Which Home Improvements Offer the Most Value? 

Which Home Improvements Offer the Most Value? 

July 10, 2023
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
New Milgard Trinsic series windows and doors

Which Home Improvements Offer the Most Value? 

The journey of homeownership, for many, is not just about having a place to call home—it's also about making a sound financial investment. When you hold the keys to your home, you become a steward of a property that can offer significant returns in the future. Returns are best secured when the property is well cared for and updated according to modern demands and styles.

However, not all updates and improvements deliver the same return on investment. When it comes to boosting the value of your San Diego property, specific projects offer a more significant payoff than others. Factors like the current housing market, the neighborhood, and the type of improvement play a substantial role in determining how much value these renovations can add to your home.

So, what are some valuable home improvements you should consider? How can you enhance your home's charm while ensuring you're making a worthy investment? Whether you're planning to sell your home in the future or want to enjoy the upgrades yourself, we've compiled a list of home improvements that can significantly add value to your property. From installing new windows and doors to upgrading your kitchen, we'll delve into each project, offering insights into their potential returns.


New Windows and Doors  

The first impression is a lasting one, and the exterior of your home plays a significant role in shaping that impression. Updating your old windows and doors is a straightforward yet highly effective way to boost your home's exterior appeal and functionality.

Upgrading to modern windows and doors can incredibly impact your home's overall aesthetics. The wide variety of designs and materials available today allows you to tailor your choices to match the architectural style of your home and personal preferences. You can opt for rustic wooden designs or sleek, minimalist styles that exude a contemporary vibe.

Trinsic Series V300 Kitchen

But the benefits extend beyond just appearance. Replacing old windows and doors with improved modern products boosts energy efficiency. Modern windows are designed with technology that reduces thermal transfer, blocking UV rays and keeping your home cool in the San Diego heat without overworking your air conditioning system. Similarly, quality doors provide an extra layer of insulation, preventing cool air from escaping during hot summer days.

Regarding security, new windows and doors provide enhanced protection against potential intruders. They are often equipped with sophisticated locking systems that make them difficult to break into, providing peace of mind for homeowners.

Moreover, a home with new windows and doors generally scores high in home inspections—a factor that can increase buyer confidence and, consequently, the value of your home. Even if you're not planning to sell in the near future, this investment pays for itself over time through energy savings and enhanced security. Replacing windows and doors offers immediate aesthetic and long-term benefits, making it one of the top home improvements for added value.

According to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, you could recoup up to 86% of the project cost at resale in the San Diego region, which is 10% above national averages.

Garage Door Replacement  

Regarding value-adding home improvements, garage door replacement often gets overlooked. However, the impact of this upgrade is surprisingly substantial. The garage door can account for up to 20% of your home's facade, meaning an old, worn-out door can significantly detract from your home's overall curb appeal. Replacing it with a new, stylish one can instantly transform and modernize the exterior of your home.

garage door

But an updated garage door offers more than just aesthetic improvements. A new garage door enhances the functionality of your home by providing superior insulation and increased security. Today's garage doors are designed with better insulation materials, which help maintain the temperature of your garage and, by extension, your home, thus reducing energy costs. Better insulation is a valuable feature, especially in areas with extreme weather conditions.

In terms of security, modern garage doors are often built with advanced features like rolling code technology, which prevents potential thieves from gaining access to your garage. Some models even offer smart connectivity, allowing homeowners to remotely operate and monitor their garage doors.

Another reason garage door replacement is a wise investment is its relatively high return on investment. According to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, you could recoup up to 95% of the project cost at resale in the San Diego region, making it one of the top investments you can make in your home.

While a garage door might seem like a minor detail, replacing it can significantly impact your home's look, functionality, and value. It's an upgrade that blends practical benefits with aesthetic enhancements, making your home more attractive to you and potential buyers.

Siding Replacement  

When assessing a home's exterior, the siding's condition and style are among the first things potential buyers notice. It's the "skin" of your house, and if it's worn out, damaged, or outdated, it can significantly diminish your home's curb appeal and perceived value. Investing in siding replacement is a powerful way to give your property a dramatic facelift. With various materials and colors available, from classic wood and versatile vinyl to durable fiber cement, you can choose a siding that enhances your home's aesthetic and matches its architectural style. In the San Diego region, we often use stucco siding. However, a variety of siding materials are in use across the region.

But the benefits of new siding extend far beyond just appearance. It's also about improving the functionality and durability of your home. High-quality siding offers better insulation, resulting in more efficient heating and cooling of your home. Improved insulation can substantially lower your energy bills, investing in new siding that pays off month after month.

milgard windows and doors

Furthermore, new siding provides a formidable layer of protection against various weather elements. It shields your home from wind, rain, and even sun damage, ensuring the structural integrity of your property remains intact.

Regarding return on investment, siding replacement is a highly valuable home improvement project. According to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, you could recoup up to 70% of the project cost at resale in the San Diego region. Siding replacement becomes an intelligent choice for homeowners looking to increase their home's value by combining aesthetic transformation and improved energy efficiency.

Bathroom Remodel  

When it comes to enhancing the value of your home, bathroom remodels are among the most impactful projects. Despite typically being one of the smaller spaces in a house, the bathroom plays a significant role in a home's overall appeal and functionality.

A clean, modern, and efficient bathroom can substantially increase the value of your home. Today's home buyers are looking for bathrooms that offer more than just the basics. They're interested in luxurious, spa-like spaces to relax and unwind.

A full bathroom remodel might involve:

  • Replacing the tub or shower.
  • Adding new tiles.
  • Upgrading the vanity and sink.
  • Installing new fixtures and lighting.

Consider incorporating universal design elements, such as walk-in showers and grab bars, for a more accessible bathroom. These updates can dramatically transform the space, turning an outdated bathroom into a stylish and comfortable retreat.

But a bathroom remodel doesn't have to be extensive to add value. Even minor updates can have a significant impact. Fresh paint in a modern color can instantly brighten the space while replacing old fixtures with new, more efficient ones can improve the bathroom's functionality. Upgraded lighting can enhance the ambiance, and extra storage can increase the room's utility.

Keep in mind that bathroom remodels also offer an excellent return on investment. According to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, you could recoup up to 60% of the cost of an upscale bathroom remodel when they sell your home.

bathroom remodel

In conclusion, whether you choose a complete remodel or just a few upgrades, improving your bathroom can significantly increase your home's value while improving your daily living experience.

Kitchen Remodel  

Often deemed the heart of the home, the kitchen is a place where families gather, prepare meals together, and make memories. Thus, it's no surprise that an updated, functional, and stylish kitchen is one of the most sought-after features for home buyers. A well-executed kitchen remodel can significantly enhance the beauty and value of your home.

A full-scale kitchen remodel may include installing new cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances and updating the layout to improve functionality. Consider adding an island for additional workspace, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances for enhanced performance and reduced energy costs, and investing in quality countertops and cabinets for durability and aesthetic appeal.

kitchen remodel

However, a kitchen remodel doesn't always require a complete overhaul. Even minor updates can substantially affect your kitchen's look and functionality. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint or new hardware on cabinets can breathe new life into the space. Upgrading modern, energy-efficient appliances can increase the kitchen's functionality and appeal without requiring a massive budget.

When considering a kitchen remodel, focus on the potential return on investment. According to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, you could recoup up to 60% of a midrange kitchen remodel and 80% of a midrange minor remodel at resale in the San Diego region, making it worthwhile for those looking to increase their home's resale value.

Ultimately, a kitchen remodel is an investment in your home's value and quality of life. Whether it's a large-scale renovation or minor updates, improving your kitchen can make your home more appealing to potential buyers and make it a more enjoyable place for you and your family to spend time.

New Roofing  

When it comes to home improvements that add value, new roofing tops the list—quite literally. The roof is one of the most critical components of a home, offering protection from the elements, contributing to energy efficiency, and significantly impacting the property's overall curb appeal.

An old or damaged roof can be a significant deterrent for potential buyers. It signals potential and costly issues down the line, such as leaks, water damage, and poor insulation. Conversely, a new roof offers potential buyers peace of mind, knowing that this significant component of the house won't require attention or investment for many years.

When choosing materials for a new roof, homeowners have a multitude of options. Asphalt shingles, being cost-effective and durable, are the most popular choice in many regions. Though more expensive upfront, metal roofs offer longevity and excellent resistance to wind and fire. Slate and tile roofs, while pricey, deliver stunning aesthetics and can last for many decades.

Beyond protection and aesthetics, a new roof can significantly enhance your home's energy efficiency. Modern roofing materials are designed to reflect solar heat, reducing the need for air conditioning in the warmer months. This energy efficiency is not just good for the environment; it also translates into monthly savings on utility bills, making the upfront investment in a new roof more manageable over time.

As for the return on investment, a new roof is a smart bet. While the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report doesn't specifically call out clay tile roofs, some of the most common in San Diego, it states that metal roofs could recoup up to 66% and asphalt shingles up to 80%.

Investing in a new roof enhances your home's value in several ways. It improves curb appeal, enhances energy efficiency, and provides a strong selling point for potential buyers. So while a new roof might require a significant initial investment, the long-term returns are worth considering.

Maximizing Home Value: Strategic Upgrades for a Lasting Investment 

Investing in home improvements not only enhances your living experience but also can significantly increase the value of your property. To maximize your return on investment, specific projects stand out as particularly valuable. Upgrading your windows and doors can enhance your home's exterior appeal, improve energy efficiency, and provide enhanced security. Similarly, replacing your garage door can transform the look of your home while offering better insulation and advanced security features. Siding replacement revitalizes your home's appearance and provides improved insulation and protection against the elements.

Regarding interior upgrades, bathroom remodels are highly impactful, offering aesthetic and functional improvements. Upgrading your bathroom can create a luxurious and relaxing space, attracting potential buyers and adding value to your home. Likewise, whether extensive or minor, a kitchen remodel can breathe new life into the heart of your home. Enhancing functionality, updating appliances, and improving aesthetics can make your kitchen more appealing to buyers and increase your home's value.

Lastly, investing in a new roof is a wise choice, as it protects your home and enhances its curb appeal and energy efficiency. With a wide range of roofing materials available, you can choose the option that best suits your needs and complements your home's style.

While each of these home improvements requires an initial investment, the potential returns make them worthwhile. Whether you're planning to sell your home in the future or want to enjoy the upgrades yourself, these projects can significantly enhance your property's value and make your living space more comfortable, functional, and attractive. By carefully selecting the right improvements based on your budget, the current housing market, and the unique characteristics of your home, you can make sound decisions that benefit both your present and future homeownership journey.