Upgrading your house isn’t exactly a dollar-for-dollar investment. You probably aren’t going to make all of the money back that you sink into an improvement. So think about how long you’re likely to stay in the house and which upgrades you’ll enjoy the most before you start renovating.



Average remodel cost range: $22,000-$24,000

  • New appliances

  • New (laminate) counters

  • New flooring

  • Updated cabinet fronts/hardware

For $64,000:

  • New appliances

  • New (laminate) counters

  • New lighting

  • New flooring

  • New wood cabinets

  • New island

  • New sink and faucet

$80,000-$126,000 for a high-end kitchen

  • New commercial-grade appliances

  • New (granite) counters

  • New lighting

  • New flooring

  • New custom cabinets

  • Tile backsplash

What can I get on the cheaper side?

  • Replace cabinet doors and paint cabinets ($300-$500)

  • Add a backsplash ($2,000-$4,000)

  • Update laminate counters to tile or even granite ($2,000-$4,000)



Average remodel cost range: $9,000-$13,000; up to $55,000 for a full high-end bathroom remodel

  • New bathtub/shower

  • New cabinets, countertops, and sinks

  • New flooring

  • New toilet

  • New lighting

What can I get on the cheaper side?

  • Replace a toilet: $200-$500

  • Add an outlet: $130-$350

  • Swap out the sinks: $200-$500


Finished basement 

Average remodel cost: $6,000-$18,000; between $30,000-$46,000 for a full-blown remodel

  • Framing walls and hanging drywall

  • Painting

  • Sealing a floor and installing flooring

  • Adding crown molding

  • Adding or upgrading electrical systems, including more outlets

  • Upgrading plumbing

  • Duct changes or updates

  • Installing a half-bath or a full bath

  • Installing a kitchenette

What can I get on the cheaper side?

  • Piece out your upgrades: Start with sealing the floor, then redo the ceiling. Basic upgrades (framing, drywall, ceilings, and flooring) cost anywhere between $1 and $3.50 per square foot, so if you tackle them one at a time, you can remodel your entire basement


Attic bedroom

Average remodel cost: $50,000-$60,000; 

  • Adding windows for emergency egress

  • Access from lower floor

  • Insulation

  • Ventilation

  • Electric

  • Heating and cooling

  • Framing, drywall, and paint for interior walls

  • Ceilings and trim

  • Flooring

  • Bathroom addition

What can I get on the cheaper side?

  • Windows cost an average of $2,219

  • Stair installation costs between $2,000 and $3,000

  • Adding a ceiling fan costs about $250


Green additions

  • Upgrade the insulation: $1,500

  • Replace windows: $175-$700 per window (up to $1,200 for high-end windows)

  • Replace exterior doors: $500-$1,500

  • Add solar panels: $10,000-$14,000


Smart-home add-ons

  • Smart thermostat: $120-$2,000

  • Smart lock: $150-$1,100

  • Smart doorbell: $100-$400

  • Smart lights: $120 for a system plus $10-$40 per bulb


The great outdoors

  • Deck: $4,000-$10,000

  • Outdoor kitchen: $2,000-$10,000 for a basic model; up to $100,000 for a deluxe version

  • Landscaping: $3,000-$15,000


Replace the floors

  • Average project cost: $1,500-$4,500


Home office

  • Between $14,000 and $19,000 for an office-sized add-on to most homes


Remember that any upgrade you make needs to suit your current lifestyle. A full dollar-to-dollar return on your home sale investment probably isn’t likely, but when you factor in the enjoyment that you and your family will get out of any improvements, you’ll find that most of them are well worth what you’ll spend — and then some.


Sources: homeadvisor.com, homelight.com, kbrkitchenandbath.com,hgtv.com, daveramsey.com, angieslist.com, remodelingcalculator.org, houselogic.com, news.energysage.com, landscapingnetwork.com, homestratosphere.com