Home Renovations That Add Value

by Rochelle Greayer

in Nuts + Bolts, Pool Gardens

I get asked about return on investment for home improvements all the time.  I’ve seen all sorts of figures on how much value things like a mature tree will add but I found this infographic particularly interesting because it does such a great job at putting value to all sorts of other improvements.

value adding Home Renovations infographic at www.studiogblog.com

Clearly, the most important thing to maintaining maximum value is to keep your home looking attractive and cared for. Add a fresh coat of paint and keep siding maintained, clean, and new looking .

Improved home energy efficiency is a feature that is increasingly adding a lot of value to a home. Interestingly, awnings like these are one of a variety of ways that you can save energy in the summer months (by reducing direct solar gain through windows).  I’m impressed to see that  studies show that adding awnings to a home can result in cooling energy savings of as much as 61% in some areas.  I have to admit — it is not an option I readily think of —  usually my mind goes to that mature tree – if well placed, it will also be a huge help.

I found it startling that 81% of the cost a deck can be re-couped!?!  That figure is much higher than I would have expected.  I wonder what that number would be for a stone patio?

I am not however surprised at the verdict on the swimming pool.  Contractors hate me for this, but I am  constantly trying to convince people to spend ‘pool money’ in a better way.   I’m not a big fan of pools so it is easy for me to say.   Adding a swimming pool may be a lot of fun for your family while you’re there, but value, it does not add.   Do you see any interesting tidbits of information in this info-graphic that surprised (or didn’t) you?

Image provided by general awnings


Embed The Home Renovations Infographic:


geoff October 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I’m a bit surprised that the office and the basement entertaining cave were flops. We’ve converted a 4br house into a 2br-2office house, but that works for a child free family where we work from home 75% of the time. Awnings… Ick. Yes we had them on a ’20s tudor, but on most contemporary (time not style) homes the standard cloth and aluminum offerings are eyesores. I think awnings and deep eaves need to be designed into what passes for suburban architecture. Clapboard-clone-homes don’t really have the latitude for that sort of thing. I could imagine that low-e, heavily tinted, and/or reflective window glass would be at least as effective. Not to mention the options of pergolas and trees which IMHO are a better bet than awnings.
I’d take issue with the garage door assertion. A garage door capable of raising your home value is going to run a good deal more than $1k, especially if your garage is 30% of the front elevation. It would be an interesting comparison to put wood decks up against plastic (Trex) decks for ROI. I look at wood deck maintenance as a sizable time sink annually. Clean, sand, seal, lather, rinse, repeat. Plastic decks just look and feel cheap, eco-chic and maintenance free but it’s still soda bottles in the end. This is a debate currently raging in my home where a 300sf, builder-bad, redwood deck is deteriorating from the (inaccessable) bottom up.
Interesting infographic and certainly some things to think about. Thanks for sharing it.

Teresa Dahl October 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm

There are a lot of good ideas here. I repainted my garage door last summer, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much of an improvement it gave my home. I actually like the look of awnings over windows and doors. It really depends on the style of home, but I think it gives it a nice touch.

Haley Hill October 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Interesting infographic, it’s nice to see some good points for improving your home at a glance. There are a lot of helpful tips we have done in our own home and a lot of other good ideas we will implement in the future. I think people don’t realize the impact some of these things can have on the value of your home, as well as on fast or slow it sells.

I’ve never thought of awnings for environmental use, I’ve always just thought of them as a cosmetic factor. will be looking into this further, thanks for sharing.

rochelle October 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Geoff — I too am surprised that the office and the finished basement don’t add more. Call it an office or a spare bedroom, or an entertainment cave vs. some other useful basement area…seems all of them would be very valuable and I would think that it is really more about useable space. Perhaps I am wrong though…while I can see that a bedroom that is being used as an office can easily become a bedroom again….maybe others cannot?

Mike Collier October 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

Really cool infographic. It’s nice to see so much info summed up in one easy to read graphic. I have worked in real estate for several years and can’t tell you how many deals I see fall through because of a dated kitchen or master bath. Even many 500K+ homes often fail to make some basic updates. Granite doesn’t cost as much as people might think. You can have nice granite counter tops put in for 2K or so into a pretty good sized kitchen, and that alone can sell the house when it otherwise wouldn’t. Don’t count on buyers to look pass dated kitchens and master baths.

Alan Burke October 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I’m with you on all of it. Including the pools – and I have had the same conversation with my clients. You could also throw in spas and in some cases, (though we do scores of them)….water features. Not always the case – and certainly these items CAN add value if done right and reviewed by a potential home purchaser that fits the demographic….we have posted a bit on this as well here: http://www.classicnursery.com/investment.php

Planning for Renovations Dublin October 19, 2012 at 1:57 am

I am thinking of renovating my house with my husband and your home improvement flops have shown me a way to plan. I really had no idea that renovations like including tennis table and all does not increase the value of a house…
I will definitely follow your tips while renovating my house.
Thank a lot…

Sandy October 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Great post for adding value to your home. Awnings do add value to homes and they pay for themselves in a short time by saving money on energy cost. Here’s a site that shows which awnings will work best for your home, and what styles will save you the most money on energy cost.


Jayson October 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Very cool infographic. A couple of years ago I read an article that said the only home improvement that actually brought a return back when the house was sold was windows, and that everything else was overrated because of the costs. For instance, someone spending $40,000 to add a studio room to watch movies would never get that back when they went to sell the house. What’s your thought on this belief?

rochelle October 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I don’t know about windows…what I can say is that the Energy Experts that I have had to my house (3 different ones now) have all told me that I should not replace my windows because the return on investment doesn’t work out. Given that, I can’t imagine that any real economic value should be gained by having new windows…but perhaps it is a perception thing.

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