Maintenance5 min

Turn Your Tax Refund Into Lasting Home Improvement

GoBankRates.com estimates that the average tax refund this year will total about $3,000. In a survey conducted by that organization, 10 percent of respondents said they plan to splurge on a vacation or luxury item when the refund arrives. But 9 percent plan to use that money for a “major purchase.”

Some homeowners may choose to buy a refrigerator or washer and dryer with that windfall. But an even better investment would be a home-improvement project that may add to the home’s resale value. For example, a siding replacement adds $12,119 to a home’s average resale value per Hanley Wood. Building a backyard shed can also boost the value of your home, especially if the prospective buyer has a shed-ready hobby and needs an artist studio or woodworking space.  

“Replacing home siding has consistently ranked as one of the best projects for increasing a home’s value,” says Karen Alves, LP’s Brand Segment Marketing Associate for siding. “When you sell the home, you recoup more of your investment than with comparably priced renovations like window replacement.” 

With potentially $3,000 in hand, a homeowner can go beyond a just-the-basics renovation to one that adds significant home value. Here are some idea-starters for how to use a tax refund for a home renovation: 

  • In the Northeast and West regions of the U.S., smooth home exteriors are growing in popularity. The same is true in cities with large historic districts, like Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. A tax refund can be a good first step toward turning a rustic home exterior into a stylish smooth one that matches the local surroundings. 
  • Use the tax refund to build a backyard shed that becomes your creative getaway – whether it’s a painting studio, a yoga retreat or a songwriting haven. And don’t forget that famous authors like Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw actually had “writing sheds” where they retreated for inspiration.

When your refund check arrives, resist the impulse to buy those tickets to Tahiti or jewelry store bling. Invest that money into some remodeling projects that make your home more creative and increase the asking price when you sell.

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Outdoor Living4 min

How to Customize Your Shed's Exterior

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