Simple Home Remodeling Projects That Yield the Best ROI 

Q: What basic factors should be considered before starting a remodeling project?  

A: The first of the basic factors would be the following having a clear understanding of what the scope of work is that you want to accomplish. Make a list of the things you want to do organized by priority. Start with what’s most important to you. After that, you can go on you can fill in the pieces. In addition, have a clear understanding of what your budget is. As a creative, I like to have an idea for good design, so I would recommend having an inspiration board. Discover what inspires you and then you can articulate that to a designer or anyone helping with your project.  

Q: What comes first when starting a home remodel?  

A: First, vet the companies you want to reach out to. Get on Google, research the companies, submit the contact forms, read reviews, and so on. I always recommend the client get three different quotes. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Step one is always to do that research, schedule a consultation to talk to someone at the company and get an estimate. Have an idea of your budget, it doesn’t have to be set in stone. They’re probably going to ask you about budgeting at your initial consultation, so start thinking about it early on.  

Q: Which home improvements return the greatest value at resale? 

A: I would break this down into the difference between living in a condo or a high rise, versus a single-family home. In the Chicago market, for a single-family home or even a smaller multi-unit, exterior work consistently has the highest return on investment. That could be a garage door, replacing your vinyl siding, windows, entry door, and so on. The way we think about that is it’s your curb appeal, it’s the first thing people see and if they have a great first impression, then they’ll pay more for that property. When looking at a condo, the big return on investment will always be the kitchen and bathroom. People typically don’t have a very creative eye when going into those spaces. Since the kitchen and bathroom are the two spaces that we spend the most time in, they’re going to want to see updates there. 

Q: What should be expected once you start the remodeling process? 

A: Expect the unexpected. Expect potential delays in the timeline of your project. When it comes to materials, shipping can often take longer than expected. Definitely keep an eye out for that in the beginning. We have a mix of clients who want to stay living in the unit during construction and some who don’t want to be anywhere near. It’s loud. It’s messy. It’s construction. There is always something unexpected that will come up. Be prepared for those unexpected issues. There are still some industry-wide delays in cabinetry and plumbing fixtures. Lumber and rough material aren’t as bad now, but still taking a little bit longer than we are used to.  

Q: Does upgrading the hardware make an impact when remodeling for the best ROI?  

A: When I’m referring to hardware, I’m speaking about your faucet, your cabinet or drawer poles, and little things like that. I don’t see that making a big impact on your ROI. However, if you are an owner and looking at listing your unit for sale, any of those little updates will help a buyer see the potential. Also, you’re not investing a ton of money in a remodel that someone might want to change later. I think it’s a small investment to make, but I don’t think it’s really going to have a huge impact on your ROI.  

Q: Is it realistic to set a strict budget when starting the remodeling process?  

A: Yes, you have to have a number in mind that you really want to stay within, but take into account that depending on what you’re doing, we cannot predict what we’re going to find in the space after demolition. You should have a budget, but you should also have an allowance in there for roughly a five to ten percent contingency fee for the unexpected that nobody can predict.  


The Areté team is dedicated to fulfilling all of your Chicago home remodeling desires. Whether you want our home designers to come up with plans for your space or a complete remodel of your home, our in-house team of designers and project managers offer fully customizable services to meet your needs on any project. To get started, schedule a consultation with our team today here, or call Areté at 773.610.4551. Let’s collaborate on creating the space that you deserve!