4 Cheap Home Upgrades That Can Pay for Themselves

Not only are these home renovation projects cheap, but they also can boost your home value high enough to pay for themselves.

4 Cheap Home Upgrades That Can Pay for Themselves Photo by Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

Homeowners must choose renovations carefully if they want some return on a project’s cost.

Plenty of home improvement projects don’t come close to paying for themselves. But a recent Money analysis identified a handful of renovations that can more or less pay for themselves in the boost they give your home’s value.

The following four examples each can be pulled off for less than $5,000.

1. Paint

Painting costs as little as $200 to $300 per room if you do it yourself, according to Money’s calculations.

The effect on your home value will depend in part on the colors you use and which rooms you paint. A 2017 analysis by Zillow found certain color/room combinations can add up to $5,440 to a home’s selling price.

2. Lawn care

Maintaining your yard by performing a standard lawn care program will increase your curb appeal, Money notes.

Hiring a professional for six applications of fertilizer and weed-control product on 5,000 square feet of lawn will cost about $330 but add $1,000 to a home’s sale price, according to a 2016 report from the National Association of Realtors.

3. Walkway

To further spruce up your front yard, consider adding a walkway and plants.

Professional installation of a natural flagstone walkway lined with planters — as well as five flowering shrubs and one tree — costs an estimated $4,750, according to the National Association of Realtors report. But homeowners recover an estimated $5,000 — a 105 percent return.

4. New garage door

A new garage door runs $3,470 and adds $3,411 to the resale value of a home, based on national averages from Remodeling magazine. That’s a return of 98.3 percent, which is the highest rate of return out of 20 common projects that Remodeling evaluated for its 2018 Cost vs. Value report.

On average, the 20 common projects in Remodeling magazine’s report returned only 56.8 percent in 2017, down from 57.9 percent in 2016. Remodeling attributes that primarily to the cost of all those projects having increased, yet the resulting added home values having risen for only two-thirds of the projects.

Remodeling magazine projects the trend of rising building materials will continue in 2018 — all the more reason to choose your next home renovation project wisely.

What has been your experience with the costs and returns of home improvement projects? Share with us below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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