Summertime Renovations that Pay You Back

Weigh the benefits of popular home improvements  

It’s the hottest time of the year (pun intended) for members to tap into their home’s equity to complete home renovations! There’s no doubt about it, this is the time of year we all get motivated to have the best-looking house on the block.

Some of the most popular summer projects include adding a new deck, landscaping, a new garage or driveway. And when it really heats up, an in-ground pool or central air can’t be beat. But, have you ever wondered which of these projects offer the best investment for your money?

Tackle the Essentials First

While they may seem boring, critical home infrastructure improvements take top billing for returning the highest payback. Consider this: a gleaming new kitchen with high-end appliances and custom countertops can be breathtaking, but if your roof is leaking and the paint is peeling off the walls… it won’t matter how beautiful the other features are in your home.

Get excited by this … some infrastructure improvements could help you actually make money! Simply by installing energy-saving windows, solar panels, energy-efficient doors, or insulation, the savings add up each month by reducing energy bills 365 days a year. Plus, you may also qualify for a tax credit for making these energy improvements. Visit the IRS website at or consult your tax advisor.

Renovations We think are Worth the Money

When you consider that we tend to spend money on items that don’t retain value (that $50 pair of shoes may last a season or two … and a $75 night on the town is gone the next morning), home improvements really do paint a completely different picture (pun intended again). While all improvements may not provide back dollar for dollar, most do either retain or add value, offer long term enjoyment, and a better feeling in general about where you spend your time.

We’ve compiled a list of popular summertime projects that give the best payback (not counting the added pride you’ll feel). Some improve your home’s functionality while others are for pure enjoyment.   

  • Paint, siding, roof, windows
  • Wooden deck
  • Landscaping


1) Painting adds more than just color.

You always feel good walking into a room that’s freshly painted. The same goes for your home’s exterior. Painting is one of the easiest DIY projects so you can save on labor costs and have more cash in your pocket should you decide to sell. If well done, much of your investment can be regained.

According to, the average cost to paint a home’s exterior nationally is $2,581 and most homeowners pay between $1,714 and $3,682.

painting wall

2) Consider New Siding.

There are hundreds of color and texture choices, and average-priced siding almost always pays you back with added curb appeal and by bumping up your home’s resale value.

*Average National Cost: $14,100 | Projected Payback: 77.0%.

3) A new roof is an investment.

Basic shingles are an excellent investment and give your home protection year round. Even a moderately priced roof can add polish to your abode.  

*Average National Cost: $20,142 | Projected Payback: 71.7%

4) Replacement windows recapture their cost.

New windows look great, are easier to clean and maintain, and often reduce your energy consumption.

*Average National Cost: $14,725 (vinyl) | Projected Payback: 73.3%.

Construction Worker Installing New Windows In House

5) A deck is still a terrific improvement.

A roomy deck has long been an extension of one’s living space. Use it as a place to entertain, relax or to simply enjoy the great outdoors. A deck also offers a good return on your money when it comes time to sell.

*Average National Cost: $10,471 | Projected Payback: 75% (using wood).

6) Landscaping personalizes your home.

No matter the size of your home, an immaculate lawn adds to your home’s appearance, while unique landscaping can reflect your personality and add character. Basic lawn care and new shrubs or plants can increase the value and desirability of your home.

**According to the National Gardening Association, a well maintained landscape can increase your home’s value 10% to 19%.

Mulching around the Bushes

Consider this:

“Homeowners in many areas of the United States can still recoup 80 to 90 percent of the money spent on home improvements. The key is to know where to spend. Just because you put $20,000 into renovations, it won’t necessarily add that much value. The key to adding value is to focus on the things that are important to buyers, and to not over-improve. You don’t want to have the most expensive house on the block. So if the houses in your neighborhood have concrete driveways, investing in expensive brick pavers may not be in your best interest financially.” ~ MSN Money


What’s on your “Must Have” List?

Does your idea of essential home improvements go a bit further? If you can’t stop dreaming about that custom pool or Jacuzzi, give it more thought! You’ll gain countless hours of pleasure, which is nothing to discount. But realize as an investment, certain renovations may not increase your home’s value because they appeal to a limited segment of the population.

For Your Pleasure Only (may not consistently regain their cost)

  • Pools
  • Large, luxury bedroom suites
  • Upscale or custom windows
  • High-end roof shingles

Other Improvements that Offer Less Return

It’s your home – so go ahead and make the improvements that please you. It’s up to you to balance the cost and investment payback to your overall enjoyment. Here are other popular picks that just might not provide the financial return you’re looking for:

  • New air conditioning
  • A new driveway

Paying for your projects.

If you need a low-cost alternative to funding your home improvements, consider using the equity in your home as borrowing collateral. Equity is the difference between what’s owed on your home and the overall appraised value it offers. The more equity you’ve established – the more you can typically borrow.

At Advia, you can choose from either a fixed-rate home equity loan, which offers a set payment and loan amount or, a revolving credit line, replenished as you repay. The fixed-rate option works well for a single purchase or project, while a credit line gives flexibility and access to funds for ongoing projects. Both may offer tax benefits so see your tax advisor. To learn more about your home equity options, visit the Advia Home Equity Center at or call us and we can discuss your individual needs.


*Estimates are from the “Cost versus Value” report ( provided by the firm, Wood Hanley Media, which assists the real estate industry with calculating and studying the Return on Investment (ROI) on renovations. ROI figures and remodeling costs are subject to change, can vary by labor and materials, where you live, and other factors.  **Source: Advia Credit Union is an Equal Housing Lender and all loans are subject to approval. Home Equity Fixed Term Loans offered through our Mortgage Center partner (NMLS#282701); Home Equity Lines of Credit offered through Advia Credit Union (NMLS#401863).

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