The Only Reason You Should Make an Improvement to Your Home

Written by |

If you’re planning a home improvement project this year, money expert Clark Howard has one thing he wants you to keep in mind.

He says there’s only one reason you should make a renovation to your home.

Clark’s Only Reason for a Home Improvement Project

Clark says the only reason to renovate your home is for your own enjoyment.

“The reason you do an improvement to your home is because you want to. Because you end up losing money when you do a home improvement; you don’t make money.

“It’s almost unheard of that any improvement to your home will pay you more in later resale value than what it cost you to do it. In fact, it’s typical that when you do a home improvement, you’re going to get about 50 cents back on the dollar in value when you sell your home.”

Clark says the exceptions are repairs or updates, such as painting or landscaping, that you’d usually do before you put your home on the market.

No Home Improvement Project Will Recoup 100% of Your Cost

Remodeling Magazine’s 2022 Cost vs. Value Report looked at the costs and return on investment (ROI) of home renovation projects in 150 housing markets across the United States.

The report concludes that the majority of projects return less than 63% of their costs upon resale. It found only two projects that returned more than that: garage door replacement (93.3% ROI) and adding manufactured stone veneer (91.4% ROI).

It appears that “more is less” when it comes to kitchen remodeling. The report puts the ROI at 71.2% for a minor kitchen renovation. And for a major upscale kitchen remodeling project, the report says the ROI would be only about 52%.

“Let’s say you spend $50,000 on a kitchen remodel. You’re going to lose somewhere close to $25,000 of that,” says Clark. “Because when you sell the place, you might get $25,000 more in value, but you’ve spent $50,000 to get there.”

Exterior Projects Yield the Greatest Returns 

Improvements made to the outside of your home are generally better moneywise than interior renovations: According to the 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, 9 out of the top 10 projects yielding the greatest return on investment were exterior improvements.

Deck additions yield an average 65% return on investment according to the report, which also finds that replacing your vinyl siding could get you a 68% ROI.

Final Thoughts

Before starting any home improvement project, make sure you’re doing it for the right person. Clark says you should do it for yourself, not the home’s next owner:


“Please remember the real reason that you do a home improvement project, a home upgrade, a renovation,” says Clark. “You do it for your pleasure, not for your wallet.”

To hear Clark’s full take on this topic, listen to this segment from his podcast:

Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses for 2023 - If you're in the market for a new credit card in 2023, you may be hoping to cash in on the hundreds of dollars in sign-up bonuses offered to new customers. Welcome bonuses and offers are a marketing tool that…
The best cell phone plans include Tello, Mint Mobile, Visible, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more Best Cell Phone Plans in 2023: The Cheapest Plan for Every Need - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.