Project: Attic Bedroom
Typical cost: About $50,000
Secret: No need to add on
An eyebrow dormer in the attic provides light and space for a teenager’s private retreat or a cozy master bedroom, complete with its own bath and dressing area. Using space that is already there doesn’t impinge on the yard, though room for a staircase was carved from a ground floor office and hallway.
“If you build it under the rafters, it gives you a comfortable protective feeling to be underneath that sloped roof, says Davis of CG&S, creator of the attic hideaway. “It’s a whole different feeling than being in a 9-foot ceiling room.” While there is expense in moving around HVAC equipment and other utilities, the resale value is great.
Project: Minor kitchen remodel
Typical cost: Under $20,000
Secret: Bling makes a difference
Payback: 72.1 percent
Skip new cabinetry, often the most expensive part of a kitchen makeover. Instead, says Burdi of DJ’s Home Improvements, clean them up, then swap an outdated 1970s mica countertop for quartz or granite. “Once you put in a stone countertop and put in an undermount sink, you hide the age of the kitchen.” Then add kitchen bling – new glam knobs and pulls on the cabinets, a brushed nickel faucet and soap dispenser along with a new stacked-stone-style glass tile, metal and slate backsplash that “dazzles and pops.” For far less than a total redo, such kitchen jewelry “makes the kitchen look young again,” Burdi says.
Project: Bathroom remodel
Typical cost: $16,552 full remodel; $500 minor remodel
Secret: Removing busy wallpaper
Payback: 62.2 % full; 172% minor
Busy, dated wallpaper makes a home feel less move-in ready, said Peterson of Synergy Staging. Removing the wallpaper and painting the walls a soft, neutral shade allows buyers to enjoy the spaciousness and serenity of the room. Installing a new light fixture and replacing the faucet add to the transformation.
Project: Garage doors
Typical cost: $1,512
Secret: Style matters
Swapping an old colonial door for a modern linear model is key to transforming a nondescript high ranch into a mid-century modern home, says home flipper Derrien.
When it comes to curb appeal, garage doors take up to 20 percent of a home’s façade, expressing style and a home’s personality. Choose heavy duty, low maintenance, energy-efficient steel doors over wood in carriage-house style, wrought-iron ornamental doors or with a clean, simple, contemporary look. Personalize with windows, colors and decorative hardware.