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A home is one of only a few big investments that most people will make in their lifetime. Unless, of course, you’re one of the lucky few whose hard work earns them a lot of extra spending money.

But for everybody else, homes are a huge investment. Many people spend 30 years or more paying off that investment.

Unlike cars or other big purchases of the like, homes typically go up in value over time. Thus, when it comes time to sell, you want to make sure that you get your money’s worth.

One way to invest in your home’s equity is to add some home additions. Add them early enough and you’ll get to enjoy them for a few years. Plus, when you put your house on the market, you can gleefully mark up your asking price.

But some home additions are a complete waste of money and you should avoid them. Let’s look instead at the top 5 home additions that add value to your home so you don’t spend money and effort in vain.

1. Add a Deck

Adding a deck or patio is a fantastic way to not only add value to your home but also make it more marketable. Existing outdoor spaces are something that really attracts buyers. Most people would be willing to spend more on a house that has a deck or patio.

The return is even greater if you live in an area with a mild climate. The outdoor space can be used all year round, making it more attractive. Plus, the likelihood of it being damaged through a long, harsh winter is lower.

If you live in an area that does get cold in the winter, you may want to consider enclosing or partially enclosing your deck or patio. This is a great way to create extra usable space without actually adding a room onto your home.

If you go this route, be sure to install big windows. All that natural light will still give you the feeling of being outdoors. Plus, when it’s warm you can open them to let in the fresh breeze.

2. Update the Windows

Speaking of windows, updating your windows is another great home addition. This is especially true if your windows are old and outdated. The heat lost through your windows could be responsible for about 25-30% of your home’s heating and cooling energy use.

This figure varies, of course, depending on the type of windows you currently have. Older windows don’t have the same energy efficiency ratings of newer ones. If you feel like your heating and cooling bills are excessive, the windows could be to blame.

This is also something that buyers are on the lookout for. Nobody wants to be spending any more on their energy bills than they have to be. Plus, if you do the update a few years before you plan to sell, you’ll get the benefit of saving on your energy bills for those few years.

3. Make New Livable Space

Many people think that adding on an entirely new space is a great way to boost their home’s value. After all, more square footage equals a higher selling price.

While this may be true, there is one thing they may not take into account. That’s the high cost of this type of renovation. Most of the time, you don’t recoup enough to make the investment worth it in the long run.

However, there are other, cheaper ways to create new livable space in your home.

Do you have an attic or basement? If you do, chances are it’s just a storage space right now. It’s not doing anything for you other than housing haphazardly piled boxes of holiday decorations.

Converting the space, or even just a portion, into an extra bedroom or a home office is a much better use of the space. Buyers will appreciate the extra room and be willing to pay more for your home. Plus, you won’t shell out nearly as much cash because you don’t have to pay for major construction.

You may be wondering what to do with all those boxes of decorations now. Try creating a closet out of the space under your stairs. Chances are, stacking those boxes neatly will ensure that they fit. And if they don’t, well maybe it’s time for a little downsizing.

4. Kitchen Renovation

“I really hate having a nice kitchen,” said no one ever. People love food and as an extension of that, they love kitchens.

In fact, updating your kitchen is one of the best ways to add value to your home. Add a pantry for more storage or update the appliances to snazzy new stainless steel ones.

If you have extra floor space, try adding a center island or another row of cabinets. This adds extra storage space as well as valuable counter space.

5. Add New Doors

What if you’re looking to sell your home soon and don’t want to invest loads of cash in upgrades? Simply adding new doors can pad your home’s sale price without dinging your wallet too much.

Curb appeal is huge when it comes to selling a home. Since your front door is one of the first things potential buyers will see, you can use it to make a good impression. Front doors are relatively inexpensive and can do wonders for your sale price.

If you have a bit more cash to spend, you may also consider replacing the garage door. It’s larger, so it tends to make a bigger impression both on buyers and your wallet. You’ll have to decide if the expense is worth it in your situation. Sometimes just a fresh coat of paint is all you need to really make it pop.

The Best Home Additions

These are 5 great home additions you can choose to help boost the value of your home. Which one works best for you will depend on your home, your budget, and when you plan to sell.

For more inspiring home addition and renovation ideas, feel free to visit our blog. We’re always adding new information to help you create the most comfortable and valuable living space you can!