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Are Summer Home Improvements Worth It?

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Summer can quite enjoyable at your own home if you have what you need to make it comfortable for outdoor (or indoor) living. However, not every improvement you make will add value to your home. In many cases, the added value to your home is unlikely to result in you recouping the total cost of your home improvements. As a result, it is important to carefully consider what you choose to do.

Before making any home improvement, you should consider the cost, and the potential reward. Some items, such as enhancing your home’s curb appeal with attractive plants and a maintained yard, can help you sell your home in the future, while providing you with a beautiful home. Other improvements, though, require a little more thought and planning. And you should be aware that you want to do them right — or you could end up with an unattractive feature that detracts from your home’s value.

Common Summer Home Improvements

There are some common home improvements associated with the summer time. Not all of these are as cost-efficient as others, though. Here are some of the more popular choices for summer home remodeling projects:

  • Deck: If you are looking for a place to relax in the summer time, you might consider adding a deck. According to Remodeling Magazine, you can recover up to 72.8% of the cost of installing a wood deck.
  • Patio: Perhaps you don’t have the room for a deck. If this is the case, you might consider a patio. If you already have a small pad of concrete as a patio, you can widen it with the help of additional concrete. Add a few chairs, and a small table, and it can become quite pleasant.
  • Pool: This is an expensive home improvement. An in-ground pool can add to the value of your home, but by the time you pay for it, and pay for the maintenance required for its upkeep, there is little chance that you will recover what you spent. If you are looking to use it to help you sell your home down the road, you will have to make sure you keep it in good condition. The National Association of Realtors point out that an above-ground pool can actually reduce the resale value of a home.
  • Sunroom addition: Remodeling Magazine says that you will probably only recover about 48.6% of what you spend on a sunroom. However, it can be a pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors in an environment with some degree of temperature control. Buying one of those sunroom kits, though, and doing it yourself, might provide a less expensive alternative. However, in the long run it might not help your home’s resale value.
  • Air conditioning: Once again, adding central air can be a way to improve the comfort of your home, but you probably won’t recoup the costs, including the extra energy you will use to run it. However, even though it may not increase the resale value of your home, it might be a deal clincher down the road.

Bottom Line

When you are deciding on summer home improvements, think about how you will use them, and whether you will enjoy them. For the most part, summer home improvements are going to be for your comfort and benefit. They may be nice features that can make your home a little more sellable, but they probably won’t add substantially to your home’s resale value. Don’t think of them as a financial investment; rather, consider them as purchases that might be considered an investment your own enjoyment.

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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4 Responses to “Are Summer Home Improvements Worth It?”

  1. Ross says:

    This article comes just as I’m re-doing my entire back yard! We have completely redone it, including:

    1. Removing old and unneeded trees to open up our yard
    2. Removing the very old, chain link fence and replacing it with a new, larger wood privacy fence
    3. Bringing in a large amount of dirt and completely leveling our yard, drastically altering the landscape and making it more usable
    4. Installing a new stamped concrete patio, replacing our old patio and making it 3x bigger
    5. Planting new grass seed

    While these improvements may not lead to 100% money back in resale value, we feel these improvements will dramatically help us enjoy our time in the home.

  2. Adam says:

    Home improvement as an investment are not mutually exclusive. All home improvements are an investment, whether people want to see it that way, or not. Consider that a new deck, for example, will add value to a home, which in most states will add to the property assessment value. The home owner, as ultimately an investor, recognizes that the eventual value appreciation will enable her to eventually recapture the investment dollars, while also providing the opportunity to enjoy the improvements during ownership. If the owner lives there for the remainder of her natural life, then a future beneficiary of the estate will receive the financial benefit from the appreciation.

  3. ziglet19 says:

    Interesting article. We’re actually hoping to be able to install central air next year (I live in inland southern california, plenty of 100+ degree days here). I’m surprised that adding central air doesn’t increase the resale value of the home. But it will be worth it, I’m sure. I only have to sweat out one more summer without it 🙂 (it’s actually not that sweaty, since we have a few window units).

  4. lostAnnfound says:

    A pool here in New England is only used a couple months or so during the year. We bought a used above ground pool (33 x 18). $400.00 included everything: filter, cover, solar cover, automatic vacuum, even the 20 foot deck. Another $250.00 for a liner (got a good deal from a friend) and it’s been going strong for over 12 years. Had to replace the filter & motor (about $300) about 5 years ago.

    It may not have increased the value or, as you say, may have possibly decreased the value, but this is one of those “investments” for our own family’s pleasure. It has been used every summer since we have had it. Now with kids approaching 16 & 18, it’ll only be a couple more years before the pool comes down & gets recycled.

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