Additions. Major construction projects can be pricey, but if homeowners plan on remaining in their house for awhile, they can recoup almost two-thirds of their investment, on average. Popular additions include sunrooms and outdoor living spaces, such as decks and pergolas, according to Jannis Vann, a residence designer in the Atlanta metro area. Clients are also expanding in-law suites, she says.
But while some renovation choices might be right for certain markets, the same upgrades might not fetch the same return on investment in other markets. "Really know what kind of neighborhood you're in. If only 1 in 10 homes have granite counters, you don't need to install granite counters," Shuman says. "You really need to understand what you're putting into the renovations you do."