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Which Home Improvements Pay Off?

2017-02-BlogGraphic-Improvments-Pay-OffHome improvements, remodels, and renovations are common for homeowners. It’s normal to want to redo your kitchen, revamp your bathroom, and redesign your outdoor living space as trends change. However, where do you draw the line? How do you prioritize your list of to-dos? And exactly which home improvements pay off?

If you’re asking yourself similar questions, know you’re not alone. Questions like these are extremely common for homeowners going through the renovation process. But luckily for you, we’re here to help. At Imperial Wholesale, we’ve been in the home improvement business for more than 40 years. We have the experience and knowledge to answer these common questions so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Follow along as we set the record straight. Which home projects should you splurge on? And which are simply not worth the cost?

Projects that are worth the cost


When deciding whether or not a home renovation project is worth it, there are many different elements to consider. For instance, it’s important to consider cost vs. value, whether you’re selling your home, and what projects make the most impact.

Are you selling your home?

If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, your list of worth-it renovation projects may look entirely different compared to a typical homeowner. That’s because when you sell your home, your priorities change. You should no longer be looking into projects that benefit your needs. Rather, you should be thinking about what’s important to your potential buyers.

That means forgoing your desire to upgrade your guest bedroom into a game room and focusing on what buyers look for most. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, here are the projects that are worth spending money on when reselling:
  • Laundry room: 92% of buyers want this feature
  • Exterior lighting: 90% of buyers want this feature
  • Energy efficient windows: 87% of buyers want this feature
  • New appliances: 90% of buyers want this feature
  • Updated patio: 84% of buyers want this feature
  • Hardwood floors: 83% of buyers want this feature
  • Garage storage space: 81% of buyers want this feature
  • Eat-in kitchen: 80% of buyers want this feature
These projects can raise your listing price, increase the demand of your home, and in the end, pay off big time. In our opinion, when selling your home, these projects are definitely worth the cost.

Can you get a tax break?

If you’re on the border of deciding which home improvement project is worth the cost, try taking a look at each project from a tax standpoint. Some renovation projects can be used to get a tax break, which is something many homeowners are unaware of.

You can add the cost of capital improvements to your tax basis of your home. Your tax basis is the amount you’ll subtract from the sales price in order to determine your profit. However, you can only do this if your improvement is something that adds value to your home or prolongs the life of your home.

For example, some projects that qualify as capital improvements include:
  • Swimming pool renovations
  • New roof
  • Adding an air conditioning systems
  • Installing storm windows
  • Including a home security system
Since these projects help adapt your home, they can be used to get a tax break. Repairs, on the other hand, such as painting a room and fixing your plumbing, can’t be added to your tax basis. Keep this in mind when deliberating which home improvement is worth the cost. Also, be sure to keep track of capital improvement expenses so you can make the most of your taxes.

Will it make an impact?

Another important element to keep in mind when prioritizing your home to-dos is the impact your project has on your entire home. Projects that are minute in contrast to the rest of your designs simply aren’t worth the cost. However, in our opinion, renovations that have a wow factor are most definitely worth the renovation budget.

Some home designs that tend to make a big impact include: For more information on these projects, or other similar impactful projects, give us a call.

Projects that are not worth the cost


On the contrary, there are certain renovation projects that aren’t worth the cost. Below, we’re helping you define which improvements you can put on the back burner.

Is it necessary?

Sometimes, when your renovation budget comes down to the wire, you must consider what’s necessary vs. what’s not. Leaks in plumbing, warped hardwood, and cracked windows are some projects we consider to be necessary, as they potentially impact your quality of life. These projects should be done as soon as possible.

On the other hand, design orientated projects, such as new countertops and backsplashes, may not be an ideal renovation when you have other necessary items to replace within your home. For example, in our opinion, fixing your plumbing should take priority over revamping your kitchen designs.

This doesn’t mean you have to forego all design projects. Rather, just think logically about the priority of your projects—practical improvements should come first, followed by aesthetically pleasing projects.

Will it raise the value of your home?

Projects that don’t raise the value of your home may not be worth the costs associated with it. Because of this, it’s important to know which projects work to increase your home’s value.

While there are many different opinions on this topic, we believe some of the most valuable home renovation projects include:
  • Upgrading your kitchen
  • Remodeling your bathroom
  • Un-doing your tailored rooms
  • Going green
  • Installing a pool
  • Creating curb appeal
  • Staying on trend
Before tackling this list, make sure to read our article, 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Home’s Value to get the details and values of these renovations.

The final verdict


When determining which home improvements are worth your time and money, we recommend weighing the costs vs. the value of each project. If the cost of your renovation exceeds the return you’ll receive when reselling your home, we’d say the project is not worth it. Weighing the costs vs. the value of your projects is the most logical and strategic way to ensure your renovation budget is well spent.

However, in addition to thinking about your projects practically, it’s also just as important to think of your reno budget from an emotional standpoint. If fixing your bathroom, installing a Jacuzzi, or creating an in-home office is going to make you and your guests happy, you can argue that the project is well worth it.

It’s important to keep yourself happy, because in the end, your home is more than just numbers and investments. Your home is a place where you should be able to express yourself, enjoy yourself, and feel comfortable.

For more information on home remodels, renovations, and improvements, contact Imperial Wholesale. We offer free estimates and design consultations so you can get an idea of the scope of your next project, before ever putting a penny down.