Five Home Renovations Worth Splurging On

Taking on these projects and investments will help you boost the value of your home.

There’s a fine line between want and need. Those new granite countertops you’ve been eyeing might look perfect in your kitchen, but, would it be better to get a new furnace or replace the roof instead? Are those “splurge” purchases really a wise investment?

The good news is: sometimes, the answer can be yes! Knowing the optimal places to spend your hard earned dollars is the key. When you do, it really can be OK to splurge, because you’re creating real value in your home.

Below are five places where indulging can actually help create new value:

1. Energy Efficiency

Homebuyers are increasingly looking for places where they can save money in the long run, and energy efficiency has become not just a trendy way to do that, but a necessary one for sellers to have to compete in the market.

“We had homeowners who splurged on a radiant heat system in their home,” said San Francisco-based General Contractor Bill Fry. “It might sound like luxury to step on warm floors in the winter, but it also saves energy in the long run and increases quality of life. “

Thinking of projects like that early on in the planning process is also critical, Fry added.

“If you’re remodeling, do work like that all at once, because it can be a much bigger hassle to install things like that once you’ve settled in,” he said.

Energy savings can even be as simple as replacing older windows or doors. These small seal improvements can help you save on utility bills throughout the entire year, while also improving the exterior of your home.

2. Your Front Door

We’ve all heard about the importance of curb appeal. It’s true: the exterior of your home is critical to its resale value, and that starts with the spot where a potential buyer first walks in.

If your door has seen better days, you could repaint it. But, replacing it instead with a door that has more “wow factor” can be a cost effective way to boost value quickly.

3. The Kitchen

The kitchen is the most-used room in a home, so it can have a huge impact on overall value. An outdated kitchen can actually negatively impact a home’s value, so, when it comes to splurging, this is one room that makes a lot of sense. But, beware: Kitchen remodels can get costly if you’re not careful. However, updates can be completed in pieces, without blowing your budget.

Consider replacing things like outdated appliances, hardware and light fixtures first. Then, if you have further budget to splurge on, things like a new sink, cabinets and countertops can also add instant value. Just be careful not to over-improve. Realtors suggest spending no more than 25 percent of your home’s value on your kitchen to improve your chances of making that money back.

4. New Flooring

While carpet can be both beautiful and functional, a majority of buyers are on the lookout for hardwood flooring. With numerous options, from real wood to engineered or laminate options, hardwood floors can be both durable and long lasting.

Homeowners should also be aware that flooring trends are changing, said Kyle Jamicich, associate broker for Coldwell Banker. Lighter colors are becoming more popular, and a growing number of homebuyers may be turned off by darker floors. So, swapping out older, darker hardwood flooring can be advantageous.

“Flooring costs on average around $3.00 per square foot, but a seller would upcharge that to around $5.00 per square foot and bake that into the cost of the home,” Jamicich said. “So, there can be good value there.”

5. Replace Hardware and Fixtures

In addition to making hardware and fixture changes in the kitchen, you should also consider the rest of your house. Simple upgrades to things like doorknobs, deadbolts and hinges might seem like small, inconsequential improvements, but they can dramatically change the feel of a space.

“Replacing old or outdated light fixtures, towel rods, toilet paper rolls and cabinet knobs can also provide a cost effective way to improve the look and feel of a room,” Fry said. “It may seem like splurging to upgrade these types of aesthetics, but they really can make a big difference in your home.”