What Pays Off and What Not: The Best and Worst Home Projects for Your Home’s Resale Value

November 10, 2022

If you're like most homeowners, you probably think about your home's resale value when you're planning projects around the house. Some projects will give your home a boost in value, while others will actually hurt your chances of selling it later on. Here are some of the best and worst home projects for your home's resale value.

The best home projects to increase your home's resale value

When it comes time to sell your home, you'll want to make sure that it's in tip-top shape. Luckily, there are a number of simple home projects that you can do to increase your home's resale value.

Kitchen Updates

One of the most important rooms in the house when it comes to resale value is the kitchen. If your kitchen is outdated or in need of repair, undertaking a kitchen update is a great way to add value to your home. Even small updates like painting cabinets or replacing hardware can make a big difference. If you have the budget for it, more substantial updates like new countertops or appliances can really pay off.

Bathroom Updates

When it comes to bathrooms, many home buyers are looking for modern updates. If your bathroom is in need of a makeover, consider updating things like your water tank, fixtures, flooring, or tile work. These types of updates can be relatively inexpensive but can make a big impact when it comes time to sell.

For instance, new water tanks are more efficient than older models and can help to save on water bills. New flooring or tile work can also give your bathroom an updated look that will appeal to buyers. So if you're thinking about selling your home in the near future, consider making some updates to your bathroom first.

Curb Appeal Updates

First impressions matter, so if you're looking to increase your home's resale value it's important to make sure it has good curb appeal. Simple things like power washing the exterior, painting the front door, or adding some landscaping can go a long way in making your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Energy Efficiency Updates

Home buyers are increasingly interested in energy-efficient homes, so making some energy-efficiency updates can really pay off come resale time. Some easy things you can do to make your home more energy-efficient include sealing air leaks, insulating walls and attics, and updating old windows and doors. Not only will these updates help increase your home's resale value, they'll also help you save money on your energy bills in the meantime!


First impressions matter, so make sure your home has curb appeal by sprucing up your landscaping. neatly trimmed lawns, well-groomed gardens, and mulched flower beds will give your home an instant facelift and leave a lasting impression on buyers touring your property. Plus, well-maintained landscaping can also help reduce your energy costs by providing shade and cooling your home naturally.

The worst home projects to decrease your home's resale value

It's important to be aware of the home projects that can decrease your home's resale value. While some home improvements are sure to pay off, others may not be worth your time and money—and could even turn potential buyers away.

Popcorn Ceilings

Once a popular feature in homes built in the 1970s and 1980s, popcorn ceilings are now considered dated and unattractive by most buyers. In fact, many potential buyers will see popcorn ceilings as a sign that your home hasn't been updated in years—and could be in need of other costly repairs.

If you're hoping to sell your home soon, removing popcorn ceilings should be at the top of your to-do list. Not only will this give your home an instant facelift, but it will also make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

While wall-to-wall carpeting may have been all the rage in the past, it's now seen as outdated and difficult to maintain. Potential buyers may be turned off by the thought of having to replace all the carpeting in their new home, and may even worry about hidden damage beneath the surface.

If your home still has wall-to-wall carpeting, consider replacing it with hardwood floors or another type of flooring that's more popular with today's buyers. Not only will this make your home more attractive, but it will also increase its resale value.

Bright Paint Colors

When choosing paint colors for your home, it's important to stick to neutral hues that will appeal to a wide range of people. While you may love bright and bold colors, potential buyers may not feel the same way—and could even be put off by rooms that are painted in jarring shades.

If you're planning on selling your home soon, repainting any rooms that are painted in bright colors is a must. This will help make your home more marketable and increase its resale value.

It's important to do your research before deciding on a home improvement project

Home improvement projects can be a great way to add value to your home and make it feel more like your own. However, before you start tearing down walls or knocking out windows, it's important to do your research. “I've seen too many people start a project without really knowing what they're doing, and it ends up costing them a lot more money in the long run", adds a demolition expert from Hives Demolition and Excavation.

Not every project is right for every home, and some can even end up decreasing the value of your property. It's also important to factor in the cost of materials and labor when deciding whether or not to start a project. A little planning and research can go a long way towards ensuring that your home improvement project is a success.


So there you have it, some of the best and worst home improvement projects for resale. As you can see, most of the worst offenders are things that cost a lot of money with little return. And most of the best projects are simple, relatively inexpensive updates that give your home a fresh look. If you’re thinking about selling in the near future, steer clear of those big-ticket items and stick to low-cost cosmetic upgrades. Your wallet—and your buyers—will thank you.


JJ Sterling
As the co-founder of Urban Splatter and an architecture graduate from Chicago, I thrive on crafting a digital nexus where architectural innovation intersects with boundless digital opportunity. My academic roots in the Windy City's rich architectural tapestry inspire a unique vision for Urban Splatter's journey into the ever-evolving digital frontier of design. Join us as we navigate the exciting confluence of structure, style, and technology.

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