Talking ROI – Home Renos That Yield The Highest Return

When contemplating home renovation projects that will bring the highest return when you decide to sell, it’s important to choose the projects wisely. Key areas of the home that interest potential buyers include the kitchen, bathroom, square footage and interior and exterior paint, followed by floors, windows and appliances.

A critical point to remember is not to go overboard and make renovations that exceed the home’s look or out-price the rest of the home. Compromise by blending the new look with the old to retain the overall style of the house while keeping remodeling costs reasonable.


Start with the kitchen as it is the heartbeat of the house so investing in remodeling is standard operating procedure. Keep renovations simple and in sync with the rest of the house. Meaning, if it’s a vintage home, adding a super deluxe kitchen with commercial appliances detracts from the style of the original architecture and sticks out like a sore thumb.

Address the biggest issues first — countertops, cabinets, flooring and windows. Replace outdated countertops and flooring. Resurface items, such as cabinets, that just need a facelift. Add a fresh look with new paint, recessed lighting, faucets, cabinet hardware and energy-efficient windows and appliances.

According to Remodeling, updating the kitchen can add an estimated $37,139 to the value of your home. This can add up to a 75% return on remodeling expenses. Though prices vary by region, a minor facelift running around $18,000 generally reaps a higher return than a more expensive project. The high-end projects average 70% to 72% with costs at $61,000 and $47,000, respectively.


According to US News and World Report, investing in updating and remodeling the bath can produce as much as a 62% return on investment because potential buyers want a modern bathroom from the get-go. They do not want to incur the expense of remodeling after purchasing a home.

Replace outdated faucets and fixtures, install new lighting, switch out a single sink with a double, customize the shower and add an energy efficient low-flow, high efficiency or dual flush toilet. If the shower tile is showing its age, have it replaced; same with the floor.

Square Footage

If your home has an attic, consider converting it into an extra room. This is a positive element for buyers looking for additional square footage for a bedroom, playroom or office. Although this is an expensive project – around $48,000 – a 73% ROI is possible according to Remodeling.


Painting and accenting walls with colors you like is fine but when it comes time to sell, provide the buyers with a blank canvas to envision their own color scheme and accents. Keep interior walls neutral: ivory, beige, pale grey, soft yellow or white. The lighter colors make rooms look larger and less crowded.

The same rule applies for the exterior paint. Always keep this in mind, no matter what you do on the inside, if a potential buyer’s first impression is a faded and outdated exterior with chipped and peeling paint, they’ll keep on driving. Choose exterior colors wisely. Use fresh, clean colors for the walls complemented by a light colored trim.

Information from QualitySmith notes homeowners can experience a 75% ROI on interior and 90% ROI on exterior painting costs.

Extra Touches

You want your home to have positive curb appeal, which means not only fresh exterior paint or vinyl covering, but also well-maintained sidewalks and driveway, well-kept landscaping, a stylish front door and a good-looking mailbox.The goal is to have a complete package inside and out.