1. Upgrade the Siding
When your siding has seen better days, upgrading it just may be one of the best investments you can make for your home, no matter what the economic climate. Since siding functions as a shield for the materials it covers, the better siding you have, the longer those materials are likely to last. Remodeling Magazine‘s Cost vs. Value report revealed that installing fiber-cement siding generally recovers over 87 percent of construction costs in added resale value. This makes upgrading from vinyl or aluminum to fiber-cement the best investment nationwide when it comes to recouping your costs.
2. Bathroom Enhancements
Your bathroom can have a dramatic impact on your day-to-day life. Bathrooms also pack quite a punch when it comes time to put your property on the market, and remodeling your bathroom can mean the difference between a home that’s sold quickly and one that stays on the market a long time.
While not technically a renovation, an inspection is a sound enough investment in shaky economic times that we had to include it in this list. The beauty of an inspection lies not in what it does for your property, but what it prevents. Inspections are available for many of your home’s systems (roofing, foundation, waterproofing, etc.) and can either identify small problems before they become large or give you peace of mind that your home is in good shape.
4. Enhance Flooring
Few things can make a room shine like good flooring. Fortunately, flooring upgrades are also an excellent investment in just about any home. One of the nice things about replacing a floor with a more durable material is that you can really get your money’s worth. For instance, while carpet remains the least costly flooring material, the National Home Builder’s Association puts its life expectancy at 8 to 10 years “with appropriate maintenance and normal foot traffic.” Though definitely more costly, natural hardwood’s life expectancy is “100 years or more.” So, by upgrading, you may be spending a little more in the short term, but you can rest easy knowing that you (or even the next owners of your property) won’t have to bear the expense of flooring replacement.
5. Small Kitchen Remodels
In much the same way as bringing a bathroom up to par is almost always a good investment, minor kitchen improvements are generally a safe bet. Unfortunately, going overboard during a kitchen remodel is common, and many people end up spending way more than they planned before the job is finished. To keep your investment budget-friendly, focus on the things that really need attention, and leave the elements of the room that are functioning just fine intact.
General Guidelines for Recession-Proof Remodeling
During uncertain economic times, the adage “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” is certainly appropriate in many cases. However, to be completely accurate, you may want to add something to the effect of “If it’s slightly broken, fix it now.”Basically, any remodeling project runs the risk of being more trouble than it is worth, but, in a nutshell, hard times call for projects that will not only make your property look better, but will help it function more efficiently for years to come.
Exerpts from August 12, 2014 Home and Living Cheatsheet article “5 Recession-Resistant Home Renovations”