Owning a home is a job that doesn't end. You might update your kitchen cabinets, add garage storage systems or install new windows over the course of your time living in that property. However, some of the upgrades you make are worth more than others, meaning if and when you sell the house, you can ask for more money – getting extra cash is always a welcomed prospect! 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, American homeowners spent, on average, $3,200 each on improvements between 2009 and 2011. As you consider what projects you'll put your money toward, take a look at these tips and remodeling trends:

Consider ROI
Return on investment is worth considering when deciding what to remodel in your home. Certain projects will allow you to raise your asking price when selling down the road. According to the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling, replacing your home's entry door with a steel model gets the most bang for your buck. The report estimated that 96.6 percent of the cost homeowners spent on their doors was recouped.

Now, most other projects don't have as good of an ROI, but many remodels still bring in money come selling time. For instance, garage addition gets 69.3 percent recoup and garage door replacement gets an 83.7 percent recoup – if you choose to upgrade your garage, adding wall mount storage systems may increase the appeal of the space. 

Remember personal gain
While having your money returned upon the sale of your house is nice, remodels are really for you to enjoy. If you don't want a deck, why would you add one? Think about what you need and don't base the entirety of your remodeling decisions on ROI. For example, if you're in desperate need of storage, garage organization tools add value to your home. If your outdated kitchen is driving you nuts, adding new appliances and better materials could make you feel happier. The whole goal of your renovation should be turning your house into your dream home.

Go green
Many renovations give you an opportunity to make your house more eco-friendly. From energy efficient windows to appliances that use water more conservatively, you can install green features in your home. They'll help keep Mother Earth happy and they'll decrease your utility costs every month – now that's a win-win! Here are some eco-friendly remodeling tips:

  • Look for appliances and windows that carry the Energy Star seal 
  • Seek water-using appliances and fixtures that don't use as much H20 (aerators are easy to add to existing faucets and decrease your water consumption)
  • Check your home for air leakage, and patch areas that let air come and go
  • Investigate your insulation, and be sure it's doing its job properly
  • Look in your attic to make sure it's not letting in air – redoing the attic can help save on energy costs
  • Pick compact florescent bulbs for all of your new light fixtures (you can purchase ones that have a warm, natural glow)
Renovation Tips