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Last Updated on April 3, 2023

Homeownership is a staple of the American dream. Thousands of individuals and families in Ontario County, NY own homes that provide places of retreat and safety. Additionally, investing in a home is an investment in the future. As you build equity by paying down the mortgage, you are able to borrow money against it with a refinance or sell the home for a profit. 

Increasing the value of your home is a key aspect of treating it like an investment. While natural appreciation can increase the value over time, there is another surefire way to skyrocket the property value; home improvement projects.

Making upgrades to your home can serve functional and financial purposes. In most cases, the cost of a significant upgrade is lower than the increase in value that results. Plus, you get to enjoy the new features yourself if you do not plan to sell soon. However, taking on home improvement projects requires many considerations. It is important to follow a thorough step-by-step process to ensure that the project goes smoothly, stays within the budget, and actually improves the property. Here are the steps you should focus on.


Every home improvement project should start with research. What are the elements in your home that are outdated or in disrepair? Are the changes you want to make cosmetic, functional, or both? What kinds of upgrades would make sense within the rest of the home? You can do simple online research to figure out ideas for home improvement that will increase property value. It’s also important to research your own home and how it is laid out. The last thing you want to do is knock out a wall that has piping within.

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The next step is to figure out your budget. Large home projects are going to require some capital to complete, and although this future investment will eventually pay off, you don’t want to tackle a project that you cannot afford. This is a continuation of the research phase as you look into the cost of materials that you will need as well as installation. Figure out the number that you can afford to spend on this project, then it will be able to guide your material and labor decisions.

Choosing a Contractor

Once you have a budget and a good idea of the project plan and materials, it is time to start looking for a contractor. Professionals can ensure that your home improvement objectives go smoothly. They have the expertise required to accomplish what you envision as well as the tools needed to do so. Say you want to put in a beautiful new deck to increase the available living space in the property. Finding the right Ontario County deck builders can make the difference between a beautiful addition and a failed project. Of course, you could also go the DIY route, though only if you have the knowledge needed to complete the job on your own. If you choose this money-saving strategy, you need to be ready for a potentially long process. 

Getting Started

Ideally, you have a timeframe in mind for the completion of the project. Once you have chosen your contractor, set a budget, and made a plan for the upgrade, it is time to get started. A few things to remember about home improvement projects. First, they often take longer than you expect. Many homeowners across the country are investing in improvements, and materials could take longer to ship because of increased demand. Second, you need to be able to improvise. Things could go wrong, such as unexpected delays or demolition/construction mistakes. If you are doing the project yourself, be ready to be adaptable. If you are working with a contractor, try to keep the lines of communication open so there are no surprises. 

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Cut Costs

Not so much an additional step as a part of the process, finding ways to cut costs on your home improvement project can be extremely beneficial. It will save you money on the cost of the upgrade while still increasing the value of the home and making the property suit your needs. Some ideas include repurposing old materials that are still functional, completing some of the steps yourself, and focusing on efficiency rather than size. 

Keep Future Buyers in Mind

While a home improvement project can absolutely be made to make the home more comfortable for you, you should always make changes with an eye toward selling. If the upgrades are too niche or specific to your personality, they might deter future buyers from the home. Even if you do not plan to sell anytime soon, life can change quickly and it is better to own a home that will appeal to many than to few. Keep future buyers in mind when planning upgrades, and if you are uncertain about a particular project, it never hurts to research whether or not it will increase the property value. 

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

Brooks is a marketer by trade, but has developed quite the passion for home design since becoming a homeowner in New Orleans. He'll be writing about he and his wife's favorite home decor products as well as simple tips and tricks for creating a home you love.

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