No matter the design trends that come and go, kitchens and bathrooms continue to sell houses and net homeowners some of the greatest return on their remodel investment dollar.

Still, there are a few guidelines folks should follow before they start tearing down walls and choosing flooring and fixtures.

Writers at The Old House point out that spending $20,000 wisely in a kitchen – painting, upgrading appliances, replacing fixtures – goes much further than a budget-busting redo that could prove too pricey for the neighborhood and/or is too specific to your taste.

Opting for classic finishes and neutral colors and tones will go a long way toward a higher return-on-investment (ROI) even though the days of getting 100 percent of your money back are gone. Still, a well-appointed kitchen – think quality – can net you up to an 82 percent ROI, according to houselogic.com.

Quality is a subjective term but going with name brands with a reputation for quality is really the name of the game, and you can absolutely choose high-end fixtures without breaking the bank.

Brands like Kohler, Delta, Grohe, hansgrohe, and Moen all have instant name recognition and for good reason; these companies have been in the kitchen and bath fixture supply business for years, and customers trust them to provide sturdy products with long-lasting good looks.

Likewise, choosing solid wood cabinets – in both the kitchen and the bathroom – even if they’re painted, going with neutral tile floors and stone counter/vanity tops will net bigger returns than almost any other choice you could make in those rooms.

An annual survey –  the Cost vs. Value Report shows that for the last 10 years, a modest remodel in the kitchen nets a consistently higher return than full-on redo. It’s not a stretch to think the same math applies in the bathroom.

The home improvement project that nets the highest ROI year after year? It’s nothing you tackle inside your house; it’s your front door. Replacing your front door with a wood-core steel door costs less than most other upgrades but nets back nearly 100 percent, houselogic.com notes.