If you focus your remodeling attention on the rooms that matter most to most homeowners and homebuyers, you should be able to assume your remodel will increase the value of your home. This would typically include adequate number and function of bathrooms and the kitchen.  Upgrades to bathrooms and kitchens, as well as energy-efficiency upgrades are also reasonably safe.

Next, focus on the parts of the home that add a “wow factor” — the views that really catch attention when people walk through a door. In addition to curb appeal, think about the entry foyer and whatever room is seen first when someone walks through the door.

Also keep in mind that while paint colors and wallpaper patterns are easy and inexpensive enough to change for personal taste, this might not be the case with tile, countertops, bathroom fixtures and tub and shower surrounds. Listen to the professionals you hire if they suggest changes and discuss their reasons for making the suggestions.