Every home will require an upgrade every so often. Whether it’s because things are aging and are no longer functional, or trends in interior design and finishes have changed, improvements will be necessary at some point throughout the life of a home.

However, not every improvement will bring in a substantial return on investment. Even if you aren’t planning on selling any time soon, you still want to ensure that the money you’re spending on improvements will be reflected in an appropriate increase in the value of your home.

Some improvements can rake in a high ROI, while others don’t. To maximize your investments, consider focusing on the following upgrades that have been shown to bring in the highest returns on investment.

New Coat of Paint

By far the biggest return on investment you’ll see is from a simple paint job. Never underestimate the power of simple upgrades such as these. In fact, the return on investment for a new coat of paint is as much as 165%, which is by far the best ROI of all home improvements. You can breathe new life into a space with some paint, and even cover up some of those scuff marks that have accumulated over the years.

New Hardwood Flooring

Most buyers expect to see hardwood flooring in the homes they look at, or at least that’s what they hope to find. Hardwood flooring gives homes that “wow” factor that buyers are looking for. They’re much more modern looking than wall-to-wall carpeting, and are much easier to keep clean. Both solid hardwood and engineered wood flooring have their advantages and can each regain as much as 100% of the money you spend.

New Front Door

There’s a lot to be said about curb appeal and how much it affects the value of a property. Plenty of elements go into boosting curb appeal, including a nice front door. By swapping out an old, tired looking door for a more modern, sturdier front door finished in an attractive colour, you can dramatically improve the esthetics of your home’s exterior, and get as much as 91% of your investment.

New Garage Door

You can always repaint your current garage door to make an improvement to your home’s exterior. But you might want to consider having a completely new garage door installed. The models that are out nowadays are more up-to-date compared to those of yesterday, so you might want to invest in a totally new garage door which typically comes with an ROI of 91%.

Cosmetic Kitchen Update

The kitchen truly is the hub of a home and adds a great deal of value to a property if it is attractive and in good condition. But a complete kitchen overhaul can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and often will not bring in nearly as much money at the point of sale compared to what it costs.

Having said that, making a few changes to spruce up the space can do wonders to improve its appearance and function without having to sink a whole lot of money into the job. To get the highest ROI on a kitchen upgrade, stick to things like re-facing the cabinet doors, changing the countertops, adding a new backsplash, updating the light fixtures, and swapping the old faucet for a new one. If done right, you can recover as much as 75% to 100% of your investment.

Before you take hammer to nail, be sure to carefully consider the type of improvements you want to make, and how they will affect the value of your home and your return on investment.