Top 9 Renovations to Increase Home Value in 2024

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During the pandemic’s peak, social distancing, work-from-home trends, and shelter-in-place initiatives led to a rise in extravagant outdoor kitchens and elaborate home office renovations.

However, in 2024, these trends have shifted. Renovations have become more important to homeowners looking to upgrade their living conditions without the need to buy a new home and risk higher interest rates.

In a HomeLight survey, 49% of top agents say that fence-sitting homeowners are renovating key rooms, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels, as they wait for interest rates to drop.

As these trends have evolved, we’ve updated our best renovation bets for the new year amid a competitive real estate market.

Renovating? Check your home value first

How much is your home worth today? In as little as two minutes, HomeLight can provide you with a preliminary estimate of value in preparation of your plans to renovate, remodel, or make repairs.

Renovations that will increase home value in 2024

In 2023, the average return on the most common remodeling projects in the United States came in at about 60% nationally, according to Remodeling magazine’s 35th annual Cost vs. Value report, an assessment of typical household remodeling projects.

Since 2021, the average ROI on remodeling projects has declined. In 2022, the average ROI clocked in at 62.30%. In the previous year, that number was 63.4%.

“I can tell you that the average return on investment for updating or remodeling a home, you get back seventy-four cents for every dollar invested on average,” adds Peter Clark, who ranks in the top 3% of 5,347 agents in the Portland, Oregon area.

Consider these renovations as ways to increase your home’s value:

1. Boost your curb appeal

Curb appeal always gives buyers an important first impression and can get them excited about the home as soon as they drive up.

Attend to basic yard care (cut grass, weed control, fertilization)

  • Spread three cubic yards of bark mulch (including delivery)
  • Tidy the landscaping (shrubs, walkway, and flower beds)

Remodeling magazine’s 35th annual Cost vs. Value report found that you can often get the best ROI for renovations that buyers see before they walk through the front door — replacing your garage door, updating the siding, or adding a deck, for example, can lead to a higher ROI.

Karin Provencher, a top real estate agent in Manchester, New Hampshire, says that new siding or trim often adds about 5% to 10% in value because it changes the house’s look.

Vertical board and batten siding, which costs an average of $11,450, can create a modern farmhouse look that’s especially striking with black trim.

Toss in some lighting on the walkways or driveway to “really capture a buyer’s heart,” she says.

2. Create a more functional floor plan

Livable square footage often increases your appraised value.

“More and more floor plans that don’t work as well nowadays are getting more and more of a pushback,” according to Santiago Valdez, a Chicago agent with 21 years of experience. Standalone kitchens or bathrooms on the smaller side are seen as outdated, and buyers aren’t as willing to make them work as they used to be.

Consider reworking the floor plan or adding additional space to make the home more functional for modern living. Valdez recommends you consider features like these:

  • Large bathrooms
  • Kitchens connected to other rooms
  • Walk-in closets
  • Adding more prep space to kitchens

If you have an unfinished basement of 400 to 1,500 square feet, adding flooring, drywall, and other touches to make it a livable space has a potential ROI of 70% by converting it into a “specialty room” that buyers will love.

If you can’t add more space to the home, make it more functional by converting unused spaces. Consider turning an unused home office into a bedroom or reworking an unused living room into a flex space.

3. Luxurious bathrooms

Buyers are looking for bathrooms that feel like a spa experience. 92% of top agents surveyed in our year-end report said modern bathrooms will make homes more appealing to buyers in 2024.

Consider upgrades such as rain shower heads, double-sink vanities, extra storage, soaking tubs, and anything else that contributes to a modern, spa-like experience.

Valdez says that buyers want more spacious bathrooms than they have before. Look for ways to create the illusion of more space by adding mirrors or reworking the floor plan. If you have the funds, consider adding more square footage to the bathroom.

4. Get cooking on the kitchen

67% of agents surveyed in HomeLight’s year-end report said that upgrades to the kitchen will be one of the biggest selling points for buyers in 2024. Consider the addition of multiple sinks, a new refrigerator, and a flexible pantry space.

“The kitchen has always been a very central space to the home. Especially on new construction, we are seeing more and more prep space in the kitchen,” says Valdez.

5. Build or convert a home office

If you’re not much of a cook, consider converting an existing walk-in pantry (or closet) into a home office. In Provencher’s experience, just having that devoted space is a bonus.

“It definitely helps to edge out your competition,” she says.

“I recently showed a condo that had a big walk-in pantry with their office in their pantry. They could keep the door open if needed, but it was a nice little private space on the first floor where everything’s happening,” she adds.

She’s also seen homes where sellers have removed the clothing racks in a double closet and put in a tabletop and adjustable shelving for office space. This type of conversion fits well in a guest room but is also an efficient way to use the closet in a baby’s or toddler’s room, where a small dresser or wardrobe can handle the child’s clothing.

“The kids can be in a play space while you’re working, and at the end of the day, you can close it up and be done with it,” she says. “I’ve shown a few homes with it, and everybody is like, ‘Wow, this is so great.’”

6. Expand your outdoor space

While outdoor space won’t fetch the premium in 2024 that it did in recent years, 31% of agents surveyed told HomeLight that larger or improved outdoor or garden spaces will still serve as a big selling point for buyers this year.

Consider incorporating any of these sought-after features:


Homeowners in certain parts of the country can increase their home’s value by up to 7% if they add a pool, according to Bankrate. Adding a pool can make financial sense if you live in a warmer climate area, like Florida or California, or in a neighborhood where most other houses have pools.

However, adding a pool isn’t always the right call. The added expense and maintenance upkeep required might outweigh any potential ROI a pool could yield. Consult a real estate agent to advise if adding a pool will leave you high and dry.

Deck or patio

Decks gained greater popularity due to the pandemic and are a great way to increase your home’s overall ROI.

While costs vary based on materials and size, you could recoup between 39% – 50% of your costs if you decide to build a deck. The average cost to add a wood deck in 2024 is $17,051. A composite deck costs a bit more, around $23,430.

Hot tub

An in-ground hot tub gives your backyard the feel of a high-end spa (and pairs well with an in-ground pool). However, you’re unlikely to recoup your installation cost of $8,000 to $25,000.

A freestanding hot tub isn’t a bad compromise if you’re shy about breaking ground. While freestanding hot tubs aren’t factored into a home’s overall value (appraisers consider this personal property), your agent can discuss a buyer paying for this separately.

7. Modify your home for aging-in-place or intergenerational living

Housing market uncertainty means homeowners, including retirees, should adjust their expectations. At the beginning of 2023, 39% of HomeLight agents we surveyed predicted that retirees would opt to modify their current home to age in place rather than sell. This trend can be expected to continue in 2024.

As a result, intergenerational living will become more popular, too. Of the agents we surveyed, 22% think that renovations will increase to make way for children moving in with their older parents.

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an innovative and affordable housing solution in high-cost areas, plus a way to house an extended family or add rental income to your property.

More buyers are looking for mid-price homes with ADUs, according to our 2023 Agent Insight Report. According to the L.A. Times, ADUs can add up to 24% to the value of a home.

“Multigenerational living is a huge value-add,” Provencher says, boosting the typical home value in her area by about 20% to 25%. She says that even people who don’t plan to use an ADU as housing love the space as a home office suite.

However, building an ADU can get expensive. The average cost to build an ADU is $180,000, but the costs can range quite a bit, according to Angi. The cost can be impacted by the type of ADU you build, material type, design of the space, labor costs, and the systems you equip the unit with.

8. Make your mudroom bigger and more functional

A mudroom or foyer with a place to drop off the day’s gear has long been a home design perk, especially in areas where corralling wintery shoes and boots is a must.

Provencher says that adding a bench, hooks, and built-in cubbies to a small foyer entry creates this natural stopping point and a perceived value-add.

“They want that drop zone,” she says.

9. Small changes make a big impact

According to Valdez, ensuring the home doesn’t show signs of “deferred maintenance” will give you the best return on investment.

These changes don’t have to be big renovations. They can be small updates to the home, including:

  • Cleaning up the property
  • Adding fresh paint
  • Fixing windows with leaks
  • Repairing any gas leaks
  • Resanding floors
  • Updating old or outdated appliances
  • Filling in caulk or grout that needs repair

The renovation project with the highest potential ROI? Refinishing wood floors, according to ProFloors and Cabinets. You can recoup 70% to 150% of the costs for this project.

If you have a low budget or little time to make renovations, consider the small things to help boost your home’s value.

Renovations can be expensive, so invest wisely

Not every renovation project will increase your home value. But keeping pace with what buyers want can help increase your resale value.

Talk with a local real estate agent about which renovations increase home value in your area, and then see which ones can help you enjoy your space the most until you’re ready to hit the market.

Header Image Source: (Petra Keßler / Unsplash)