The National Association of the Remodeling Industry reports that most homeowners remodel within 18 months of purchase.  The top remodeling projects are:  (some homeowners do more than one at a time, so these do not add up to 100%)

Kitchens, 47%
Baths, 46%
Other interior work, 41%
Room additions, 35%
Sunrooms, 32%

Which of these “Fix-Ups” Make Sense and Why?  

You may want to remodel because you need more space, you want to upgrade cabinets, appliances and fixtures, the existing floor plan does not work with your lifestyle, you want to improve energy efficiency, or you may want to increase the resale value of your home.

You need to decide what your budget will be, if you will stay in the home while the remodeling is taking place, and how much of the work you want to do and how much needs to be done by a licensed contractor.  (Don’t forget about permits and inspections.)

If you do the remodeling you envision, will you be ‘overbuilding the neighborhood’?  In other words, will your home become much more expensive than the rest of the neighborhood homes?  If your home only has one bathroom and all the rest of the homes have two, adding a bathroom to your home would make sense.  The extra bathroom has remained one of the additions that retains its value at resale time.

Sometimes just a new paint job inside and out is the very best investment you can make in your home.  Landscaping improvements also help.  Swimming pools or rec rooms do not return as much on the investment as an exterior paint job.  Kitchen improvements pay off as long as they are not much more extravagant than the near- by neighbor’s kitchens.  

One way to consider the fix-up is how it will enhance your life while you live in the home and another way is to figure how much of the cost you will recoup when you sell your home.