Remodeling Projects That Pay Off

These remodeling projects will increase your home's resale value, improving chances for a speedy, attractive offer when you decide to sell.


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Overall kitchen
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Kitchen Improvements

    As the hub of the house -- and its hardest-working room -- the kitchen deserves special attention. New appliances and refinished or refaced cabinets can pay off handsomely.

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Fresh Paint

    Few other fix-ups can give you so much improvement for so little money and effort. Use a unified color scheme of neutral shades.

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Simple Landscaping

    Flowerbeds, foundation plantings, paths, and borders can make a huge difference in your home's appeal. If you buy small plantings and let them grow into their role, you get a particularly high value per investment.

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Spruced-Up Front Door

    Adding a new front door -- or simply painting an existing door and installing new hardware -- makes a great first impression and increases your home's curb appeal.

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Additions and Outdoor Living Spaces

    Additions that suit your home's style, scale, and traffic flow generally add value -- as do well-designed outdoor living areas such as porches and decks.

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Added or Upgraded Bathrooms

    Generally, adding a bath to a home that has only 1 or 1 1/2 baths will pay off at resale. Elements that prove most popular include ample storage, natural light, and ceramic tile on the floor and tub and shower surrounds.

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Updated Faucets and Fixtures

    Add allure to baths and kitchens with good quality, stylish fixtures and faucets. These changes are relatively easy and inexpensive.

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New Knobs, Pulls, and Light Fixtures

    As with new faucets, these easily installed off-the-shelf items boost style and have a big impact with relatively little cost and time.

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Renewed Surfaces

    Worn flooring and chipped, scarred countertops turn off buyers; refinishing or replacing these surfaces with good quality upgrades provides instant appeal.

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Projects That Don't Pay Off

    Not every remodeling project will increase your home's value. Some, in fact, can really turn off potential buyers. Value-reducers include:

    A built-in pool that takes up most of the yard.

    A super-large garage.

    Strange room layouts, such as a bedroom that can only be accessed through another bedroom.

    A poorly designed addition that looks "tacked on."

    Too much white marble.

    Any upgrade that prices a house significantly above those in the neighborhood.

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