After reading our article on where to put money in your home, you may have noticed that there is a huge gap in the prices on some renovations. With some renovations it is definitely worth the much higher price tag for the better product, but with some you may not want to go all out. This all comes down to the amount of wear and tear the area is going to take – for example, if you have a bunch of kids then you might want to hold off on getting a glass table!
1) Granite counter tops Vs. Laminate counter tops. This argument is almost always in favor of the granite counter top, they last longer, look better and they will actually increase the value of your home significantly! The only real reason you should get a laminate counter top is if you don’t have enough funds to get a granite one, because in the long run the granite will almost always pay for itself in durability and increased appreciation.
2) Hardwood floors Vs. Laminate floors. Now this is more of a case-by-case argument. Some people will say you should always get real hardwood but if you have certain things like a large pet or several children then you can say goodbye to all of the money you put into the floor as it gets scratched and worn down! The general rule here is that if you won’t be putting a huge amount of wear and tear on the floor then you should get the hardwood, because it will increase the value of the home much more and it will last longer if taken care of. However, if you want a much less expensive and still decent quality product then you should go for the laminate. Just be aware laminate is less preferred by home buyers when looking at your house.
3) Tile showers Vs. Inserted plastic showers. Tile showers look MUCH better and they appreciate your home much more than a flat, bland inserted plastic shower. This comes at a much higher price of course but you have to think about the future, when you go to sell the house one day buyers might be completely put off by the plastic shower, and you wouldn’t want to lose a buyer over a shower! This is especially true if you plan on keeping the house for a long time, because the house will accrue a huge amount of appreciation and you will be able to completely capitalize on that with small details like a nice tiled shower.
So to summarize, you almost always want to go with the more expensive option – especially if you are selling your home soon as that’ll affect the price significantly! But, think about your specific situation and how much wear and tear the item will receive. Even a granite counter could be a bad idea if you are renting to students as they are much more likely to break things. Situations like that are extreme examples but you must use them to gauge your specific standpoint and make a decision from there.