Whether you’re planning to list your home for sale or simply want to make a few upgrades for comfort, it’s difficult to determine which renovations are worth the cost and which projects are not. Should you shell out the extra bucks for that spa-like master bath you’ve long dreamed of? Or would your money be better spent on replacing those dated kitchen cabinets? We’ve listed the top home improvement projects that add the most value to your home:

Curb Appeal
The hard truth is that first impressions matter, especially in real estate. If your home exterior is frumpy, dated or uninviting, potential homebuyers are less inclined to want to see the interior. Freshen the face of your home with the following:

Get a new front door. The top-ranking home improvement might surprise you. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 “Cost vs. Value” report, a new steel front door adds 96.6 percent of the amount you spent to the value to your home. Replace your current door with a more modern style—or at the least, paint it a fresh, bright color.
Flip your yard. Add pops of colorful flowers or a new stone walkway. Fresh sod can make a substantial difference, and it’s also a fairly easy weekend project. Keep your landscaping choices simple and low-maintenance.
Replace the siding. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), new fiber-cement siding will add 79.3 percent of the cost to your home’s resale value.

Get New Windows
The age and quality of a home’s windows are a big selling point, because no one wants to deal with the stress of rickety old ones. Buyers are looking for homes equipped with energy-efficient windows that reduce drafts and their energy bills. Furthermore, these types of windows appeal to eco-minded homebuyers. Replacing your windows with insulated vinyl windows will add almost 80 percent of the cost to your home’s value.

Finish Your Attic or Basement
Finishing the space in your attic or basement is a big perk for homebuyers with children, who need the added storage and room for entertaining. Attics are great for additional bedrooms or a secluded office. Basements, because they generally lack much natural light, are perfect spaces to put a game or bonus room. You’ll recoup about 70 percent of this project’s cost when it comes time to sell, NAR found.

Mini Kitchen Renovation
Kitchens are another huge selling point, so give yours a little TLC. While kitchen renovations are encouraged and will generally increase the value of your home, don’t go overboard. Make the necessary upgrades with a practical budget in mind. It can be as simple as painting the cabinets and replacing the hardware. Or, upgrade your current appliances with new state-of-the-art ones. Install a tile backsplash or swap out your countertops to give your kitchen a brand-new feel.

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