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Best ROI Home Renovations: Highest Impact Upgrades for Your Forever Home

Congratulations, you and your partner have found the house! It’s within your budget, in a neighborhood you like, and despite its being a little bit older, it’s got the space you need. Your only dilemma? You want to make this home one that reflects your current lifestyle and taste, but realize that both of those things may change once you start a family. So, the question is, what’s the smartest updates to make for now that will still work then? What are the best ROI home renovations?

Hardwood Floors: The Best ROI Home Upgrade

According to a report by National Association of Realtors (NAR), homeowners are able to recover 106% of the cost of installing wood flooring when selling their home. On average, the installation of new wood floors costs $4,700, however sellers can recover $5,000 from the investment.

If that’s not enough to make hardwood flooring your next home renovation, a survey of consumers found that 78% of customers feel a “major sense of accomplishment” when they think about their new wood flooring installation. Further, 67% claim to experience an increased sense of enjoyment when at home.

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Start by spending money where it will pay off in the long term, like with an open and versatile floor plan and beautiful timeless flooring that will evolve with your life changes and design styles. And don’t forget to keep an eye on those warranties to make sure you’re getting a floor that will last, like LIFECORE engineered hardwoods, which have a 50-year warranty.

The most popular and versatile approach involves opening up the kitchen and dining room into the living room. Style-wise, this home upgrade provides immediate impact when you walk through the door, making the rooms look collectively larger. It also allows you to create an all-purpose common area for different activities that benefit all members of the household (i.e., your TV area blending into an office area blending into a dining area, etc.). This also allows the center of any home, the kitchen, to have the best view in the house. When entertaining, you can tend to things in the kitchen while still being part of the action, and down the road, you’ll be able to keep an eye on the little ones while cooking if you carve out a play section for them in the common area.

Another bonus to opening up these areas is that it increases the resale value of your home by providing both functionality and appeal for added value. The average ROI for installing hardwood floors is about 70% to 80% according to, with hardwood floors boosting resale value by as much as 2.5% for a strong return on investment home renovation.

How do I design my open floor plan to work for me while getting the best ROI out of my home renovation?

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So, the big question now is, How do I design my open floor plan to work for me and really get the best ROI out of my home renovation? The following suggestions are the most often recommended for being functional, great for showcasing your personal style, and for the most part, are budget-friendly.

1) Install the same flooring through the kitchen, living room, and dining room to create cohesion. Your best choice is a neutral, wide plank, engineered hardwood with a scraped or brushed surface to anchor the décor and allow for easy cleanup and maintenance. Choose a color that will stand the test of time style-wise by working with various decors and color schemes. Some great examples for this include LIFECORE Clear View, Discerning, and Luxe, all reasonably priced, durable and fashionable for the long haul. In addition to the 50-year warranty, LIFECORE floors have zero added formaldehyde, which not only provides greener, healthier air quality for your home and the environment, but it also adds value to your home.

2) Create an open divider between the living room and kitchen with a large island. This is probably the only big-ticket item on this list, but if you install one with a sink, extra counter space, and tons of storage, it will become the most useful focal point in the room and provide your kitchen with a coveted upgrade.

3) Does your home have older windows? Upgrading to more energy-efficient windows won’t only help you cut costs on electricity, but they also add a significant level of curb appeal. Vinyl window replacements can provide as much as 77.5% ROI, while wooden window replacements can have 78.8% ROI.

4) According to HGTV, in the hottest housing markets, upgrading your bathroom is one of the best ROI home renovations, with some people getting back all the money they put in. If you want to carry that hardwood look into the bathroom, be sure to select products that can withstand water and humidity. Next year, LIFECORE will be releasing a real waterproof hardwood floor, so be on the lookout!

4) After opening up the floor plan and adding new floors and windows, it may be a good time to upgrade your HVAC for cleaner air, something everyone in the family can benefit from.

Keep in mind that not all of this has to be done overnight. You can build on your forever home over time, searching for and selecting components that you know you will love for years to come. Good luck and congratulations on finding a place to truly make your own!

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