Top Home Improvement Projects in Atlanta

Traffic and the occasional snowpocalypse aside, Atlanta is a pretty great place to live.

Over 5.5 million people call this city home, and it’s easy to see why. After all, it’s famous for the Varsity, southern rap, and the world’s craziest/best (we’re still on the fence) airport. Atlanta gained the fourth-most new residents in the country last year and for good reason.

The city is young, with the median age at 35; the job market is bustling at top 20 in the country; and housing is affordable. So whether you’re staying here for the long-term or looking to capitalize on Atlanta’s rising popularity by selling your home to eager new residents, here are three home improvement projects you have to consider this year.

Soak up the sun and go solar

With 217 sunny days a year and federal and state incentives for solar adapters, there has never been a better time to install solar panels on your home. Solar panels can eliminate your monthly energy bills, while increasing the value of your home by $17,000.

Plus, 47% of millennials—the group of people that are quickly populating your city—say that they want a home with solar power. Additionally, the Solar Power Free Market Financing Act, enables Georgia homeowners to sell excess solar power back to the grid, so you may even make money!

And no worries about future construction blocking direct sunlight to your home. The Solar Easements Act ensures a new apartment complex, office building, or giant mixed-use complex (think Ponce City Market or Krog Street Market) can’t block your path to the sun, which would diminish the impact of your solar panels in Atlanta.

Warm up and personalize your kitchen

If your home was built in the last ten years, chances are you have a perfectly lovely, boring white kitchen. It’s time to break out of this sterile kitchen trend and show a little personality. Lose the tried and true subway tile backsplash and experiment with geometric shapes and patterns.

Pick unique designs and colors (jewel tones are big this year) that reflect your personal style, warming your space up so that family and friends will eagerly gather there to prepare and enjoy delicious meals. While you’re at it, take a cue from Atlanta’s dynamic restaurant scene and think about doing your own take on fusion (we see you, Takorea). Consider coupling modern design elements like clean lines, concrete or metal, with rustic elements such as reclaimed wood. The blending of styles will create a rich, eclectic feel.

Sound like a little too much for you? Take baby steps with an accent wall of geometric tiles or dress up your white cabinets with a beautiful jewel tone base. Either way, you can expect to recoup about 60% of the cost of your remodel when you’re ready to sell your home.

Create an outdoor living space

There may be nothing more glorious than the first day of spring in Atlanta. Instead of trekking through traffic to join the crowds at Piedmont Park, create your own outdoor oasis where you can listen to the sounds of Music Midtown or cheer on the runners of the Peachtree Road Race from the comfort of your own home.

Not only will you expand your living space, but if you add a wooden deck to your home, you can expect to recoup 71% of the cost when you sell (slightly less for composite). And while a comfy seat is a must, consider going big with an outdoor kitchen. The weather in Atlanta is pretty mild, so you can expect to use it eight months a year, and cooking outside will keep your home much cooler in the summertime.

No space to build a porch or a deck? Consider adding a NanaWall to your home. These large bi-fold glass doors give you floor-to-ceiling windows when you want them, and they disappear to seamlessly open your home up to the outdoors when the weather is nice. You may have noticed them at the Brake Pad in College Park or Bartaco in West Midtown. In addition to making your home more beautiful, ample natural light is one of the top ten features buyers look for in a home, making this investment one that will truly differentiate your home when you’re ready to sell.

Danielle Hegedus