Home improvement Top 10 can sweeten living space, resale value

With spring right around the corner, our thoughts naturally lean toward remodeling and sprucing up our homes. Did you know that some renovations not only fail to improve resale profits, but could actually detract from your home’s overall value?

Here are the top home improvements that can increase the value of your home while making it a much nicer place for you to live.

10. New windows and doors
New windows and doors can offer energy efficiency and are visually appealing, but they don’t necessarily translate into a return for you. Your return on investment is only about 35 percent.

9. Finished basement
A terrific way to add space without building a costly addition is by simply finishing your basement. Return on investment is about 40 percent.

8. Heating system
Replace your existing heating system if it’s dysfunctional or old, and you’ll typically receive over a 40 percent return.

7. Exterior paint
This home improvement ranks the highest in adding curb appeal and will return you about 50 cents on the dollar.

6. Deck
Outdoor living spaces are in high demand. Look forward to about a 70 percent return with this addition.

5. Remodeled bath
This is a wise place to invest your money, giving a return of between 60 percent and 80 percent.

4. Room addition
This is one of the most popular choices for improving resale value, averaging about an 80 percent return.

3. Second bath
Add a second full or half-bath to your home and you’ll reap some benefit — 90 percent return on investment.

2. Fireplace
Fill your home with feelings of warmth and tradition by installing or upgrading a fireplace. A 100 percent return on investment with this one.

And the No. 1 rated home improvement? A remodeled kitchen.
Kitchen updates can offer a substantial payback, up to 150 percent return for your dollar.

Well, there you have it. The top 10 home improvements that can give you the best return on your dollar and may also help you to sell your home just a little faster. Personally, I thought changing your furnace should’ve been listed as No. 1, but I may be biased.

Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a member of the Comfort Institute, and is also the president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.