"Evaluation Booster" Projects for Home Remodeling

When it comes to increasing your home’s appraisal value, your selection of remodeling jobs ranges from weekend DIY jobs to major overhauls. While no one project acts as a magical ticket — the sum of additional value ranges significantly dependent on the project, quality of work, preferences of your buyers and several market conditions — many property professionals concur that certain jobs add value to your house nearly universally.

Cosmetic Projects

In 2011, Prudential Locations LLC recorded repairing damaged flooring and painting walls as the best renovation projects for increasing home value, estimating an average price of $700 to $750 per project and returns that range from 200 to 250 percent. In an MSN Real Estate article, Timothy Dahl of the Charles and Hudson bureau recommends painting or refinishing your kitchen cabinets and refitting them with brand new hardware to make the most of your appraisal. Dahl predicts the kitchen “the main room in the house to get right.”

Utility Boosters

Rather than adding cosmetic appeal, some appraisal-boosting house renovation projects concentrate on improving utilitarian aspects of the house. Prudential reports a new roof offers an average yield of over 60 percent of the investment — even more with the addition of a skylight — while replacing doors and windows often generates about a 55 percent yield. The National Association of Realtors recommends repairing all the home’s lighting fixtures, electrical elements and pipes for a potential return on investment ranging from about 300 to 400 percent.

Going Green

Based on Old House Web and The Appraisal Journal, energy efficiency — that is both in trend and great for the environment — equals large returns for appraisal value and house equity. Examples of effective, appraisal-boosting “greening” projects include the setup of energy-efficient appliances, eco-friendly insulation, energy-efficient windows and the addition of solar panels. If you wish to take your green renovations outdoors, the NAR advises renovated landscaping — especially mulching along with the addition of plants for maximum curb appeal — for returns of about 215 percent.

Additional Projects

Prudential also lists toilet renovations and new siding as appraisal boosters, citing yield percentages in the upper 60s. Although they may cost thousands of dollars, complete kitchen renovations can result in returns of 70 to 80 percent, according to the same source. For a virtually cost-free project, simply deep clean and declutter your house prior to the appraiser arrives to add thousands of dollars into your home’s sale price. Talking to MSN Real Estate, Brian Trow of Foundations Investment Group notes that this simple project gives the illusion of space, an integral factor for appraisers who place maximum value on square footage.

See related