The best Atlanta home improvements for resale, from new garage doors to a light kitchen or bath refresh
(Above) Renovation in Roswell, Georgia by Sweeten contractor Justin
The Atlanta housing market is humming. The value of homes increased by over seven percent in 2019, according to data from Redfin. It’s one of those American city’s that is revitalizing with the fourth-fastest growth rate in the nation. As a result, Atlanta homeowners are increasingly planning for home improvements.
If you’re thinking of prepping your house for sale, Sweeten outlines the top home improvements for the Atlanta market to get the best price and sell quickly. Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and financial protection—at no cost to the homeowner.
Sometimes renovations aren’t always about what you want but what the homeowner who comes after you might want. A good idea is to take a look at the style of spec homes. “They try to use elements that have a large appeal,” said Sweeten contractor Lonny, who is based in Atlanta. When looking at the styles around Atlanta for your home improvements, sticking with what’s popular is best for resale rather than involving your unique preferences. “There might be hundreds of choices for faucets, but 95 percent of people might go with three styles,” said Lonny.
Renovation projects to consider:
1. Change out the front door
First impressions endure when selling your home. “It is crucial that your entranceway is well kept,” said Lonny. Sprucing up the front of your home could be as simple as adding a new front door. For one client, Lonny swapped out a plain door for a craftsman-style door along with matching shutters. “It really set the house apart,” he said.
2. A fresh coat of paint
Atlanta-based Sweeten contractor Justin advises homeowners to think like makeup artists when accessing the front of their home ahead of a sale. “You’re not going to attract buyers if the windows are fogged up and the paint is chipping,” he said. Ensuring your house is clean and your paint fresh will go a long way in getting the best price, Justin said.
3. Replace the garage door
Along with your actual front door, replacing your garage door is a quick and easy fix to improve your home’s value. A garage door replacement costs $3,663 on average for the Atlanta area, according to Remodeling‘s Cost Vs Value report. Your home’s value is increased by more than 76 percent of that cost.
4. Invest in siding
Lonny often gets calls about siding replacement from homeowners who are planning to sell their home. New siding is a great investment, according to the 2020 Cost Vs Value report for Atlanta. A project that installs fiber-cement siding costs an average of $17,000. Over $13,000 or 78 percent of the project’s cost is returned to you in the value that it adds to the home. That’s one of the highest returns on investment of any renovation project, according to the report.
5. Basement as living space
The basement is the first thing Justin looks at if a client is planning to resell their home. An unfinished basement has the potential to significantly increase the square footage of your home. “Finishing your basement is going to yield the largest return on your investment,” said Justin.
Other alterations, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, are helpful, but they don’t add to the size of your home like a basement can. The square footage of your home and its price per square foot will feature prominently in your home’s sale listing. Depending on how many floors you have, a finished basement could almost double that square foot measurement.
A full basement renovation that includes budget-friendly floors, paint, lighting, and a half bath can start at $20,000. “On the conservative side for finishes, a turn-key basement will cost around $50-65 per square foot to finish out,” said Justin. “This includes a small kitchen area and basement bathroom if all the rough-in plumbing is already installed.”
According to the Cost Vs Value report, the average cost of a basement remodel in Atlanta was $70,000. This increases a home’s value by $46,000 or more than 65 percent of the renovation’s cost, the report found.
6. The bathroom adds value
Giving your bathroom a makeover is an easy route to a higher house price. Recently, a real estate agent contacted Lonny with a house about to go on the market. To increase its value ahead of the sale, Lonny completed a modified gut renovation in the bathroom. “This was something that was needed because it was dated from the 1980s,” said Lonny. The customer had everything replaced except the cabinetry. The budget was about $20,000. A bathroom remodel in this budget range adds almost $13,000 —65 percent of the budget— to your home’s value, according to the Cost Vs Value report for Atlanta.
If you don’t have the time for a major remodel, then simple superficial changes might be a better option. This could mean swapping outdated fixtures like faucets for something more modern, said Lonny. A new countertop on your vanity could also spruce up your bathroom with minimum effort.
7. A streamlined kitchen refresh
Kitchens are the gathering place, a focal point for any home. A kitchen could also make or break your home’s value, according to Justin. Rather than doing a full renovation that involves the costly exercise of changing a layout, stick to a scaled-back renovation. “A new countertop, backsplash, and faucet can go along way,” said Lonny. “If there’s the budget for it then I also suggest lighting and flooring.”
Cabinets, especially if they are custom-built, can take up a huge chunk of a budget. For a renovation that is geared towards increasing value, Lonny advised keeping cabinets as is. That way the budget and timeline can be streamlined.
A minor kitchen remodel with a budget of $23,000 has a high return on investment of 73 percent, according to the Cost Vs Value report. A minor kitchen remodel in this instance involves replacing only the front of your cabinets, sink, faucet and countertops while adding an energy-efficient cooktop, oven, and refrigerator.
Give your home a fresh and neutral slate. Curb appeal gets the potential buyer to enter the door. A conservative palette inside allows them to more easily see how they can make the home their own. Take these home improvement ideas into consideration and be one step closer to closing the deal.
Here’s the renovation cost guide for Atlanta for purchasing a new home or updating an existing one.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.