Mark Roemer image of a house with percentage increase in value if you improve it.

What Home Improvements Add the Most Value?

I, Mark Roemer Oakland, believe that home improvements can either become good investments that improve your home’s value or simply put a dent in your bank account balance. That’s why it is critical to understand which home improvement projects will yield the most return on investment and allow you to make a profit in the future as well.

The Improvements

Here are a few home improvements that add the most value to a home:

1. Create a home office – Remote work opportunities have increased over the last decade and ever since the pandemic, even regular office workers have had to maintain a work-from-home routine on many occasions. So, it’s no surprise that home offices have become a priority for many buyers since 2021.

And, in certain cases, families with more than one remote worker prefer to have multiple home offices. That’s why the addition of a suitable home office in your home can add over $10,000 in resale value.

You can convert a walk-in closet or turn a regular room into a functioning home office, or even build a backyard accessory dwelling unit (ADU).

2. Replace vinyl siding with new stone veneer – One of the best ways to enhance the exterior of your home is to replace the vinyl siding with stone veneer. However, adding stone veneer to your home not only helps to improve its outdoor aesthetics but can yield a rock-solid ROI of 92 percent,

Stone veneer is not real stone. It is manufactured man-made composite material shaped in a mold. Thus, it is also costly. For instance, to improve the curb appeal of a 2,500-square-foot home by adding stone veneer, you can expect to spend between $87,500 to $125,000. Fortunately, you enjoy the same benefits and ROI by simply replacing the bottom third of the street-facing facade for under $10,000 to $12,000.

3. Replace the garage door – Upgrading a dated garage door that is not in the best shape and makes strange noises can be a worthwhile investment. Old garage doors make your house look less secure while new garage doors improve the curb appeal. It is a relatively inexpensive project that can cost between $750 to $1,600 but can yield about 94 to 133 percent ROI.

4. Perform a kitchen remodel – Upgrading the kitchen is considered a major home improvement project since it improves the functionality of your home and improves its value. People value modernized and smart kitchens over traditional kitchens but you have to be careful about kitchen remodels if you want to reap the maximum benefits.

Generally, a major kitchen remodel will only recoup about 52 percent ROI on average whereas a minor kitchen remodel can recoup up to 72 percent ROI on average. That’s why we recommend you focus on minor kitchen improvements such as upgrading to brand-new appliances, modernizing the countertops and cabinets, updating the sinks and faucets, and updating the flooring.

5. Invest in energy-efficient appliances and windows – Purchasing ENERGY-STAR certified appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and more can not only help you to lower your utility bills but also yield good returns since it is a desirable home feature.

Similarly, energy-efficient window replacements can also allow you to get an ROI of about 80 percent. You just have to install windows that meet the energy-efficiency standards for your climate zone. You can refer to the online guide listed by the U.S. Department of Energy to purchase suitable windows for your region that will block the sun’s heat but allow a certain amount of light to enter.

6. Renovate the bathroom – A functional bathroom can fetch a higher price compared to a bathroom that only looks nice. A mid-range bathroom remodel can cost about $27,000 and recoup about 60 percent of its original value whereas an upscale bathroom overhaul can yield about 55 percent of its value.

That’s why it is important to focus on the aspects that will appeal to the wider public. Thus, when performing a bathroom remodel, it is better to upgrade the toilet, lighting, fixtures, and counters. You should skip investing in heated floors, heated towel racks, body-spray fixtures, and frameless glass enclosures since these won’t yield a good return.

7. Build an addition – If you have unused space in your property, you can create a new addition and increase the total square footage of your home. Thus, it will also improve the overall value of the property. Any kind of new home addition such as an extension of the living room, a new bedroom, a new garage, or even a home office can create a huge impact on the overall value of the property.

8. Enhance the outdoor living space – Adding a deck or patio in the backyard of your home can cost between $4,000 to $10,000 and add over $7,000 in resale value on average. You can also invest in a firepit or create an outdoor kitchen with standard kitchen appliances, a built-in grill, a bar, skin, and more.

9. Invest in smart home features – High-income buyers appreciate smart home features such as security cameras, programmable thermostats, video doorbells, and wireless home security systems. Smart home features are a good investment since they make your house safer, more energy-efficient, and more modern.

10. Upgrade old HVAC – Most buyers don’t want to purchase a home with an old heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Replacing an aging HVAC can cost about $7,000 on average. This includes the cost and installation of the new unit and the removal and disposal of the old unit. And you can recover about 85 percent of the cost when selling your home.


I, Mark Roemer Oakland, suggest you avoid spending money on luxury upgrades such as marble flooring for your bathroom and in-ground swimming pools. These cost a ton of money but don’t offer a good ROI since they don’t appeal to the broader public. In fact, luxury upgrades in a mid-range home can bring down the value of the home since these also require more maintenance costs.