Best Home Improvements for 2021
Guest post by Gabe Perkins | Little Money Big House
Home improvement spending is surging as homeowners take advantage of low-interest rates to tackle overdue projects. However, homeowners aren’t spending their remodeling dollars recklessly. They’re investing in projects that save energy, add value, and make their homes more comfortable, functional, and livable.
Whether you plan to sell in the coming months or are simply ready for an upgrade, you’re probably wondering which home improvement projects will pay off in 2021. Let this information from Greenbrook Design guide you as you prepare to remodel your home.
The top home improvements for 2021
Today’s trending home improvements reflect many of the changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic with outdoor living, home office, and kitchen and bath renovations topping homeowners’ to-do lists. These include projects like:
- Fence installation.
- Deck/porch/patio remodel or addition.
- Interior painting
- Flooring installation.
- Lighting installation.
- Minor kitchen and bathroom remodel.
- Home office additions.
- Energy-efficient improvements.
Of course, popularity isn’t the only factor when deciding to undertake a renovation. You also want to know what a home improvement project costs and if there’s any way to save a little cash along the way. Read on to get the low down on the leading home improvement projects.
What to know about these top home improvement projects
When you want to revamp your home but don’t know where to start, Greenbrook Design is here to help. Here’s what to expect from these trending home improvements.
Outdoor living renovations
Spending more time outdoors is great for the body and mind — not to mention your sanity while cooped up at home. These are the projects with the biggest impact on your outdoor enjoyment.
Totally DIY-able: Landscaping
From building raised garden beds to installing drought-tolerant lawns, homeowners are getting their hands dirty in the backyard this year. Not only do landscaping projects improve curb appeal, but they’re great for getting close to nature, too. Test your green thumb with fun, affordable landscaping projects like creating a pollinator garden, installing landscape plants, or building a DIY water feature.
DIY potential: Building a deck or patio
Decks are enjoying a moment in the spotlight as homeowners lean into the outdoor living trend. According to CNBC, wood decks give a 66% return on your investment, which runs around $5,000 to $7,500 for a professionally installed deck. Composite decks, increasingly popular due to rising lumber prices, are close behind at 63%. While building a traditional deck isn’t a project to DIY, handy homeowners can construct a floating deck or create a patio out of pavers, flagstone, or gravel.
Don’t DIY: Installing a fence
Fencing is another major backyard project homeowners are undertaking this year. The average price to install a fence is $4,500 but this varies significantly based on the property size, fence material, and geographical location. If you want to be sure you’re getting a good price on a fences company (because you’ll need one), shop around and tell your fencing contractor about underground utility lines in advance.
Kitchen and bath remodels
Minor kitchen and bath remodels are a safe investment for homeowners, but think twice before splurging on a major overhaul. Buyers value modern kitchens and bathrooms but custom remodels rarely pay off. Instead, focus on mid-range projects with mass appeal. Three projects where you can’t go wrong include:
Totally DIY-able: New light fixtures
Changing out light fixtures is one of the easiest — and most impactful — projects in a kitchen or bathroom. As long as you have a few basic tools, including wire strippers, a screwdriver, and a ladder, you can quickly swap a light fixture for a new style. Just be sure to shut off the electricity first!
DIY potential: A kitchen island
Kitchen islands add prep space, seating, and define a kitchen in an open floor plan. The price of installing an island depends on the type of island and whether you need to remove a wall. A traditional island with plumbing and wiring costs around $5,000, while a basic island or rolling cart is much more affordable. Prefer to DIY? Islands made with stock cabinets and countertops are simple to build yourself. If you’re adding a sink or cooktop to your island, hire a licensed professional.
Don’t DIY: Eco-friendly appliances
ENERGY STAR appliances use less energy and water than conventional appliances, making them the go-to choice of budget-minded and eco-conscious consumers alike. Expect to pay $4,000 to $6,500 for a mid-range kitchen appliance package with slightly higher prices for gas appliances. Luckily, most stores offer delivery and installation (including free local delivery from Home Depot and Lowe’s) so there’s no need to do the heavy lifting yourself.
Living and home office renovations
When it comes to your home’s value, kitchens, bathrooms, and curb appeal are the money makers. However, there are lots of other home improvements that are worthwhile to undertake. While they may be less flashy than a brand new deck, these home improvements are still a smart investment.
Totally DIY-able: click-together flooring
Click-together luxury vinyl tile and engineered hardwood are a DIY-friendly alternative to traditional flooring. Because click-together planks are installed as a floating floor you don’t need to attach planks to a subfloor. Homeowners who install their own click-together flooring only have to pay for materials, which range from $2 to $10 per square foot depending on quality.
DIY potential: Interior painting
Painting sounds like a project that’s easy to DIY. In reality, getting professional-quality results from a DIY paint job takes more time and patience than most homeowners are willing to spend. That’s not to say it’s a no-go, however. If your walls are in good condition, you’re repainting a minor room like a bedroom or office, and there’s no chance your home contains lead paint, DIY painting is doable. Otherwise, shell out the $300 to $1,000 for a professional’s touch.
Don’t DIY: Energy-efficient windows
There are some projects where delays aren’t a big deal. Window replacement isn’t one of those projects. Beyond the potential for delays, DIY window installation also means going without the security of an installation warranty. If you break a window during installation or install it incorrectly, you’re on the hook for replacement costs. And at around $500 per window, the costs add up quickly.
As you prepare to renovate your home, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Whether that’s buying the right tools for your next DIY project or comparing quotes from local contractors, it’s important to go into any home improvement with your eyes wide open.
Have questions about your next remodel? Give Greenbrook Design a call to discuss your goals and find the best solution for your home. Our seven-step process will guide you towards a design that fits your needs and budget to ensure that you walk away a happy customer.
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