You love your home and have a grand vision for improving it to make it even better. You know by making key improvements that you’ll increase its value, aesthetics, and functionality. What’s more, you’ll also enjoy a better quality of life. That’s what home improvement is really all about, making a home more comfortable, reduce energy costs, and increase its functionality so it’s worth more.
This is especially true if you are going to rent it out as a seasonal vacation home, or, if you plan on selling sometime in the future. Speaking of selling, that’s something that you really need to include in your decision making because you don’t want to sink money into a home that won’t be yours in a couple or a few years.
However, if you plan to own your property for several years, it makes financial and good sense to put a little investment into it to enjoy an instant equity boost. Then, you’ve got to think about whether to go the do-it-yourself route or to hire a pro.
Know which Home Improvements are Smart
One thing you definitely want to avoid is to make changes that won’t bring much or any real net benefit, mostly for financial reasons. Some home improvement projects were quite popular and paid off big time years ago and now don’t bring much of a return on investment. Others remain popular but also don’t bring a high ROI, while still others will downright surprise you as to their worth. One such example is something as bland as a new front steel door. That investment brings back an impressive 98 percent, and a new wood deck cashes in with an 87.4 percent ROI.
“Home improvement shows and magazines make repairs look easy, but sometimes taking the do-it-yourself approach can end up costing more money than hiring a professional. Unless you are handy or have experience in the home improvement business, experts recommend doing extensive research before going at a project alone.” —FOX Business
Other good ROI remodeling projects are a minor kitchen update, which brings back 82.7 percent, wood window replacement captures a return of 79.3 percent, while vinyl window replacement fetches 78.7 percent. Home offices, though once quite desirable are bad performers, returning only 48.9 percent, a sunroom addition fares a bit better but still performs poorly with 51.7 percent, and master suite additions, garage additions, and bathroom addition all barely bring back above sixty percent.
Considerations to Go DIY or Hire a Pro
When you decide on a home improvement project, unless you’re a contractor, you’ll have to also decide whether or not to DIY or to hire a pro. As mentioned above, you can go the hybrid route, doing some the work yourself and hiring a contractor for the rest. Here are the top considerations to take into account:
- Your level of motivation. You’ll have to be completely honest with yourself about this one because it’s very important. Put another way, you don’t want to find yourself in a position of running out of steam and having a project linger unfinished for weeks or months on-end.
- Your skill sets. While you might be handy with tools and have a good sense of style and are creative, that doesn’t necessarily qualify you for a big job. Think heavily about your abilities, and, your limitations because like the above consideration, you don’t want to find yourself at a complete stall.
- Your budget. Of course, your budget will play a big part in your ultimate decision and if you plan on leveraging your equity position to make upgrades and changes, that’s unrealized gains that become real liabilities. This is even more so the case if you plan to sell in the next few to several years.
- Your timeline. How quickly you expect to get the job done and what will actually occur are two very different things. When it comes to home improvement projects, there are some near certainties, which include unplanned and unexpected contingencies and taking longer than planned to complete.
In addition to these, you should also consider your tolerance level. In other words, do you have the patience to do the work yourself incrementally, or, is your personality one that wants to have it all done in one block of time. Functionality and everyday life will be big factors here because if you’re remodeling the kitchen, having to setup a temporary kitchen space elsewhere will require preparatory work and be an inconvenience that lasts until completion.