July 30, 2020

Four Home Improvement Projects Worth Your Time


When you’re making improvements to your home, you’re not just improving your life in the short term. You are making an investment in your future and the future value of your home. Ideally, the increase in the value of your home will exceed the cost of the improvement.

However, it seldom works out like that. The most efficient home improvements don’t pay for themselves immediately. It takes years for the appreciation in your home to recoup the expense of an improvement. When making home improvements, you’re looking for ways to improve your quality of life while being as thrifty as possible.

Here are four home remodel projects that can improve the resale value of your home:

Upgrade the Front Door

An old adage in real estate suggests that home features get tours, but the front porch gets sales. People make decisions on home-buying all the time by starting with a gut reaction and finding reasons to support it later. Why not start your home remodeling project with the first thing you interact with on your house: the front door.

Upgrading an old, dingy front door with a modern energy-efficient model is a quick project that can instantly improve your home’s efficiency and aesthetic appeal. Home Depot compares different types of front doors to help you find what’s suitable for your lifestyle. Best of all, hanging a door can be done in one afternoon!

With an average price of $1,200, including labor, an energy-efficient front door has an ROI of 98 percent! It’s also a chance to be creative. A new front door can add a splash of color, or window placements can break up a monotonous front profile.

Minor Kitchen Remodels

Replacing major appliances and installing new flooring is a complex, time-consuming, and expensive task. Being without a kitchen for weeks on end can be a nightmare, and the number of professionals needed to install new lighting and other features is mind-boggling.

Some minor kitchen upgrades, like a new sink, countertops, and energy-efficient cooktops, are comparatively inexpensive. If your cabinets are in good condition, HGTV has a list of easy ways to update your existing cabinetry for a more modern look.

Wooden Decks

Outdoor space is one of the hallmarks of the current iteration of the American dream. Where else can a family sit and enjoy a frosty lemonade on a hot summer day? Or watch the kids play in the yard while tending the grill on a beautiful wooden deck?

Wooden deck additions were unpopular for years, as consumers saw them as luxuries. More people are looking at decks as valuable extensions for their living space. With the price of building materials on the rise, a deck addition is pricier than before. Check out this calculator from HomeAdvisor to help calculate the cost of your future deck space.

Convert an Attic Space into a Bedroom

For most houses, the attic is an afterthought. It’s a place where unused craft projects and abandoned hobbies go to die. Consider turning that dead space into living space with a remodeling project! If you have adult children or relatives visiting from out of town, an attic room can be an excellent guest room.

HomeAdvisor provides a calculator to estimate the cost of the addition in your area. That includes constructing a room, extending utilities to it, and adjusting the house’s exterior to accommodate the new space. This remodel provides a 77 percent return on investment in resale value, with the potential for more.

How to Pay for Upgrades

But, how to pay for these improvements? Here’s how you don’t pay for them: Don’t pay for home improvements using your credit card. That will get expensive fast, and you’ll end up paying even more once the interest hits.

Instead, explore your options for a home equity line of credit – or HELOC – to help make these renovations a reality. This is an excellent use of a HELOC, and you may be able to save money by doing some of the upgrades or all of them yourself! The rates on a HELOC tend to be much lower than credit cards because you have collateral to secure the loan. Find out if a HELOC is right for you here.

This article is for educational purposes only. Tulsa FCU makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or specific suitability of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as legal, tax or financial advice. Nor does the information directly relate to our products and/or services terms and conditions.