Skip to main content
Practical Home Improvement Projects That Pay Off

Practical Home Improvement Projects That Pay Off

By Jessica Leshnoff • October 14, 2019

Between home improvement TV shows and your latest DIY obsessions, it’s easy to jump head-first into home improvement projects without much long-term planning. But a little strategizing can go a long way, especially when it comes to your home’s property value.

So, what kind of home improvement projects really increase home value while improving your day-to-day life? The answers may surprise you.

From curb appeal to energy-efficient upgrades for your home, we’ve narrowed down home renovation projects proven to boost property value, some of them so cheap and easy, you may wind up doing them yourself.

  • Boost curb appeal
    Your home’s value starts on the outside, so don’t neglect its exterior. Start with your front door. A recent Zillow report found that black or charcoal front doors can boost a home’s value up to $6,000.Considering it only costs $100-$3001 to paint an exterior door, it’s definitely a project worth investing in!

    A well-manicured lawn also goes a long way, as it’s a top priority among today’s homebuyers, especially millennials. Good landscaping in general boosts property value (up to 20%2 in some instances). With smart planning and the right tools, you can definitely do it yourself.

  • Replace your garage door
    Speaking of doors, if you have a garage, replacing its door is one of the best investments you can make because almost all the money you spend on it now will be recouped when you sell the home in the future. For example, if the total job cost (parts and labor) of a new garage door is $3,611, the amount of resale value it would add to your home is approximately $3,520. That’s a jaw-droppingly awesome return on investment (ROI) of 98.3%!3Just be sure to do some research on the best door to purchase for your garage, and hire a trusted pro for the job, as replacing your old garage door with a new one is best left to professionals.

  • Make energy-efficient upgrades
    If you haven’t already made energy-efficient upgrades to your home, now’s the time. They’ll not only increase your home’s property value, they’ll start saving you money — and positively impacting the environment — as soon as you install them. Beyond boosting your resale value (always a plus!), they’ll also make your home more attractive to potential buyers when you’re ready to put it on the market.

    Installing energy-efficient windows is a great project to kick things off. Considering they’ll save you $126-$465 per year4 on heating and cooling bills, and can cost as little as $150 per replacement window, it’s another investment worth making.

    A smart thermostat can also pay off. Not only will you save 10-23%5 on heating and cooling, you can track your energy usage and make money-saving changes — such as when to raise or lower your home’s temperature — without sacrificing comfort.

  • Install hardwood floors
    Today’s homebuyers don’t want wall-to-wall carpeting. They want hardwood floors. Low-maintenance and attractive, they can add up to 2.5%6 to your home’s property value, which may not sound like a lot, but can add up fast. You’ll love them now and, with an estimated 70-80% ROI7, you’ll love them later, too.

  • Break out the paint brushes
    A fresh coat of paint can boost your home’s value by 1-2%8, and it’s a simple upgrade that can breathe new life into any home. As for color, while whites and off-whites are always a safe bet, you could choose bolder neutrals or go with research-backed colors that will (hopefully!) give you the best bang for your buck. If you’re strapped for time, or funds, focus on high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

A little goes a long way.

Don’t let the idea of home improvement projects intimidate you. Take time to plan and research your upgrades. Do a little strategizing. Remember, you don’t have to start big. Even small upgrades can make a big impact — on your everyday life and your wallet. And if you need some extra money now for home improvements that will pay off later, a personal loan may be just the ticket to boost your property value (and your morale!).


1. “How Much Does It Cost To Paint Kitchen Cabinets, Doors And More?” HomeAdvisor.com. https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/painting/paint-a-small-project (accessed October 7, 2019).
2. Vila, Bob. “Landscaping: A Good Investment.” BobVila.com https://www.bobvila.com/articles/347-landscaping-a-good-investment (accessed October 7, 2019).
3. “2019 Cost vs. Value Report” Remodeling.hw.net. https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2019/ (Accessed October 7, 2019).
4. EnergyStar.gov. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=windowsdoors.prsavemoney (accessed October 7, 2019).
5. Lacoma, T. “10 Reasons to Install a Smart Thermostat.” FamilyHandyman.com. https://www.familyhandyman.com/heating-cooling/10-reasons-to-install-a-smart-thermostat/ (accessed October 7, 2019).
6. Evans, Julie R. “Do Hardwood Floors Provide the Best Return on Investment?” Realtor.com. https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/will-hardwood-floors-provide-a-good-return-on-investment/ (accessed October 7, 2019).
7. Evans, Julie R. “The Best Flooring for Resale Value: Wood, Tile, Carpet, and Beyond.” Realtor.com. https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/what-type-of-flooring-should-i-install-for-best-resale-value/ (accessed October 7, 2019).
8. DiClerico, Daniel. “8 Ways to Boost Your Home Value.” ConsumerReports.org. https://www.consumerreports.org/home-improvement/8-ways-to-boost-your-home-value/ (accessed October 7, 2019).


The information in this article is provided for general education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice specific to you the user or anyone else. The companies and individuals (other than OneMain Financial’s sponsored partners) referred to in this message are not sponsors of, do not endorse, and are not otherwise affiliated with OneMain Financial.