The warmer weather means it’s time to start thinking about home improvement projects. Whether you’re getting your home in tip-top shape for your own enjoyment, or getting it ready to put on the market, not all home improvement projects are created equal when it comes to return on investment (ROI). Here are top areas on which to focus:


The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s one of the best areas to renovate in terms of ROI, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, which puts the price tag of the average minor kitchen remodel at $22,507, with 80.5 percent of the cost recouped upon resale.

To give the kitchen an updated appearance, replace the flooring, countertops, sink and faucet. A fresh coat of paint in a trendy shade, such as Living Coral, Pantone’s Color of the Year, can add a vibrant pop of color to energize any kitchen. Not looking to go that bold? Consider an accent wall, or stick to a classic palate of gray and white in terms of cabinets and countertops. White on white is also a popular new style for kitchens and bathrooms.

Other features home buyers are paying close attention to are laundry rooms and such energy-saving elements as Energy Star appliances and windows, according to the survey “What Home Buyers Want in 2019” by the National Association of Home Builders.

Curb Appeal 

The popularity of outdoor projects remains strong and it’s for a good reason. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, the biggest bang for your buck in 2019 will come from replacing a garage door. The report says the average price is $3,611, and 97.5 percent of it is recouped when the house is sold.

Other outdoor projects with high ROI include adding manufactured stone veneer to the exterior (94.9 percent), adding a wood deck (75.6 percent) and replacing siding (75.6 percent). Looking for a simpler way to make an impact? Sprucing up the landscape by planting flowers or bushes or even just clearing the yard of debris will make a big statement

No matter what updates you end up making, it’s always a good idea to notify your insurance agent. “Certain upgrades may change the value of a house, so homeowners need to make sure they’re properly covered,” says Bob Buckel, vice president of product management, Erie Insurance. “There are a few things to look for. Ask your agent about guaranteed replacement cost policies that can cover the cost to rebuild a home in today’s dollars following a covered loss.”

Some upgrades may also make you eligible for discounts, Buckel adds, especially if they make the home more secure. “For example, Erie Insurance offers certain safety discounts such as for installing smoke alarms or an automatic sprinkler system.”

Now you have a checklist of DIY projects to focus on this spring. But before you start, take a moment to assess which ones are worth your time and money.