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The Best Sacramento Home Improvements for 2021

If you own a home in Sacramento—or anywhere, really—you’ll inevitably have to perform home improvements and repairs at some point.  Particularly if you’re ramping up to sell the place and want to maximize its resale value.

When you’re trying to decide what home improvements to tackle, you may have specific, pressing reasons for picking one project over another. But you may want to prioritize projects based on how much bang for your buck you get when you do them. Because even though very few home improvements are going to recoup 100% of their cost, certain upgrades typically net a better return than others. And if you’re thinking about selling your home, you ought to know what the top home improvements in our region are.

As you may recall, we covered this topic in-depth for 2020 with help from Remodeling magazine and their super-specific regional data. But a lot can change in a year, so let’s go over what’s different and explain the best Sacramento home improvements for 2021.

1. Manufactured Stone Veneer

In addition to being a great way to upgrade the exterior appearance of your home, replacing or upgrading your house’s current siding with manufactured stone veneer makes for a great return on investment. The average cost runs to $11,044 with the average increase in resale value coming to $10,271. That means an average cost recoup of 93%. So it’s well worth the effort of removing a less valuable siding like vinyl and replacing it with manufactured stone.

The process starts with removing whatever siding or veneer you currently have on your home. Make sure you put in two separate layers of a water-resistant barrier before adding the manufactured stone veneer. And don’t forget to put in a new address block, as well as new sills and corners where necessary, to complete the project.

2. Garage Door Replacement

A new garage door is a relatively straightforward way to upgrade a home, but it’s definitely worth the investment. And since any new door will likely be compatible with your current automatic door’s motor, the job won’t require as much electrical work as you might expect. The average cost in Sacramento for this kind of project is $3,963, and the average increase to resale value is $3,646, which makes the average cost recouped for a new automatic garage door a whopping 92%.

Start by taking out your existing garage door, including the tracks it rolls on. Once you’ve selected a new door that fits your garage opening, install it along with the new set of tracks and hook it up to the existing electrical system/motor. When selecting a new door, look for one made of durable material—such as high tensile steel—with thermal seals between panels and windows of insulated glass.

3. Window Replacement

This option can be further broken down into different average costs and values for wood and vinyl windows. Wood windows cost more on average—$23,685—than vinyl windows for a home, which averages at $19,915. But the average cost recouped for a wood window replacement is $18,929, which adds up to 79.9% of the price, whereas the return on a vinyl window replacement is 75%—$14,927—on average. So the cost of a wood-framed window replacement is higher and offers a greater return, a vinyl framed window replacement is less expensive in terms of cash spent. Either one is a good choice!

The process of window replacement is pretty much the same whether you go with wood or vinyl.

Simply remove the current window, replace with a new one, and paint the trim to match the rest of your home.

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Given how complex even the most basic kitchen is, the thought of updating one can seem like a daunting project. So it’s probably no surprise that this is the priciest of the home improvements on this list, with an average cost of $27,530 in the Sacramento area. But it will net you a 76.6% ROI, which translates to an added $21,084 in resale value. So the cost definitely has benefits on the back end.

Obviously, there are a lot of different ways you can tackle this depending on just how deep of a remodel you want to go through with. A minor kitchen remodel may sound like a purely superficial upgrade, but it can definitely include a little more than surface improvements. Yes, it can entail things like new cabinet panels and drawers, new countertops, and new paint. But a minor kitchen remodel can also entail replacing appliances from the microwave all the way up to things like refrigerators and ovens.

5. Fiber-Cement Siding Replacement

If your home happens to have this particular type of siding then you’re in luck, because replacing it is another upgrade that will likely add a significant amount to the resale value. The average cost of replacing fiber-cement siding on a house in Sacramento in 2021 is $21,769 with an average recoup of 71.6% of that cost. That means an average of $15,596 added to the value of your house.

Much like adding a manufactured stone veneer, this kind of siding replacement will likely be an extensive project. You’ll have to make sure there’s waterproofing under your new siding, put up new trim, and put on new paint if the siding you choose doesn’t come pre-painted from the factory. But it’s worth the effort!

This is by no means a full list of common home improvements with the potential to add thousands of dollars to your house’s resale value. Generally speaking, most upgrades and repairs add value, though some may be prohibitively expensive without offering much return on your investment. And the ones we’ve listed above are certainly some of the best options for getting the most bang for your buck when making home improvements in Sacramento in 2021.

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