If you’re a homeowner, you know how satisfying it is to come home to a place you own. But if you’re like most people, you think some things in your home need updating. Whether you dream of a kitchen with a chic waterfall sink or an expansive backyard deck, completing home renovations can help you enjoy your home even more — or get it ready to go on the market. However, home improvements are expensive. According to a 2022 survey, homeowners spent a median of $18,000 on home repairs and renovations. Before tackling any projects, consider your potential return on investment and learn about your financing options to make the cost more affordable. 7 Top Home Improvements From furnishing home offices to updating bathrooms, home renovations are increasingly common. The cost and time required to complete a renovation can vary by project, but these are our top picks to get the most bang for your buck. 1. Repairs Okay, this one isn’t exactly Pinterest-worthy. But completing repairs and routine upkeep is a crucial part of maintaining your home. Staying on top of repairs can prevent issues from becoming major problems later, saving you money over time. For example, consider the costs of repairs versus replacements: Average Cost of Repair Average Cost of Replacement Roof $1,503 $12,000 Air Conditioning $393 $5,859 Septic Tank $1,751 $7,000 Proper maintenance and making repairs as issues pop up will allow you to keep your home’s systems working for their entire normal lifespan. 2. Painting Painting is one of the most effective ways to change the look or mood of your home. A few gallons of paint can make a significant difference. In fact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Remodeling Impact Report found that interior painting had the highest “Joy” score of any home improvement project, giving homeowners greater satisfaction with their homes. You can hire professionals to paint your home for you, which typically costs $2 to $6 per square foot. Considering that the average home in the U.S. is about 2,300 square feet, the cost of painting the interior of your entire home would cost anywhere from $4,600 to $13,800. Looking to cut costs? Interior painting is a manageable do-it-yourself project. You can save thousands by painting your own home, and you’ll just need to buy primer, paint, tarps or drop cloths and brushes. How much paint do you need? According to Lowe’s, primer will cover between 200 and 300 square feet per gallon, while paint will cover 350 to 400 square feet per gallon. Lowe’s has a handy paint calculator you can use to determine how much paint and primer you need to purchase. 3. Landscaping If you’re planning on selling your house and are researching how to increase your home’s value, landscaping projects can be a useful investment. Improving the front yard will increase your home’s curb appeal, bringing more potential buyers to your door. You can handle the landscaping on your own; weeding, trimming bushes, and planting flowers can all improve your home’s appearance at a relatively low cost. But if you’re looking for a more dramatic change, such as converting your yard to a xeriscape-friendly yard with minimal irrigation, you may need to hire a professional. Installing new landscaping costs an average of $3,454, according to Homeadvisor. 4. Replacing old or broken appliances If you haven’t shopped for appliances in a while, you may be shocked at the new features some of the latest models offer. Smart refrigerators can have touch screens that allow you to write notes for your family or create a grocery list, and some versions have internal cameras so you can see if you need to pick up milk before you head home from work. And energy-efficient appliances can save you money on your energy bill while improving your home’s appeal to new homebuyers looking for modern appliances. On average, new appliances cost about $2,175. 5. Updating your home decor If your home feels a bit dull, you can make a major impact by making relatively small changes to the decor. Particularly if you plan on staying in your home for a while, spending some time and money redecorating can give you joy and give your house some personality. On average, the cost of redecorating an entire home is $16,000. But you can make a big difference in the look and feel of your home for a fraction of that price. Pinterest and TikTok make it easy to find low-cost decorating ideas, and you find artwork, knickknacks, and high-quality furniture at thrift stores and on resale sites like Facebook Marketplace or Offerup. 6. Add a deck Installing a new deck is a major undertaking, and it can be expensive. On average, the cost of a new deck is $7,886. While this price may seem a bit steep, a new deck increases the value of your home and gives you additional, functional space for entertaining or grilling, and it’s a great place to lounge in the summer with your family. 7. Replacing your garage door You may be surprised by how much of an impact replacing your garage door can have on your home’s look. Modern garage doors can freshen up your home’s appearance, and some models even have features like mobile apps, so you can control the door — and make sure it’s closed — from your smartphone. Surprisingly, replacing your garage door is one of the best updates you can make when selling your home. According to the NAR, it costs about $2,000, but it has a 100% return on investment. And 13% of realtors said they recommended that clients replace the garage doors before listing their homes for sale. How to Pay for Home Improvements Home improvements aren’t cheap, but they can be well worth the cost if they make the house more enjoyable to live in — or if they make it easier to sell. Ideally, you’d save money so you could pay for home repairs and renovations in cash. That way, you’d avoid interest charges and the risk of accumulating debt. It can take some time to save enough money, especially if you have outstanding student loans, but trimming your expenses or refinancing your loans can help you save. However, saving up cash isn’t always an option. If you have a major repair that needs to be completed right away or you’re planning to sell within a few months, you may need to explore other options. When it comes to home improvements, these are the most common financing options: Personal Loans Personal loans can be a useful way to pay for home improvements. They’re unsecured, so you don’t have to use your home as collateral, and they usually have lower APRs than credit cards. Loan amounts range from $600 to $100,000, so you can borrow what you need for most home improvements or repairs. And lenders usually give you two to seven years to repay the loan, spreading out the payments in fixed monthly installments that make the cost more manageable. While personal loans can be a good option, they’re not for everyone. To qualify for a higher loan amount or a lower APR, you’ll need good-to-excellent credit. If your credit score is fair or poor, you may not be eligible for a loan, or you may only qualify for a high APR. Eligibility criteria, APRs, and repayment options vary by lender, so it’s wise to shop around. You can use Purefy’s personal loan rate comparison tool to quickly compare options from top lenders and find the best loan for your needs, with no impact to your credit score. Tax Incentives With some renovations, you may be eligible for tax incentives like tax credits or deductions. For example: \tMaking your home more accessible: If you are completing projects to improve your home’s accessibility, such as installing ramps, lowering cabinets or widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair, you can deduct those renovations as medical expenses. \tImproving your home’s energy efficiency: Improving your home’s energy efficiency with solar panels or small wind turbines can help you qualify for federal tax credits worth up to 30% of their cost. You may also be eligible for state or county tax breaks. Credit Cards If you have a smaller project in mind, like staging your home with new area rugs or curtains, a credit card could be a useful option. Credit cards are revolving forms of credit, so you can use the card multiple times until you reach your credit limit. If you aren’t sure exactly how much money you need or if you think there will be added expenses later on, the ability to continue using your card can be easier than other sources of funding, like a personal loan. However, credit cards can have high annual percentage rates (APRs). According to the Federal Reserve, the average APR for credit cards in 2022 that assessed interest was 20.40%. If you don’t pay off your balance in full each month, interest can accrue rapidly, and you could owe much more than you initially charged. Home Equity Loans or Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) As a homeowner, you may have built equity in your home, meaning your home is worth more than you owe on your mortgage. If that’s the case, you could borrow against the equity with a home equity loan or HELOC. These forms of credit have lower rates than others, and they often have longer repayment terms. But they can be risky since your home serves as collateral for the loan. And if you’re a new homeowner or you secured your mortgage with a low down payment, you may not have enough equity to qualify. The Bottom Line Whether you want to overhaul your kitchen or simply crave a fresh coat of paint, home improvements can make your home more enjoyable and valuable. And by taking advantage of tax incentives and other financing options, you can make the cost of major home repairs or renovations more affordable. If you need to explore funding options for your next home improvement project, Purefy’s rate comparison tool is a great place to start.