Which Interior Renovation Adds the Most Value to a House?

New and refinished wood flooring and HVAC upgrades are the top interior renovation projects that add the most value at resale.

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These 12 Interior Renovation Projects Add the Most Value

Americans spend $400 billion annually on remodeling their homes. And, although homeowners may redesign or restructure their home for a variety of reasons, some interior renovations become a better investment than others. The 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of Realtors, analyzed the 12 most common interior renovation projects and found which ones are likely to add the most value to a home at resale. Plus: Why now is a great time to be a bathroom remodeler.

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New Wood Flooring

Is it worth it to replace flooring with new hardwood? Yes! Generally speaking, adding wood floors can be a make or break feature as buyers have come to expect wood floors. In fact, the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report shows new wood flooring as the top interior renovation project to add the most value to a home at resale. Realtors estimate homeowners can recover 106 percent of their original cost.

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Hardwood Flooring Refinish

Refinishing hardwood floors can restore their original beauty, but how much resale value does it add to a home? According to the report, homeowners will get back dollar for dollar what they put in to refinish hardwood floors. For example, if it costs $2,600 to refinish the floors, a homeowner can expect to recoup 100 percent of the cost at resale. Next, check out tool upgrades that make life easier for pros.

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HVAC Replacement

For homeowners planning to sell in the immediate future, it's important to recoup as much of the cost for renovations as possible. Buyers expect the HVAC system to be working and well-maintained. If homeowners have recently replaced the system, they can expect to recover around 85 percent of the cost. Which begs the question, where are homeowners spending their remodeling dollars?

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Insulation Upgrade

Properly insulated walls make heating and cooling a home more efficient and cut down on energy costs. Plus, an insulation upgrade is an interior renovation project that can add significant value to a home. Realtors estimate homeowners can get 83 percent of their money back at resale. Here are some pros and cons of the most commonly used types of residential insulation.

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Basement Conversion to Living Area

Many homeowners wonder if going through the expense of finishing a basement is a value-add improvement. The answer is yes. A finished basement not only adds extra square footage of living space, it boosts the resale value and helps homeowners recoup 64 percent of the estimated project cost when it's time to sell.

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Complete Kitchen Renovation

In most cases, homeowners can count on a complete kitchen renovation to boost the value of their home. In fact, a recent study from Realtor.com shows that of the people surveyed, 80 percent said their kitchen was the most important space in their home. Homeowners can recover as much as 59 percent of the (potentially hefty) remodeling cost. For inspiration, here are some popular kitchen cabinet colors and trends.

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Bathroom Renovation

A bathroom renovation ranks right alongside a kitchen upgrade as a way to add value to a home at resale. For example, if a homeowner spends $35,000 to update the bathroom, 57 percent, or $20,000, of the total remodeling cost can be recouped when they sell. These are the top five reasons people pull the trigger on bathroom renovations (and what it means for pros).

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Attic Conversion to Living Area

While converting an attic into living space can carry a larger-than-normal up-front price tag, the remodeling costs could end up being an investment that increases your home value. According to the study, homeowners can recover as much 56 percent of the cost of remodeling at resale. It's helpful to know these pros and cons of attic insulation types.

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Kitchen Upgrade

Upgrading the kitchen (different from a complete kitchen remodel) continues to be a solid investment homeowners can make in their house. Whether it's upgrading the appliances, replacing the sink or swapping out old cabinets, homeowners can expect to get back 52 percent of what they spend on these interior renovation costs. Check out these helpful tips for how to choose kitchen cabinet hardware.

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New Master Suite/Owners' Suite

Updating the master suite can give homeowners a personal oasis they love coming home to and at the same time add value to their home. Realtors estimate homeowners can get back 50 percent of their money back at resale. For example, if the project costs $150,000, the estimated cost recovered is $75,000.

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Add a New Bathroom

How much does adding a bathroom increase home value? According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, homeowners can recoup nearly 50 percent of their remodeling costs at resale. Bathrooms are selling points and adding another one is a good way for homeowners to add value to their home.

Here is more on today’s bathroom tile trends.

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Closet Renovation

Adequate storage and spacious closets are important to homebuyers. However, the report shows that this popular extra may not increase a home's resale value by as much as the rest of these interior renovations. Homeowners can expect to get back about 40 percent of what they spend on closet upgrades

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