Adding value to your home usually yields a nice return on investments, and while some might believe additions and upgrades are mere vanity projects, experts say homeowners could reap huge financial benefits.

One local expert, Jeffrey Watson of the District-based Quality Assurance Home Improvement Company, has for years touted that a two-story room addition he added to a client’s home increased the value of their home by nearly $300,000.

“My company installed two two-story additions; one two-story addition on the left side of my client’s home which included four rooms; and a second, two-story addition to the rear of the home with two rooms and a balcony off the bedroom,” Watson said of a major renovation project that allowed the homeowner to reap a large financial boost in value.

“Prior to installing, we assisted my client with going through a variance hearing because his property did not meet set-back requirements … after my client had his home appraised and found that the market value of the home had increased in value by an additional $300,000 as a result of the additional living space, my client was ecstatic,” Watson said.

It’s important that experienced, licensed and certified contractors perform such work because the outcome could have been disastrous, he said.

Research shows that by adding a deck, new windows, a bedroom, remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, or adding additional living space in the basement can increase home values between 75 and 91 percent of its cost, Watson said.

“As long as the home improvement project is properly installed by a licensed contractor like Quality Assurance Home Improvement Company, who ensures that set-backs are met, architectural drawings are done, proper permits are pulled, all applicable codes are met, and all state and local structural, electrical, and plumbing inspections are passed, we guarantee that the home owners will get up to a 100 percent or more return on their investment,” he said.

“This is evident by the homeowner receiving an updated tax and assessment on their home after the additions are completed,” Watson said.

As many observe National Homeownership Awareness Month in June, Watson knows that African Americans continue to receive the short end of the proverbial stick when it comes to homeownership.

That also holds true for making additions.

“In the African American community, people are often not aware of the mere fact that owning a home is a great investment,” Watson said. “Ensuring that one maintains the appearance of that home inside and outside is critical to the return on their investment. Home improvements also beautify the community and motivate the neighbors to invest and beautify their homes as well.”

Additionally, improvements often command the attention of potential homeowners who might desire to live in a particular community.

“One would be surprised how much their property value increases by investing in a home improvement project.  So, it is important to the entire community to invest in home improvement projects to maintain and increase the value of a home,” Watson said.

Watson advised that homeowners should consider the additional amount of living space they will receive when adding a room addition without investing in a new home.

They should consider adding decks and sunrooms to increase their living space, and also contemplate total renovations to upgrade electrical, plumbing, flooring, bathrooms, kitchens, insulation, windows, roofing, smoke detectors and drywall to bring the house up to current code for insurance purposes, he said.

“Homeowners should consider making their homes more adaptable and accessible to meet ADA compliance regulations for disabled Veterans, elderly, and handicapped individuals, specifically remodeling bathrooms, kitchens, and wheelchair ramps,” Watson said.

“Also, I’d suggest homeowners consider investing in energy efficient replacement windows.  It is important for homeowners to take advantage of investing in modernizing their homes which statistics show also increase their value,” he said.

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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