It can be tough deciding which home improvement projects to focus on when looking to upgrade your house. It seems like recently, people are very interested in the shiny new tech, like a refrigerator with a touch screen and automatic connection to your smartphone, or home battery solutions connected to your solar panels to store energy. While this tech is fantastic and can add value to your home, it already adds to a confusing amount of information on what projects truly add value to your home. Should you go with a more traditional project like renovating a kitchen or a bathroom? Or should you go full smart house and get a smart thermostat and solar panels? As it turns out it’s a mix of both.

Basics:

Roofing, plumbing, HVAC, foundation. These are the building blocks of your house, and without it, well you basically just have four walls. Before you move onto to big remodels, tech heavy or not, make sure that the bones of your house are in good condition. These essentials ensure that when and if you sell, the buyer won’t have to spend a significant portion of their budget existing problems. The two projects you can do with the highest ROI are…… a new steel door and attic insulation. Surprisingly, a steel door recoups approximately 91 percent of its cost and attic insulation recoups 108 percent of the cost according to the research done by remodeling.hw.net.

Tech/Green Improvements:

Solar technology has come a very long way. What was once a wildly expensive upgrade for most homeowners has become much more affordable. The federal government grants solar panel buyers a 30% federal tax deduction on the cost of installing the solar energy system through 2019. If installing a whole home solar solution sounds daunting, consider getting a solar water heater. You can still get the 30% federal tax deduction, and save up to 70% on water heating costs which is pretty impressive considering water heaters are typically among the top 2 energy users in your house.

Big Upgrades:

More often than not the areas of homes that receive big upgrades are the kitchen, bathroom, living room, basement and bedroom. Which if you think about it, is where the majority of our time at home is spent. Research suggests minor upgrades to these spaces often recoup costs quicker than a major remodel, but if your kitchen is an eyesore, it’s not going to do you any favors when it comes time to sell. If you are unsure about an amount to spend on your kitchen remodel, I recommend using a remodeling budget calculator as a guide. They usually work by inputting the current value of your home and will give you a suggested budget for a remodel, pretty nifty!

As you look to remodel or improve your home, keep these things in mind. They can provide a good guideline on what might be a priority versus what may be able to wait.