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New England colonial house in autumn

Home improvement is best when those improvements last a long time and continue to deliver benefit to homeowners. Here are some projects that deliver the goods.

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When investing in home improvements — whether they’re large-scale remodels or small-scale maintenance projects — you should always think of the long-term benefit. While there are unexpected repairs you can’t help but pay for, there are some you can plan for as well.

With these projects, it’s important to weigh what you’ll pay against the value they will bring to your home. Here are some projects that will help you sell your home sell or increase its value over the next 10 years.

1. New front door

The only positive return on investment listed by Remodeling Magazine in 2015 is installing a new front door. A new front door comes with many advantages. It not only acts as the first focal point for potential buyers, but it’s also the first line of defense against potential intruders.

Investing in a front door benefits you in the long term both as a security measure and an attractive curb appeal addition. Choose your door wisely with your climate and neighborhood in mind. If you worry about breaches, think about a steel door. If you live in a relatively safe neighborhood with a dry climate, consider a wood door. Door professionals can help you find the best fit based on your home exterior and budget.

2. New floors

Depending on the age and type of flooring you have, replacing it with new flooring could be highly beneficial in the long term. Some good options to consider are:

  • Wood: Solid wood flooring can last up to 100 years, comes in a wide variety of styles, can be a DIY install, highly popular with buyers
  • Bamboo: Eco-friendly, lasts for a long time, also attractive to potential buyers
  • Carpet: Good for living rooms, lasts between 15-20 years, comes in different colors and thicknesses
  • Tile: Good for bathrooms and certain types of kitchens, tile is easy to install as a DIY project, easy to repair, can last a long time with the right maintenance
Brown Stone Cumaru Solid Wood Flooring

“Brown Stone” style Cumaru Solid Wood Flooring from BuildDirect.

3. Painting your walls

Painting your interior walls — whether all four or just an accent wall — is a great way to improve the beauty of your home without paying too much money. You can hire a painter to do it for you or attempt to paint walls on your own as a DIY project. Keep in mind that bright colors might be less appealing to some buyers. If you plan to live in the house for a long time, this is less of an issue.

4. New siding

If your siding is worn, chipped, cracked or otherwise in need of repair, adding new siding or fixing the current material is highly beneficial. Plus, if you have fiber cement siding, you could recoup almost 90 percent of its value should you have it repaired or reinstalled during resale.

Other types of siding, such as vinyl and aluminum, are more prone to damage, while fiber cement better handles the elements. Depending on your budget and location, you might consider replacing your existing siding with fiber cement. In case you don’t have the budget, minimal repair and a fresh coat of paint may achieve similar results for potential buyers.

Cerber Rustic Fiber Cement Siding

Rustic style fiber cement siding from BuildDirect.

5. New windows

Homeowners should always try to go green, and installing double-paned windows is one of the more popular ways to do this. Double-pane windows are efficient because the thicker glass helps to better insulate the house, keeping airflow in and sunlight out.

If you have single-pane windows throughout your home, now is the time to replace them. This investment will pay back quickly in utility bill savings. And you’ll notice the A/C and heater turning on less frequently too.

6. Maintaining the landscape

Since your landscape is imperative to your home’s curb appeal, you need to keep it in shape. You don’t have to get fancy — just perform the basic upkeep. This means a green lawn, some flowers or shrubs, and perhaps a couple of trees.

Depending on your climate, you may wish to invest in xeriscaping to keep your maintenance to almost nothing. For those who don’t live in a desert climate, a green lawn is a must. Shrubs and flowers are optional depending on the size of your lawn and your budget. Trees are also optional depending on your lawn size and the proximity of trees to your home. The better maintained you keep your landscape, the less work you will have to do should you ever decide to sell.

7. Installing Central Air Conditioning

For those who live in hotter climates, central air conditioning is imperative. While it can cost a lot upfront, it also helps to keep you cool and it can be a major selling point for buyers down the road. Air conditioning can also be energy efficient, depending on the model you choose. Central units have an average energy-efficient rating (EER) of 11.5, as compared to others. So, why not stay cool and make your home a bit more energy efficient in the process?

 Your projects

Which projects have you invested in in the past that have gone the distance? Which ones did you think would be beneficial but turned out not to be? Tell us all about it in the comments section.

 

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Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis is based in Denver, Colorado as an editor for HomeAdvisor. As a deeply engrossed fan of the written word in its many forms, she’s always looking to tell home improvement stories in a new light that both engages and entertains. She's a frequent and very welcome content contributor here on the BuildDirect Blog.