, but it also helps you avoid costly repairs. That’s because shingles and siding tend to deteriorate faster in areas that receive heavy amounts of rain or snowfall, or are otherwise subject to harsh weather conditions year-round. If you don’t replace these components when they start looking worn and weathered, repairs can cost hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars.

Basement Renovations

The basement is often a very overlooked area of a home, but it’s also one that can add huge value to your property. People see basements as extra space that they don’t know what to do with or view as an expense rather than an investment. That being said, there are numerous types of basement renovations that increase your home’s value instantly upon completion.

And while you may think adding space is expensive, you could be surprised by how inexpensive it can be! Many projects don’t require structural work or building permits which lower construction costs significantly.

Replacing Radiators with Baseboard Heating

A baseboard heating system is much less expensive than a radiator and will warm your room faster. Also, these systems are safer as they’re more difficult for children to reach. With an old-fashioned radiator, you also need a professional plumber to install and repair it. Finally, radiators have trouble heating larger rooms so make sure to get new ones if you have a large house or apartment.

Dual Pane Windows

If you have old windows and haven’t considered upgrading them, you should. Even if they still function properly, your home will be more comfortable when it’s heated or cooled with better insulation. Upgrading your windows is also an investment: it will increase your home’s value and make your property more desirable for purchase in a competitive market.

Add an Attic Insulation

Insulating your attic is one of those simple investments that can add value to your home and lower your energy bills. And if you combine it with other home-value boosters, such as a new roof or adding a deck, then you’ll be able to cash in big when you eventually sell your home.

Outdoor Space for Entertaining

Create an outdoor entertaining space with a fire pit and patio furniture. A deck or balcony can also add value to your home — especially if you live in a high-density area or on top of another building. You might also consider adding a pool or hot tub, as well as other entertainment features, such as a sauna, game room, media room, and so on. The amount of return you’ll see will vary greatly depending on location.

Before you begin any home renovation, ask yourself: Why am I doing it? Is it going to add value to my property? Or will I just be spending money for no reason at all? Make sure your investment will have a positive return.

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