Maintaining Your Home: The Difference Between Improvements and Maintenance

When it comes to putting a value on your home, evaluating what projects to spend money on, or even your taxes, there are some major differences between improvements to the home and maintenance. I’ll detail some examples of these differences below, but if you’re thinking of tackling your 2012 To-Do List, you may want to get a Realtor opinion on the best projects to start first, since some will get you a bigger return on your investment.


  • Replacing appliances (yes, even if they new ones are stainless steel…it may help with resale, but it’s not necessarily a value add)
  • Replacing hot water heater, furnace
  • New Roof
  • New Driveway
  • New Paint
  • New Carpet

You’ll notice a theme – Maintenance items are things the house “needs” to keep going. Just like you go to the doctor for check ups, replacing things before they die in a house keeps it working properly.


  • Adding central heat/air
  • An addition
  • Redoing a bathroom
  • Redoing a kitchen
  • Finishing a basement
  • Adding a garage
  • Adding a deck or patio

The theme with improvements are such things that make the house better. Improvements actually add value to the house, rather than just making something work better that already exists.

Contact me with questions! Remember though, I am NOT a CPA, so if you have a specific question, ask one!