3 Home Upgrades Worth Saving For

Upgrading your home is expensive. According to Home Advisor, costs can range from $40K to build an addition to $1,800 to install a new closet. Some upgrades, however, are worth saving for thanks to a great return on investment and the overall value that they add to you and your home.

If you want to spruce up your home this year, consider these upgrade ideas.

New Garage Door

A brand new garage door gives the entire outside of your home a fresh feel. Despite the high cost, this is one of the best ways to add value to your home and re-coup the costs: “The cost, which starts around $2,000, can be nearly all recovered. On average, 91 percent of the cost will be reflected in an increase of resale value,” according to 7 Ways Homeowners Can Add Real Value to Their Homes.

When picking your new garage door, consider the following details:

Door style (technical): The most popular garage door is the overhead garage door. “The reason that so many people love them is because they are often affordable, easy to install, convenient to use and make the best use of space compared to garage doors that swing out or roll to the side,” according to experts at CSS Garage Doors.

Door style (aesthetic): There are more style options for your new garage door than you can count. Fresh Home suggests considering what materials will work best with your climate, the style of your home (and finding a garage door that matches that), overall curb appeal of the door.

Low-budget add-on: Rent a power washer (average rates, around $60 per hour) to give the outside of your home a good cleaning. With the dirt and grime removed, the siding will look like new.

Granite Countertops

A full-kitchen remodel cost $21,636 on average, not to mention the time and resources it will take you to complete. Instead of saving for the whole remodel, focus on one area: countertops.

Granite countertops are expensive, ranging from $45 to $200 per square foot (including installation), but as a focal point of your kitchen, it will be just the facelift this area of your home needs.

If that’s still too expensive, consider your options: “There are assorted grades of granite (rated 1-5 or on various scales depending on the manufacturer). Rather than going for a grade 5, consider a grade 2, where you’ll get a better return-on-investment,” according to Kitchen Remodeling: Where to Splurge, Where to Save.

Regular maintenance and care is critical to keeping your countertops looking new and making this investment last. When washing, use warm water and a soft cloth, never abrasive soap or harsh chemical cleaners. Keep acidic liquids off the countertop, which can cause etching and remember that some metals can cause the countertop to gray. Ask about this when purchasing.

Low-budget add-on: Replace all the hardware in your kitchen, which is inexpensive and easy to do yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much this upgrade combo refreshes your kitchen.

A Full Home Security System

A home security system is expensive, but the peace of mind it provides is priceless because it works: a shocking 60 percent of convicted burglars said seeing a security system would cause them to find an alternative target, according to a University of North Carolina study.

Luckily, you don’t have to pinch pennies for months to splurge on an expensive, hard-wired system. Instead, save your cash for something more affordable, like a wireless home system.

Providing the same security as a professional alarm setup for a fraction of the price, a wireless alarm system can be added to as you see fit,” according to security experts at The Home Security Super Store. They continue, “Motion detectors, glass-shatter alarms, and gate sensors are all compatible with these DIY kits and you’ll never have to worry about paying for equipment you don’t need.”

For example, many basic wireless home systems come with a main panel, one motion sensor, 2 window and door sensors, and a remote control for $100-$200. This is a great safety foundation. See the add-on section for ways to boost this base system.

Low-budget add-on: With that set, you can purchase the various components that are important for the security of your property, like wireless security cameras for front and back yard and outdoor sensor lighting. In most cases, all of these components connect to your base system. This allows you to control security with ease, setting zones and timers that work with each piece of the system.

Not all home upgrades are worth saving for. When it comes to return on investment, overall value to your home, and peace of mind, however, these three should be high on your home renovation list.


About the Author

Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She’s worked with a variety of real estate clients, and has written for Forbes, Inman, House Hunt Network, Homes.com and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.