The pandemic drove many homeowners to make changes to their spaces. Kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and new home offices grew in popularity. But now that we’re almost back to normal, are the renovations we made worth it?

Most people remodeled their homes because they envisioned work-from-home to last indefinitely. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, with many offices already reopening. If your employer kept the remote work setup, then good for you because you can continue using your home office. But what if your normal life came back, and the next thing you know, you’re spending more time outside than inside?

When it comes to home remodeling, what’s worth it or not is a case-by-case basis. But generally speaking, some projects yield higher returns than others. For example, pool addition. As much as a pool makes a property more elegant, it’s sadly not worth it most of the time. It takes a lot to maintain, and not many home-buyers want a pool in their new abode anyway.

To avoid regretting a renovation project, focus on these changes that rarely disappoint:

1. Finishing Your Basement

While an unfinished basement can provide more storage space, it would be a more efficient space if it’s finished. A basement has great potential, from a small guest bedroom to whole guest quarters. You can also create an entertainment or working area down there.

A finished basement will boost your home’s value if done right. According to Remodeling magazine, its average return on investment (ROI) is around 75 cents on the dollar. But finishing a basement is a rough undertaking, and to save money, you should use your DIY skills.

That’s where it gets tricky, though, because some DIY projects end up in disaster. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up breaking the law because you didn’t obtain permits. You could also make potentially life-threatening mistakes because you installed the electrical wiring without a pro. So before finishing your basement, consult a contractor first, and weigh the pros and cons of hiring pros vs. a purely DIY project.

home improvement

2. Bathroom Remodeling

Bathroom remodeling will always be a tried-and-true home improvement project. It boosts your home’s value, enhances your relaxation experience, and adds to the efficiency of the space.

To get the most out of the project, choose a practical bathroom design with modern fittings. Focusing entirely on aesthetics may break the project because a bathroom should first and foremost be functional. It doesn’t always need a freestanding tub or spa if you don’t use it. If you want a new fixture that’s easy and cheap to maintain, consider a steam room.

Adding a steam room can boost your home’s value by 30%. The steam uses less water than a shower while getting you just as clean and relaxed. A 20-minute session will only add $1 to your bills. However, the upkeep can be a little demanding. Steam creates moisture that can breed molds. Hence, you have to be willing to dry the space after each steaming session.

3. Kitchen Remodeling

Another tried-and-true home improvement project, kitchen remodeling, strengthens a home’s selling point. People can buy a home just because it has an efficient and appealing kitchen.

But a kitchen that sells isn’t always the one with expensive appliances, countertops, and other surfaces. Basically, it doesn’t have to be a luxurious kitchen. A simple but practical one sells better more often. So choose a hard-wearing but affordable flooring material, like luxury vinyl planks. For countertops, consider quartz instead of marble. Choose a lighter color, too, because darker tones tend to look dated.

If you don’t have an island yet, have one built if possible. You can tear down one wall to make room for the island. A kitchen island adds a counter and dining space, not to mention timeless appeal. Don’t forget the backsplash as well, and don’t choose stick-on tiles. Upgrade to subway tiles, which aren’t expensive but cleaner more elegant-looking.

4. Patio Addition

A patio increases your living and entertaining spaces. It also gives you a relaxing retreat that isn’t your bedroom or bathroom. And it boosts your home’s value as well.

The most worthy furnishing and fixtures in a patio are a fire pit, garden sets, and light fixtures. If you don’t have an allowance for a patio, maybe you have one for a deck, which could be on your rooftop. But expect some extra upkeep responsibilities because maintaining an outdoor space is harder than doing so in indoor spaces.

These remodeling projects have nothing to do with work-from-home, so they’re always a safe choice with or without a health crisis. They allow you to sell your home fast if you need to, giving you security should another recession occur.