BuyingMaintenanceReal EstateremodelingSelling February 8, 2023

21 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value


  1. Clean
  2. Declutter
  3. Increase usable square footage
  4. Increase your home’s energy efficiency
  5. Paint
  6. Exterior Curb Appeal
  7. Add Low-maintenance Landscaping
  8. Upgrade Exterior Doors
  9. Update Kitchen
  10. Update Bathrooms
  11. Stage your home
  12. Add or remodel a deck
  13. Clean the Exterior
  14. Update your home’s lighting
  15. Have flooring look in good condition
  16. Increase or remodel storage areas
  17. Open up common areas
  18. Have attic properly insulated
  19. Plant A Tree
  20. Add a water filtration system in kitchen
  21. Modernize the interior look

For the majority of people that own their home, that home is one of their largest assets.  It’s where you start every new day, and end every day.  It’s where you are able to plan and build dreams for the future.  Or grow a family. It’s important that along with regular maintenance, it should be something you are always investing in and here are 21 ways to increase your home’s value.

Even if you’re not interested in selling your home, that day may eventually come when it’s time to.  Rather than doing all the work at time of listing the property, maybe do a little each year.

General Cleaning

Clean your woodwork, light switches and switch plates.  Dirty hands over time make those areas grimy.  Use a cleaner that’s designed for wood if it’s stained, or one that’s ok to use on painted surfaces.  Pro Tip:  Use a toothbrush or tooth pick to get into tight areas that you can’t get clean with a rag or scrub brush.


Go through the cabinets, closets, or those totes in the garage or basement that you haven’t opened in 10 years.  Save only a few memories, and either donate, recycle or send to the trash the items and are no longer of use to you.

Increase Usable Square Footage

If you have space in your basement that you’re not using, remodel it so that it can be living space.  Finish the walls with drywall and outlets.  Add flooring.  If your home is rather small, consider an addition.  That will definitely be a large financial commitment, but could be a good return on investment in the future.  Or it simply will help you enjoy living in your home more.

Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Newer HVAC systems are built with increased efficiency than older ones.  Updating them will help your home’s utility bills.  Of course, your home needs to be properly insulated for the upgrades to be effective.  Install a smart or programmable thermostat.  Update your home’s windows.  If you can’t do them all at once because of costs, maybe just update a few each year in stages, until the entire home is completed.


A fresh coat of paint will give your home a new feel on the inside.  Color trends continue to change, and if you’re staying in your home, find a color you enjoy.  But if you’re going to sell soon, use neutral colors.  Any potential buyer will want to visualize themselves living in the home as theirs.  They will have a harder time visualizing themselves living in your home.

Curb Appeal

Keep the property’s exterior pleasant.  Whether it’s making sure there’s no clutter around the home or garage, or performing general maintenance, the attractiveness of your home’s exterior will increase it’s value.  If you have painted surfaces on the exterior, make sure to sand any peeling paint and re-coat.  Is your driveway cracked?  Use a concrete filler / sealer to fill the cracks.  This will protect the concrete from further damage due to freezing during the winter.

Low Maintenance Landscaping

Update your landscaping with low maintenance items.  Make sure to use heavy landscape fabric to prevent weed growth.  Add landscape rock and use pavers or edgers as an accent.  Choosing plants that are easy to maintain and are of great colors can contrast the rock or pavers.  Unless you enjoy gardening and don’t mind pulling weeds all summer, follow proper installation techniques.

Upgrade Exterior Doors

Front entry and garage doors can work wonders to improving the value and appeal of your home.  Update them with the current modern styles.

Update the Kitchen

This is a big one.  Most people spend a large percentage of time while home in the kitchen.  It tends to be a focal point of many home buyers.  If it’s outdated or has a poor layout, maybe it’s time to update.  This can be a rather large investment.  You may not entirely get a full return on investment, but while you’re in your home, you’ll enjoy the kitchen more and the updates will make it easier to sell when the time comes.  Even the smallest things like updating your existing cabinetry pull handles can make a difference.

Update the Bathrooms

Like kitchens, bathrooms are a large selling point to potential buyers.  Replacing an old toilet may not only look better, but may increase your water use efficiency.  If the sink’s supply line stop valves are stuck or drip, replace those to prevent future problems.  Next to a kitchen remodel, updating the bath can be one of the next on the most expensive to update list.  But like the kitchen, it’s likely much time is spent daily using the bathroom.  Remodel it for yourself to enjoy, or for the value of your home.

Stage Your Home

This is only for someone actively looking to sell their home.  Maybe consider skipping the cosmetic improvements and instead consult an interior designer or staging specialist.  There’s many things to be put into action for home staging, including decluttering, depersonalizing, placement of furniture and colors (paint vs flooring or furniture).

Add or Remodel a Deck

Does your home have a deck?  Is the decking worn out?  Some options include a simple pressure washing, or staining the wood.  If you want to make your deck last a long time and can afford it, re-surface it with composite decking.  If your deck is small, consider making it larger.

Clean the Exterior

Wash the siding.  If not every spring or summer, do it at least every few years.  You’ll be surprised how dirty it becomes.  This can be done with a light pressure washer and siding detergent.  If a deeper clean is needed, a scrub brush on a telescoping pole may be needed.  Clean the windows and sills inside and out.

Update the Lighting

Modernize the style of exterior lighting on the front of the house will add curb appeal.  Use newer energy efficient fixtures inside, like ceiling fans.  Recessed lighting in the kitchen is typically helpful in increasing the home value.  Change the light bulbs, using energy efficient ones.  But be sure to change them to the look you want inside, if you want a more soft warm glow or a brighter white effect.


A buyer walking into a home with old worn out carpet will immediately hesitate on a purchase.  For some, they realize that it will have to be an immediate out of pocket expense after buying.  Some homeowners are removing carpet and installing other flooring products, like LVP.  If you still like the feel of carpet, an option is to get a large rug that will replace the carpet over your new solid floor.

Increase or Update Storage Areas

New shelving can be a minor expense and it’s easy to install.  It will help make your storage areas look more presentable to buyers when the time comes to sell.  There are many storage solutions available for both basement or garage.  Find the one that meets your needs.

Open up Common Areas

For example, if you have a basement that is sectioned off into several rooms, maybe making one “great room” for enjoyment will make it more appealing.  It will also make the living space look bigger with an open concept.  Knock down a few walls and if there are support posts, there are ways to decorate them so your space retains its integrity and meets building code.  Make sure to contact a building contractor so that any load bearing walls are not changed without proper support.


Returning to the energy efficiency topic, get a professional to evaluate your attic space.  Maybe your home isn’t insulated well enough, or you want to make some of that area usable, maximizing how your home is used.

Plant a Tree

A “shade tree” if planted and placed properly can impact your utility bills during the summer months.  Shade will keep your home cooler, but of course, this is thinking long-term if you plan to stay in your house for a long time.

Add a Water Filtration System in the Kitchen

There are options for better water in your home.  Not all properties have the same source of water, and although they may pass all minimum testing standards, it could still be improved.  There are entire house filtration systems or ones that can be installed for drinking water only in the kitchen.  Regardless, having better water will increase the life of your washing machine and dishwasher.

Modernize the Interior

Many older homes distinctly give off the feel of the era they were built in.  Or the era of the last time they were updated.  Whether it has that 80’s feel or even something older, consult current trends in cabinetry, countertops, trim, doors and flooring.  A modern feel will work wonders and you’ll enjoy your home, or it will be easier to sell for top dollar.

Thank you for reading my article, and feel free to contact me with questions.   Start your search right here on my site when it’s time to browse area properties.

Dave Noelke is a licensed real estate agent with Century 21 Affiliated, based in the LaCrosse, Wisconsin office.  Visit his website here.