Best ROI Home Improvements for Your Home

Best ROI Home Improvements for Your Home

Investing in home improvements can significantly enhance both the comfort and value of your property. However, not all renovations are created equal when it comes to return on investment (ROI). Understanding which improvements offer the best payback can help you make informed decisions that balance aesthetic upgrades with financial wisdom. This guide explores the top home improvements that are renowned for providing substantial ROI, ensuring that your renovation efforts pay off both now and in the future.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel consistently ranks at the top for home improvement ROI. However, instead of a costly full kitchen renovation, consider a minor remodel. This might include replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models, repainting cabinets, upgrading countertops, and installing new hardware. Such updates can refresh the entire look of your kitchen without the extensive costs associated with a complete overhaul, offering an average ROI of about 72-80%.

Bathroom Renovation

Upgrading a bathroom can also yield a significant return, particularly if the existing space is outdated or dysfunctional. Simple changes like modernizing fixtures, repainting, and improving lighting can make a substantial difference. For a bit more investment, replacing tiles and installing a new vanity can further enhance the space. Typically, bathroom remodels can recoup approximately 60-70% of the investment, making them a prudent choice for homeowners looking to increase property value.

Energy-Efficient Insulation

Adding or upgrading insulation might not be the most visually striking improvement, but it's one of the most cost-effective. Proper insulation improves home comfort, reduces energy bills, and is an attractive point for potential buyers who are increasingly interested in energy efficiency. This improvement not only pays back in reduced utility costs but can also offer an ROI of around 116%.

New Windows

Replacing old, leaky windows with energy-efficient windows is another improvement that appeals to today’s environmentally conscious buyers. Besides improving curb appeal, new windows can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. This update typically offers an ROI of about 68-74%, making it a smart choice for both aesthetic and energy savings.

Deck Addition

Outdoor living spaces have become more desirable, especially in climates where outdoor activities are possible year-round. Adding a deck extends your living space and enhances the outdoor appeal of your home. Wood decks are particularly popular and can provide an ROI of approximately 72%, while composite decking offers a lower maintenance alternative, though with a slightly lower ROI.


Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. Well-executed landscaping can make a significant first impression on potential buyers. Simple landscaping upgrades like a new sod lawn, flower beds, and tree planting can offer a massive return, sometimes as much as 100% or more of the investment, depending on the initial state and the enhancements chosen.

Hardwood Flooring Installation or Refinishing

Hardwood floors are highly sought after for their durability and timeless appeal. If your home already has hardwood floors, consider refinishing them to rejuvenate their look. If you’re looking to install new flooring, engineered hardwood can be a cost-effective and attractive option. Hardwood flooring can recover about 70-80% of the cost in terms of home value increase, making it a solid investment.

Roof Replacement

Though it’s a significant investment, replacing an old or failing roof can prevent more costly problems down the line and improve the overall perception of your home’s condition. A new roof can offer a return of about 60-68%, and more importantly, it can be a deal-breaker if potential buyers are concerned about the condition of the existing roof.


Never underestimate the transformative power of paint. A fresh coat of paint on the interior or exterior of your home can make a tremendous difference in its appeal. Choosing neutral colors can help make spaces feel larger and more inviting, and exterior painting can instantly elevate your home’s facade. This improvement is not only cost-effective but also offers one of the highest ROIs, sometimes as much as 107%.

Smart Home Technology

In an era where technology is king, integrating smart home features such as thermostats, fire detectors, security cameras, and locks can increase your home's attractiveness to tech-savvy buyers. While the ROI for smart home technology can vary, the appeal it adds, especially in markets with younger buyers, can be a decisive factor in a quick and profitable sale.

When planning home improvements, it’s crucial to consider both the financial return and the personal enjoyment they will bring during your tenure in the home. By focusing on the renovations with the highest ROI, you can ensure that your investments enhance your living experience and boost your home's value, making it appealing to potential buyers when the time comes to sell. These strategic upgrades not only improve the functionality and appearance of your home but also position you favorably in the real estate market.

About Jill Armstrong

For expert real estate guidance in the Iowa City area, work with The Jill Armstrong Team. With over 25 years of experience, Jill Armstrong has been one of the area's top producers since becoming a REALTOR® in 1996. In 2023, Jill’s team assisted 123 clients with their real estate needs. We offer comprehensive services including market analysis, staging, photo and video marketing, and more. Active in the community and dedicated to providing the highest level of service, The Jill Armstrong Team is here to help you every step of the way.

Contact Jill today to achieve your real estate goals.

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