The Hidden Renovation That Will Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

updated Sep 1, 2020
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Horror films have given attics a bad rap. Many people are more focused on the haunting shapes of their old furniture draped in sheets, the eerie chirps of trapped bats, and straight-up haunted dolls to think about the potential of these spaces. But if your household could use an expansion, attic remodels offer the bonus room you’ve been dreaming of, as well as welcome added value to your home. Clear out the cobwebs, call up your contractor, and take a look at how you can transform your attic and your resale value. 

The basics of an attic renovation

Generally, updating your attic space is a strategic way to expand your home’s footprint without the costly task of adding an addition, which risks taking up valuable yard space. Just by adding insulation to an attic, you’ll get over a 100 percent recoup on that investment—so you might as well think bigger.

According to the 2019 National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Report, by converting an attic to a living space—we’re talking bedrooms, home offices, and playrooms, for example—homeowners can expect to recoup 56 percent of that investment. That percentage increases if a bathroom is part of the equation.

Keep in mind, while attic renovations are far less expensive than adding an addition, these remodels still require an investment. The average cost of an attic remodel is $19,645, but the renovation will have favorable appraisal results no matter how you utilize that extra square footage. An attic bedroom can easily be reconfigured for a home office or other use, so you can feel confident tailoring that remodeling to your household’s needs without fearing you’ve made the wrong choice for your resale value. Here are some ideas for how to utilize your new space.

Turning your attic into a bedroom

An added bedroom is an obvious possibility for attics, and I must say, I’m a big fan of a dreamy attic bedroom. While the value of an additional bedroom varies by region, you can expect your resale value to jump by $30,000 to $50,000 for each bedroom added to your home. Depending on the size of your attic, you may be able to fit multiple new bedrooms—and if you can budget for an added bathroom, expect to reap some major ROI benefits. Plus, bedrooms on a separate floor enjoy added privacy, which would be ideal for a main suite. 

Turning your attic into a home office

In the past, home offices were considered a luxury in your average home. But given the changes nationwide in how and where employees log in to work, home offices are becoming essential. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict how long Americans will be working from home. But it’s safe to assume that the way we work, and specifically the place we work, will look different for the foreseeable future. Converting your attic to a home office space may not just be a wise investment for your sanity—the return on investment may reflect this necessity in the future. 

Turning your attic into a playroom or remote learning space

Kids and parents alike benefit from a dedicated space for children’s play and learning. Just as we’ve seen folks update their spaces to accommodate working from home, many families have scrambled to adapt to e-learning and remote instruction for the household’s students. (Even Chrissy Teigen converted a room for her little ones to learn at home, and it’s incredible!) Renovating an attic to provide a space for playing, studying, and mess-making takes the pressure off of other spaces in the home to sustain the delightful chaos that comes with entertaining kids. And as children grow, the playroom can easily adapt to serve as a rec room for hanging out, playing video games, and letting teens be teens.  

Turning your attic into an in-law suite

Whether you’re hoping to keep your family close or to enjoy some added rental income, converting a larger attic into a studio apartment or in-law suite is not a bad idea. Especially during a time when multigenerational households are increasing and we’re doing our best to keep our loved ones close, these types of dwellings are gaining popularity. Keep in mind, the cost for remodeling a suite is more expensive, averaging $90,000 to accommodate a bathroom and kitchenette. But the return on investment has potential to be 100 percent if rented out.