High ROI Projects To Increase Home Value in Los Altos, CA

Home improvement projects usually come about because of need. Those needs vary from getting your home ready to be placed on the market to adding comfort, convenience, and style to your everyday life. Have the best of both worlds with luxury home improvement projects that you and your future buyer will enjoy and value. If a whole home renovation isn’t your goal, find out what individual remodeling projects have the highest return on investment (ROI) in Los Altos.


Everyone loves hardwood floors. It’s why when ripping up old carpet and linoleum, there’s hope to find original hardwood and joyous celebration when it’s found. If proper care is taken, hardwood floors can last one hundred years or more. New hardwood floors can also increase your home’s value by about 2.5% in Los Altos. 

Although installing hardwood flooring can be a large expense on the front end, it’s actually less expensive to care for during its lifetime. Whereas hardwood should be refinished every eight to ten years to protect its integrity, the cost is nominal each time, especially compared to the cost of replacing other types of flooring that don’t have nearly the same longevity. 

Installing hardwood flooring will garner a ROI of roughly 70% to 80% of your investment. The more updated the rest of your Los Altos home, the higher the ROI on this specific investment. So, if you are looking to put your house on the market, be sure to match the rest of your home to the style and value of your hardwood floors


Replacing your windows with new, energy-efficient options already has a great ROI, say around 73%, but replacing your windows with modern wooden windows bumps that ROI to 77%, making it one of the most valuable home improvements you could make. Today’s windows are far more energy efficient, with multiple glass panes and a Low E coating. Wooden windows are also available with an ENERGY STAR rating, meaning they are top in class when it comes to helping reduce energy costs, keeping your home more comfortable, and keeping your interiors from sun or water damage. Wooden window frames have a high-end look with a higher ROI–what could  


Bathrooms are one of the most popular home improvement projects. There always seems to be something that could be made better when it comes to bathrooms. Whether you’re looking to create an additional bathroom, adding a luxury primary bathroom (formally known as a master bathroom), or updating an older bathroom, the ROI on a bathroom remodel is about 65%. 

Even with limited square footage to work with, if a bathroom is done well, with luxury finishes and high-end amenities, it will be well-received by buyers. Some examples of a well-done remodeled luxury bathroom are ample and clever storage solutions, high-end flooring, a mix of timeless and trendy aesthetics, energy and water-efficient fixtures, and good lighting. 


The butler’s pantry is a luxury kitchen essential. It offers additional storage space, a perfect place for additional small appliances, or a spot to stow away used serving ware while the dinner party is still going. The features you could include in your butler’s pantry are a sink, a second dishwasher, a wine fridge, and, of course, storage. 

Although butler’s pantries fell out of popularity over the past several decades, they’ve been around for centuries and are making a huge comeback. High-end kitchen remodels that include a butler’s pantry are a highly desired feature that luxury homebuyers in Los Altos want. Investing in a butler’s pantry as part of your luxury kitchen remodel will give you a 50% to 70% return on investment, depending on the materials, features, and how updated the rest of your kitchen is. 


Adding a pool house, a carriage house, or an auxiliary dwelling unit (ADU) to your property is a high-value addition, both in terms of lifestyle and monetarily. If you already have a pool, adding this type of detached structure is great for keeping wet feet from tracking into your home. It’s a great secondary space for a wet bar, storage, and a bathroom. 

As for a carriage house, you would also have the benefit of a garage if you don’t already have one. Or, adding a carriage house above your garage gives you the benefit of capitalizing on square footage that’s already in use. Adding a carriage house offers double the value by adding two highly desired amenities in one space. 

A carriage house or just a detached ADU could also serve as a place for guests to have added privacy, a home office or hobby space, or as an opportunity for passive income. The ROI is well beyond 100% if passive income is the goal, but still an impressive 80% otherwise. 


The mudroom is a welcomed necessity when added to your luxury home. Mudroom additions are a typical bump-out remodel that requires foundation and extending your roofline, which can be more costly than reallocating space that already exists in the home. However, if you aren’t reclaiming space from an unused dining room or otherwise unused space, the bump-out addition is well worth the expense. 

Include custom cabinetry for convenient storage of coats, sports gear, or pet necessities. For a family with children, individual custom cubbies for backpacks and shoes make great mudroom features. You can also include a sink or a place to rinse off the dog and clean muddy footwear. 

The mudroom bump-out addition can also serve as the laundry room. If your mudroom is built just off of your kitchen, consider carrying some of the materials over to create cohesion, like the countertop material, or the tiles used on the backsplash. A half bath right off of the mudroom is also a great idea for convenience, both in placement and in making the most of the plumbing line installation. 

The ROI you could expect for a mudroom addition in your Los Altos home is between 50% and 70%. As with other remodeling ROIs, the value added will depend on materials, layout placement, and whether you’ve sacrificed other useful space to create your mudroom. 


Geothermal systems are installed underground and are incredibly energy efficient, saving you up to 70% on utility costs. They are used to heat and cool your home, as well as provide your home with hot water. The size of the system you could install will depend on the available land and the size of your home. You can expect a geothermal system to pay for itself over anywhere from two to ten years, depending on other energy-efficient features in your home and your typical Los Altos utility costs. 

Federal tax credits will cover 26% of the installation costs through the end of 2022 and 22% through the end of 2023. Check with the California state government to find out what state tax incentives are available at the time you’d expect your geothermal system to be installed. 


Not all home improvements will improve your home’s value. Avoid these projects if increasing the value of your home is the top priority. 

In-Ground Pool

Having your own pool can be a really fun asset, but if your goal is to increase the value of your home, an in-ground pool could be one of the worst additions. Put your investment in one of the above features or another that ranks high on the Cost vs Value Report. Besides the added insurance requirements and cost of maintenance, not every family will find it useful or safe, especially with smaller children. 

Bedroom-Turned-Dressing Room

This is another remodel that feels luxurious but if you reallocate a spare bedroom to create a dressing room, you’ll lose the buyers who value having more bedrooms over a place to store a large wardrobe. A dressing room is a niche interest that will be very popular with a small percentage of potential buyers. If your goal is to fulfill your personal home remodeling goals, indulge. However, if selling your home in the near future is the goal, avoid this niche luxury improvement. 

Taking Over A Dining Room or Another Bedroom to Create a Massive Primary Suite 

Same as with adding a dressing room, creating a larger-than-standard primary suite won’t appeal to most buyers. This is especially true if you’re taking space from a nearby bedroom or dining room. 

Wall-to-Wall Carpet

This should be an obvious remodel to avoid. Carpet can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold as well as harboring allergens. If cold floors are the reason you’re considering carpet, invest in better insulation or ceramic tile flooring with radiant heating instead. 


With the right architect and home builder team, you can feel confident in your remodeling investment. What’s considered valuable might depend on the region, the starting value of your home, and the other amenities and updates in your Los Altos home. 

K.C. Customs is a luxury home remodeling firm that works with the Bay Area’s finest architects. We value the highest level of craftsmanship, customer service, and integrity. Every luxury home remodel is specific to the homeowner, but we also know what the most valuable and popular updates are in Los Altos, making us a great asset to your project. Contact K.C. Customs to schedule a consultation, and let’s start the discussion about the potential value of your home. 

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