19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy

Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Could making a change to your home make you want to stay? The chances are good, judging by a report recently released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The 2019 Remodeling Impact Report suggests that after remodeling, 74% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, and 65% experience more enjoyment in their homes.

Which renovations are likely to give homeowners joy? To answer that question, the report assigns popular renovations a “Joy Score,” which reflects “the happiness homeowners reported with their renovations,” NAR explains.

The higher a Joy Score, the greater the joy a project brought to homeowners.

Following are the 19 renovations with the highest Joy Scores of the renovations included in the report. These projects all earned Joy Scores of more than 9.0 out of 10.

Add new bathroom

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.2 out of 10

The top reason that consumers cite for adding a new bathroom, according to the NAR report, is to add features and improve livability.

After completing the project, 62% of respondents had an increased sense of enjoyment in the home and 85% felt a major sense of accomplishment.

New wood flooring

Halfpoint / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.2 out of 10

The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University reported earlier this year that indoor flooring replacement is the most common upgrade, as we detail in “The 15 Most Popular Home Upgrades – and What They Cost.”

On average, homeowners spend $3,283 to complete an indoor flooring replacement, JCHS reported.

Not bad when you consider that 78% of NAR survey respondents had a greater desire to be home after completing a wood flooring project.

New garage door

Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.3 out of 10

Not only does this renovation offer a Joy Score of 9.3 out of 10, but it also offers the best return on investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report. That report shows that a garage door replacement retains 97.5% of its value upon resale of the home, as we report in “These 10 Home Improvements Offer the Highest Returns.”

Insulation upgrade

Worker insulating an attic
Bilanol / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.3 out of 10

The No. 1 reason for an insulation upgrade, according to the National Association of Realtors report, is to improve energy efficiency.

After completing the project, 60% of respondents had a greater desire to be at home.

New fiber-cement siding

homeowners
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.3 out of 10

This project gives a major sense of accomplishment to 80% of those who complete it, according to the NAR report. It’s also worth noting that 70% of those who completed this project did it to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials.

New vinyl siding

homebuyers
PureRadiancePhoto / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.3 out of 10

Siding replacement is one of those renovations that offers a relatively high return on value. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, the replacement of siding retains 75.6% of its value when the home is sold.

For more projects like this, check out “Selling Your Home: Here’s How to Create Maximum Curb Appeal.”

Bathroom renovation

goodluz / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.3 out of 10

Of consumers who renovate a bathroom, 80% feel a major sense of accomplishment, while 70% have an increased desire to be at home. On top of that, 35% feel that the project improved functionality and livability.

Basement conversion to living area

alabn / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.5 out of 10

The National Association of Realtors report suggests that 72% of consumers who convert a basement to a living area do so to add features and improve livability.

After finishing the project, 85% of respondents report having a greater desire to be at home.

Hardwood flooring refinish

Rocketclips, Inc. / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.5 out of 10

The top reason for completing this project is to upgrade worn-out surfaces, according to the National Association of Realtors report. Other reasons that consumers complete this project are to modernize the look of the home as well as because they felt it was time for a change.

New roofing

Radovan1 / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.5 out of 10

With new roofing, 50% of those who completed the project report that they had durable and long-lasting results. Additionally, 75% of those who completed this project report a major sense of accomplishment, while 65% have a greater desire to be at home.

If you’re in the market for a new roof, don’t miss “7 Tips for Getting the Best Deal on a New Roof.”

New vinyl windows

Dmitry Kalinovsky / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.6 out of 10

With new vinyl windows, homeowners can expect to retain about 73.4 percent of the cost when they sell the home, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report. Believe it or not, that’s a relatively good cost recouping.

New wood windows

TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.6 out of 10

Like new vinyl windows, new wood windows can also provide a reasonable return on investment, with 70.8% of the cost recouped upon sale of the home, according to Remodeling magazine.

Kitchen upgrade

Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.7 out of 10

Among consumers who complete a kitchen upgrade, 85% have a great desire to be at home and 74% report greater enjoyment while at home.

Individual room paint job

Couple painting a room in their home
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.7 out of 10

The top reason that consumers paint an individual room is because they felt is was time for a change.

Additionally, 23% of those who complete this project report that it adds more personality to the home and 73% report a greater desire to be at home after finishing.

New steel front door

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.7 out of 10

A new steel front door comes with a Joy Score of 9.7, but it can also help boost the value of your home — especially if you paint it black, as we report in “Painting With This Color Can Boost Your Home’s Sale Price by $6,000.”

New fiberglass front door

A handyman replaces a door lock
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.7 out of 10

While you consider what color your new front door should be, you can also consider that 79% of those who finish this project have a greater desire to be at home afterward, the National Association of Realtors found.

The top reason for getting a new fiberglass front door, however, is to improve energy efficiency.

Full interior paint job

Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 9.8 out of 10

When you paint the entire inside of your home, it refreshes the whole house. In fact, 88% of NAR survey respondents say they have a greater desire to be home now that all the walls are new. Plus, 86% report feeling a major sense of accomplishment after completing the project.

Complete kitchen renovation

mavo / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 10 out of 10

If you’re looking for something designed to give you complete joy, you might consider a complete kitchen renovation. It’s one of only two projects to which NAR survey respondents gave a Joy Score of 10 out of 10.

The most important result was better functionality and livability, and 95% of those who finish this project report feeling a greater sense of enjoyment in their home afterward.

Closet renovation

A woman picks clothes out of her closet
New Africa / Shutterstock.com

Joy Score: 10 out of 10

The other renovation that offers a Joy Score of 10 out of 10 is a closet renovation.

NAR points out that a disorganized closet is a daily inconvenience, so improving the situation can improve functionality and livability. Additionally, 72% or consumers who complete this project report wanting to be home more now that the closet has been reorganized.

What home upgrade has brought you the most joy, or which would you expect to bring you the most joy? Share with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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