The best and worst home improvement projects

UK Home Improvement

The Best and Worst Home Improvement Projects

Spend your weekend working on something that will return your investment

With the weather warming up, many homeowners are getting big ideas for their homes. Most hope for a big return on their investment, but the truth is a majority of home improvement projects will yield only a fraction of the initial investment in increased home value. Here is a quick list of the best and worst home improvements you can do for the money.

Best Home Improvements for Return on Investment

Window Replacement

Windows are a major cause of home insulation issues; they let out cool air in the summer and don’t prevent the cold from penetrating in the winter. If you’ve wanted to upgrade your old windows, here is some good news.

Up to 90% of the invested cost will be returned in the value of your home, and you can expect to see major energy savings every month that will quickly make up the additional 10%.

Replacing the Garage Door

While upgrading garage space and available features offers minimal return on investment, changing out the old garage door for a newer model can offer one of the best ROIs available for an upgrade.

New mid-to-high end models not only add curb appeal, but come in at one of the cheaper upgrades at only £700 on average. Expect to also see a majority of the cost recouped; at least 70% of the cost will be reflected in your home value.

Replacing Exterior Siding

Siding is one of the more expensive upgrades you can do, but it also has nearly an 80% return on investment just in your home value alone, and that’s not considering the energy savings you’ll be seeing every month.

You’ll need to invest in a good fiber-cement product and be willing to invest around £6,000 up front; but if you’re planning on selling after 5 years or so, you can expect to have all your invested money returned in home value and lower monthly bills.


Livable square footage is another great way you can improve your property value. Converting an attic into a bedroom can be time consuming and require skilled labor, but you can expect over 70% ROI, plus the use of all that extra space without having to add on to your home.

Playhouse additions may have a similar ROI depending on your neighborhood, but bathroom additions certainly will not.

Worst Home Improvements for Return on Investment

Putting in a Pool

Pools always seem like a good idea—kids love them, and it’s easy to imagine that everyone wants one—but many homeowners balk at the added effort and cost of maintenance, so it isn’t the selling point that many homeowners imagine.

You can expect to get back about %30-%50 of your initial investment, and that isn’t including higher insurance rates, £800 a year on average to maintain the pool, and roughly £4,000 every 10 years to resurface the area. Get one if you expect to enjoy it and want to pay for it, but don’t call it an “investment”.

Replacing the Roof

You should only plan on replacing your roof if you absolutely have to. Poorly-maintained roofs certainly decrease home value, but a new roof might barely add £5,000 to your entire home value, and that’s with an average replacement cost of over £10,000.

Adding a Backup Generator

If you find yourself inconvenienced by a storm a couple times a year, you might think investing in a home backup generator will be easily worth it. Expect to drop over £6,500 to have a 70-amp generator professionally installed, and only see 47% back in your home value. If you’re not expecting the zombie apocalypse any time soon, it probably isn’t worth the money.

Adding a Sunroom

This might just be one of the worst investments you can make in a home. For the most part, the square footage added doesn’t count towards your entire home, so it hardly brings back any of your investment money. Remodeling Magazine recently added a bare-bones sunroom addition to a home, only to find out that after spending £49,000, they had only increased the home’s value by £22,500.


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