4 Projects for 2015: Renovations With Return

interracial couple, DIY, home improvement, homeowners, S.C Rhyne

If you and your partner have been thinking about ways to boost the property value of your home, now’s the time. The Wisconsin housing market took a hit a few years back, but after seeing the market results for 2014, particularly in the southeastern region, there’s anticipation of a major bounce back in 2015. According to predictions by BizTimes, the metro Milwaukee area may end up leading the nation in home sale prices this year with an estimated 4.9 percent increase. To jump in on this action, here’s a list of four manageable projects to improve the value of your home this year.

Garage door replacement

Replacing the garage door is one of the easiest, inexpensive improvements you can make. Plus, you can do it yourself. If you have a standard 16×7-foot door and tracks, the only thing you have to do is remove the old door and tracks and install a new four-section door, one with updated, galvanized steel tracks. Most of the time, you can reuse the existing motorized opener. With some new nylon rollers and galvanized steel hinges, you’re in business.

A new garage door adds curb appeal and a certain level of security in the eyes of potential buyers, plus a 10-year limited warranty never hurts.

Adding a deck

Another DIY project with a high return-on-investment (ROI) is building a new deck. The average 16×20-foot deck is composed of pressure-treated joists propped by 4×4 posts, and can be completed in as little as a weekend. Using a simple linear pattern, and including a decorative built-in planter or bench offers an artistic flare and visual appeal to any interested buyers.

Although this is a project you can do yourself, you’ll still need heavy machinery. Don’t underestimate the time and money you can save by renting the proper equipment, as having to re-do your work or hire someone to fix mistakes will have you kicking yourself later. Rule of thumb: commit to quality the first time to avoid any issues later.

Adding a garage

Adding a garage is a bit of a craps shot in renovation because individual buyers have individual needs and desires, but in the northeastern U.S., with its inclement rain and snow, a garage can make or break a deal. On average, a two-door garage should be between 20 and 24 feet wide and between 22 to 25 feet deep. If you plan to use the garage as a selling point, you may need the help of professionals for this. Adding electrical, plumbing and air ducts for heating and cooling would definitely increase construction costs, but but buyers will see the potential of converting the space into an additional habitable room should they have no need for a garage.

Repaving the driveway

Like the garage door, the driveway is also one of the first impressions your home will make on any interested viewers. And while it can be a DIY project, it’s not an easy job by any means. The old driveway will need to be removed in order to lay the new materials. Once again, having the right equipment is crucial.

The majority of driveways are concrete. It is not the most stunning of materials but it is durable, inexpensive and requires little maintenance. Plus, concrete is simple to lay. The average cost of a concrete driveway is around $3,540. Hiring pavers will naturally drive up the cost, but they can add detail to the laying, like stamped or colored concrete, if you want a more customized look.

This year is full of housing market promise, so when opportunity comes knocking, make sure it’s on a new door.