5 Best Home Renovation Ideas for 2018

October 5, 2018


 State-of-the-art kitchens. New additions. An updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (or HVAC) unit. Which home renovation ideas make the most sense for your home—and which will give you the best return on your investment?

According to Realtor.com, many homeowners are making investments in home renovation ideas that might not pay them back when it comes time to re-sell. "This year, the most expensive projects didn't have much of a gain," Craig Webb, the editor of Remodeling, explained to Realtor.com.

“I think it's because real estate professionals think we're getting close to a peak in market prices,” he added. “So consequently, spending a lot of money does not automatically mean your house will just ride the escalator up and be worth a lot more.”

A survey conducted by Remodeling found that the home renovation ideas that add the most to a home’s resale value include window replacement, roof replacement and garage door replacement. Here are five energy efficient home renovations ideas you should consider too.

1. Maintenance Renovations And System Upgrades

Sometimes a home simply needs a new roof, new gutters or new siding. According to the Remodeling report, improving housing materials that wear down over time is one of the most successful home renovation ideas for resale. New homeowners appreciate when properties have been maintained or improved and are willing to pay more for these upgrades.

If you’re considering updating your home’s systems, like an HVAC unit or water heater that’s more than 10 to 20 years old, make sure you’ve chosen replacement units with Energy Star certification. High-efficiency HVAC systems, for example, can save homeowners more than 20 percent on everyday heating and cooling costs. When new HVAC units work together with energy-efficient insulation and other upgrades, your home becomes even more efficient—and valuable to a prospective buyer.

2. Green Landscaping

New home buyers love to talk about curb appeal. But your landscaping upgrades can be both functional and beautiful. Shade trees, grey water irrigation and rainwater catchment all help create an eco-friendly lawn, which improves irrigation and ultimately makes your home more energy efficient too.

If you live in a state with regular droughts or water restrictions, like California or Texas, a grey water irrigation system might be one of the best home renovation ideas you can consider for 2018. Grey water irrigation systems recycle household water for outdoor use, allowing you to meet water restrictions while maintaining a healthy, vibrant and attractive outdoor space.

3. Energy Efficient Insulation And Windows

If your home is more than 30 years old, it may be time to re-think your insulation. According to the DIY Network, many homes built before 1970 lack efficient insulation—especially in areas around joists and rafters. The Energy Star certification program even determined that the number of homes in the U.S. that lack proper insulation is more than one in ten. Following Energy Star guidelines for insulation materials will help homeowners find the right insulation for their home and climate, in addition to saving money on heating and cooling costs in the long run.

Since energy efficient windows have a big impact on how well your home is insulated, this upgrade tops our list of home renovation ideas. Not only can window upgrades improve energy efficiency, but they also save homeowners major heating and cooling costs. The Department of Energy estimates that replacing single-pane windows with Energy Star-certified double-pane models could save homeowners in northern climates as much as $400 on their yearly heating bill.

4. Solar Panels

As energy costs rise, more homeowners than ever are turning to solar power to reduce the cost of electricity. And, according to Consumer Reports, now is the perfect time to make the switch—less expensive panels with more efficient charging are making their way onto the market.

Many states now offer incentives for residents who install solar panels. And with an additional federal tax credit for up to 30 percent of installation costs, installing solar panels is one of the most affordable home renovation ideas on our list.

New homeowners are willing to pay for energy efficient upgrades like solar panels too. According to the New York Times, one study found that prospective buyers were willing to pay up to $15,000 over the asking price for a home with solar panels. Now that’s a solid return on investment!

5. Storm Protection Upgrades

Live in a state that experiences harsh weather, like Florida, Texas or California? You may want to consider storm protection upgrades, like hurricane-impact windows, window covers and garage door bracing. According to CNN, hurricanes have caused more than $265 billion in property damage in the last two years alone. Without proper storm protection, any additional property upgrades you make may be investment dollars lost.

When it comes to home renovation ideas that double as storm protection upgrades, focus on replacing or upgrading vulnerable entry points to your home. Garage doors are most vulnerable to high winds and flooding, while windows and doors without hurricane-impact glass can be easily damaged by flying debris.

In addition to replacing garage doors, coastal homeowners should consider adding bracing that prevents flooding and wind damage. Hurricane-impact glass, window covers and hurricane shutters all provide protection from wind, driving rains and flying debris. Learn more about the best storm protection upgrades you can make on your property here.

Paying For Your Home Renovation Ideas

No matter what kind of property upgrade you have in mind, finding the financing for major home improvements is never easy. Take advantage of PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing to check an energy efficient property upgrade off of your to-do list. With PACE financing, homeowners can invest in their energy efficient home renovation ideas and repay the project over time with property taxes. PACE financing covers efficiency upgrades like new HVAC systems, insulation and Energy Star certified windows, and puts eco-friendly home renovation ideas within reach.