With inflation still high the chances of that changing significantly any time soon rather low, you might be wondering if now is a good time to tackle any home renovation projects at all. Even under relatively calm economic conditions, it can be a challenge to choose the right renovation project and make sure you get the most for your money, and the decision is even more fraught right now.
But there are some projects that will hit you with lower upfront costs and hold their value for longer. Here are inflation-safe projects you can tackle even in a volatile economy.
Settle for smaller scale improvements
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When you’re thinking about home upgrades in a time of high inflation, it’s a good idea to scale back. Smaller, impactful renovations will provide a better bang for your buck in murky economic times. Since inflation is causing prices for materials and labor to rise, keeping the scope of your project narrow will help control costs. Moreover, updates that don’t take much time or that you can do yourself will always save you money.
So instead of doing an all-out kitchen renovation—new flooring, new cabinets, new appliances—try refacing cabinets, adding a kitchen island or pantry, or updating you sink and cabinet hardware instead.
A simple kitchen island costs around $200 from most hardware stores, and larger one with more features can run you in the neighborhood of around $3,000, with lots of price point options in-between. New cabinet doors and facings cost around $15 to $50 each, offering a more affordable option for a significant style update. You can change out your kitchen faucet for between $40 and $300 or more, depending on how fancy you want to go; similarly, new cabinet door handles and drawer pulls can cost as little as $5 each. Compare these simple facelift projects to the cost of a full kitchen remodel—around $30,000.
Concentrate on DIY improvements
Consider also straightforward updates you can handle yourself that will add impact without costing an arm and a leg. Repainting, adding wallpaper, adding crown molding, changing out a door, or upgrading your home security with new locks are all projects you can do yourself without going wildly over budget.
These simple improvements will help your home hold its value, and if you can DIY them, all the better—skipping out on hiring a contractor is the quickest way to save money, provided you know what you are doing (shoddy work comes with its own hidden costs). Even these small projects can boost your home value if you choose to sell, and if you don’t, you’ll appreciate the benefits right away.
Finishing an unfinished space is probably cheaper than moving to a new home right now
If you’re holding off on moving into a bigger home because of the current inflationary interest rates and uncertainty in the market, adding more useful space in your current home can help you stretch out for less than the cost of moving. Even though finishing a basement, attic, or garage can be an expensive renovation—between $3,000 and $30,000 depending on the variables involves—the return on investment when you choose to sell is pretty high, at about 70 to 75 percent.
This means that when you do eventually choose to sell, your place will have retained most of the value of the remodeled space, putting you in a better position to upgrade to a larger or nicer home.