Home improvement is a perennial favorite of the American consumer. Americans spent an average of $16,000 on home renovations in 2022, according to a joint study by Houzz and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Whether you’re planning to sell or simply want to make your house more comfortable, there are projects that can increase your home’s value. The key is to choose projects that appeal to a broad range of buyers and to stay within your budget. Use models and design tools to help you create the look you want, but be sure to add a 10-15% buffer to your budget estimates.
Spending on home improvement has increased steadily since 2010, with homeowners age 55 and over a driving force behind that growth. Rock-bottom interest rates and the need for older homes to be updated have helped fuel the trend, Anderson says. The categories of work surging the most have to do with the home’s exterior: Deck construction is up more than threefold, and fence construction has skyrocketed as well.
The best way to add value is to improve how the home functions for current residents, such as adding a bathroom or great room. This is also a good time to invest in energy-efficient upgrades that will decrease home costs and pay for themselves over the years, Ross says. These include new windows, a heat pump and additional insulation.