Home improvement projects you can tackle for around $ 20,000

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If there’s only one room in your home that you’d like to change, deciding to renovate can be as simple as figuring out how to finance the project, finding the right contractor, and setting a deadline. But what if you have multiple projects you’d like to complete and a budget of $ 20,000?

We asked renovation and real estate experts for advice on how to spend wisely on a renovation.

“The first question we ask everyone is how long they plan to stay in the house,” says Chuck Khiel, vice president of Fred Home Improvement, a division of Case Architects & Remodelers in the Washington area. . “If you’re staying forever, it makes sense to do something you really want to do, no matter if it increases the value of your home. If you are selling in three to five years or sooner, you are focusing more on your [recoupment] on investment.

No matter how long you stay, you should always consider the resale value of the project to make sure you’re making a smart investment, says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi, the home services platform formerly known as name of Home Advisor and Angie’s. List.

“As much as we would all like to tackle ‘wants’ before ‘needs,’ so it’s important to prioritize needs first,” says Fisher. “Always prioritize safety-related repairs. There may be repairs that seem small or insignificant now, and could become much bigger, riskier, and more expensive if ignored for too long.

A budget of $ 20,000 can buy a lot of renovations, but it may not be enough to complete all of your projects. Here are some popular choices to consider:

Renovating an average kitchen costs between $ 25,000 and $ 40,000, says Fisher. The ROI for kitchen updates can be over 70%, he says.

“I’d cross the kitchen off the list if you have $ 20,000 because that’s not enough to update it and it’s worth selling,” says Craig McCullough, Catalyst Group Director with Compass real estate in Washington. “If your entire kitchen is obsolete, it’s better to offer buyers $ 50,000 to pay for their kitchen renovations rather than updating it on an ad hoc basis.

READ MORE: These Kitchen Features Can Help You Sell Your Home

If you’re focused on spending your $ 20,000 on your kitchen, however, replacing countertops, adding LED lighting under the cabinets, and installing a new tile backsplash provide a nice facelift, suggests Khiel, especially if your counters are in good condition. You can also paint the cabinets within that budget.

The cost of remodeling an average-sized bathroom is $ 10,800, according to Fisher. How much you will spend depends on the quality of the fixtures and finishes you choose. Reconfiguring a bathroom and relocating plumbing and electrical connections dramatically increases costs.

“You can paint the bathroom, change the vanity, the medicine cabinet, lighting, flooring and fixtures for under $ 20,000,” says Khiel. “You may also be able to cover a cast iron tub, within this budget. “

The big difference is the materials, says Khiel.

READ MORE: Home bathrooms are changing during the pandemic, just as they did in 1918

“You can find good quality and attractive items in the mid-range, but you can also spend $ 8,000 just on the cabinet,” he says. “Your [recoupment] on the investment is around 70% if you stick to an intermediate grade.

McCullough suggests that sellers focus on updating the master bathroom on a budget of $ 20,000 and then spending a small amount to replace the floor and wall tiles and the bathroom vanity of them. guests, if necessary.

Completing a partially finished or unfinished basement provides more living space and increases your resale value, says Fisher. He says the average cost to finish a basement is just under $ 20,000, but it can be much more or less depending on the amount of work involved. The return on investment for finishing a basement can exceed 70%, says Fisher.

“Every jurisdiction in the DC area requires permits to partially or completely complete a basement, which increases the cost,” Khiel said. “You need permits if you frame or enclose the space with walls, plans for permits, and electrical, heating and air conditioning and insulation work.”

READ MORE: Which Home Renovations Are Worth The Cost? Less than you think

McCullough says a remodeling project that simply requires changing the floors and painting could be done for much less than $ 20,000, but completing a basement would cost well over that budget.

“Some of the main factors to budget include labor, flooring, waterproofing, lighting, electrical, furniture, sump pump installation, ceiling, drywall , insulation, plumbing, paint, decor and permits, as well as doors, windows and walls, ”says Fisher. “Start with the needs and work with a contractor to make sure everything is done in the right order and according to code. “

Replacing or refinishing the floor, painting or upholstering the walls and ceiling, and building or rearranging the storage space are aspects of the master bedroom that have a good return on investment and impact your daily life, says Fisher. . These projects can easily fit into a $ 20,000 budget.

Khiel says most homeowners expand their closet space if they can and some ask for custom built-in cabinets for storage and a TV. He also suggests adding moldings or woodwork or replacing doors within a budget of $ 20,000.

READ MORE: Renovating a home together can challenge a relationship. Compromise is the key.

“Changing the windows can also be part of the budget, but you have to be careful if they no longer match the windows in adjacent walls,” says Khiel. “Windows can be very expensive, so some people put up a wall a year to share the expense. “

Adding a ceiling fan or recessed lighting can also enhance the look of a master bedroom. And those are two items that buyers appreciate, says McCullough.

Adding a deck or patio can improve the resale value of your home with a return on investment of up to 65%, says Fisher. The increase in outdoor living space has become particularly popular during the pandemic. Fisher says adding a patio ranges from $ 4,000 to $ 11,250 for most homeowners, but costs increase with the size of the patio and the materials used.

“A $ 20,000 deck might be 200 square feet if it was wood, but if you want a composite material like Trex, that deck size will set you back $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 because the prices are so high right now, ”says Khiel.

READ MORE: Roof decks are becoming a must-have for Philly homeowners and buyers

Fisher says there is a good spot for the correct size bridge.

“Too small and you are unlikely to use it a lot, too big and you can lose your whole garden,” he says.

For the biggest impact of a $ 20,000 investment in your home, McCullough suggests replacing or refinishing all of the floors in the home.

READ MORE: How to Buy New Flooring: Reviews from Suppliers and Installers in the Delaware Valley

“This is important even if you have a relatively new house, as developers often put up cheaper floors when building a condo or a cluster of houses,” says McCullough.

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