Top 10 Projects that Add Value to Your Home


Learn which home projects add the most value to your home.

#1: Clean and Conquer Clutter

If you're on a tight budget, cleaning and decluttering is by far the most cost-effective way to add value to your home. A clean and clutter-free home looks larger and more livable and makes a great first impression on homebuyers. So scrub, dust, mop and vacuum each room until it shines, and while you're at it, seriously scrutinize your possessions and toss or donate anything you haven't used in a year. If you're selling your home, put away your favorite knickknacks and family heirlooms. Buyers want to see a clean, neutral space where they can envision their own belongings.

#2: Add Insulation

Energy-efficient upgrades have two advantages: they add value to your home, and they save you money in the long run. The most inexpensive way to increase your home's energy efficiency is to add insulation. Proper insulation can reduce heating and cooling costs as much as 30 percent and make a home feel more comfortable. No matter what your home's price range, this upgrade will add value and marketability to your home. Call your local utility company to have an energy audit conducted on your home. This can help you determine what areas of your home could use an insulation update.

#3: Build a Fence

Adding a fence to your property can enhance its appearance, give you extra privacy and add value to your home overall. If you're trying to sell your home, buyers with children or pets will appreciate this addition. Wood and vinyl are two popular options, but before you start buying supplies, check your local zoning codes and homeowners association rules, if applicable. Some materials may be off limits, and there may be rules on how tall your fence can be.

#4: Finish the Basement (if you have one)

If you're willing to take on a major remodeling project, finishing your basement can add value and more usable space to your home. It's a far more cost-effective way to add living space than adding on a whole new room. First, check for moisture problems in your basement. If your basement is dry enough for finishing, transform the space by adding insulation, flooring, drywall and recessed lighting.

#5: Repair Gutters

While they're certainly not a home's most exciting feature, gutters should be at the top of your list of exterior updates. Gutters keep the rest of your home's exterior -- siding, windows, foundation and doors -- free from water damage, so maintaining them is crucial to maintaining your home overall. Start by cleaning gutters of debris, patching holes and securing them in places where they've pulled away from the house. If they're still in bad shape, replace them. Aluminum gutters are a popular option because they're durable and resistant to rust, while vinyl gutters are inexpensive and fairly easy to install yourself.


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