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Custom Home Building in Southern Maine

Celebrating Over 40 Years Building Homes in Southern Maine

Best Home Remodeling Investments (ROI)

Best Home Remodeling Investments (ROI)

Many homeowners that are unable to sell their existing home (or don’t want to) in the current housing market are considering remodeling their Maine homes. Homeowners should find a contractor in Maine to advise them about their home improvement options. Most importantly, a Maine contractor should be able to tell you which home improvements will net the highest return on investment, and which remodeling plans should be skipped altogether.

When to Spend:

  • Kitchen Remodel: When remodeling a kitchen, it is best to keep everything in moderation. There is certainly money to be made from updating an outdated kitchen. However, when you add in expensive upgrades like restaurant quality appliances and high end custom cabinets, you may not make your money back.
  • Bathroom Remodel: Bathroom remodels almost always earn a great return on investment, even with high quality upgrades. Bathrooms are one area of the home where buyers really appreciate upgrades and modern conveniences.
  • Attic Bedroom Remodel: If your attic is large enough, it makes sense to finish the space into a large bedroom. It adds value and because you are finishing existing space rather than creating new space it is very cost effective.
  • Basement Remodel: More than in other parts of the country, most New England homes have existing basements. If yours is unfinished, finishing it can be an easy way to add some additional square footage without the cost of an addition. Similarly to adding an attic bedroom, the space is already existing, which is much more cost effective than starting from scratch.
  • Upscale Siding Replacement: Upgrading siding to maintenance-free siding is a good investment and can be a great selling point. You can achieve a fairly reasonable return with vinyl, and even more so with the higher end and nicer looking fiber cement.

When to Save:

  • Family Room or Home Office Addition: While these spaces are nice to have, they don’t make or break a home purchase and generally cost more than the value they add to the home. Unless you can streamline to building process of a family room or home office addition with a panelized or modular addition, you will most likely save enough money to make it worth the effort.
  • Window & Roofing Replacement: Windows and roofs are expensive to replace, and it is often unnecessary to replace them if they are functioning properly.
  • Bathroom Addition: For very small spaces, bathrooms sure are expensive to add because they require electrical and plumbing contractors.
  • Custom Additions (Wine Cellars, Home Theaters, etc.): Because custom additions are just that – custom – they rarely have the same value to another person as they do to you. It is unlikely that you will recoup your spend on these upgrades. A better option is to build a panelized or modular addition to save costs and streamline the process.
  • Custom Amenities (Swimming Pools, Tennis Courts): Similarly to the custom additions above, custom amenities are a lifestyle choice and may not be universally appealing. In fact, some amenities, like swimming pools, may actually detract from the value of your home with some potential buyers.

How to Decide:

  • Check Comparables: See what else is in your area. While master suite and bathroom additions don’t generally make good investments, you may consider them if all the other homes in your area have them. It brings your home up to par and levels the playing field.
  • To Stay or to Go? Ask yourself how long you are planning on staying in your current home. If you plan on staying five years or more, it may be worth making upgrades. If not, ask yourself what the return on your investment is going to be.
  • Investment vs. Resale: Are you looking to remodel your home as an investment or are you trying to improve it to make it more attractive at resale? If you’re planning on selling, stick with the suggestions above and skip the rest.
  • Quality of Life: Sometimes it’s worth spending the money on an upgrade even if you know you won’t get it back. For example, how much is having an extra bathroom or swimming pool worth to you? For some people, it’s priceless.
  • Consult an Expert: Consult a home improvement contractor in Maine or visit this helpful link: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2009/costvsvalue/division/new-england.aspx

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