Remodel magazine’s Cost vs. Value guide compares the “average cost for 30 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets.”
Attic insulation — 116.9 percent return: The first major benefit is energy efficiency: Basically, insulation helps to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. A home that isn’t properly insulated can cost you big time, both in comfort and cash. While you can DIY attic insulation, there are potential safety hazards involved (including asbestos exposure), so if you aren’t experienced in tackling large home-improvement projects, EPA’s Energy Star recommends hiring a contractor.
Job cost: $1,268
Resale value: $1,482
Entry door replacement — 91.1 percent return: Who doesn’t love a beautiful entry? In fact, there’s a whole hashtag dedicated to it; just punch in #doorsofinstagram and you’ll find over 30,000 of them all over the world. It’s probably why it ranks number two on the list of most valuable home improvements. But it’s not just aesthetics; a new steel entry door also provides energy efficient insulation.
Job cost: $1,335
Resale value: $1,217
Garage door replacement — 91.5 percent return:
The garage door is just as important as the entry. Not only does it enhance the overall appearance, it also upgrades your home security, too, and gives you a 91.5 percent national average recoup on costs. Now those are the kind of odds we will bank on every time.
Job cost: $1,652
Resale value: $1,512
Minor kitchen remodel — 83.1 percent return:
Before we started researching this story, we polled the office on which home improvements they thought would top the list on ROI. Many of us raised our hands to kitchen, bathroom and entryway; they seemed like obvious choices. So you can imagine our surprise when we discovered the reality. A major kitchen remodel will set you back $119,909 on average, with a resale value of $73,707 (only a 61.5 percent recoup on costs). It hardly seems worth it. You’re better off investing in a minor kitchen remodel and upgrading a few elements that spruce up the overall aesthetic and provide practical upgrades that improve the day-to-day efficiency of the space.
Job cost: $20,122
Resale value: $16,716
Manufactured stone veneer — 92.9 percent return:
Don’t be deterred by the term “manufactured;” the formula has been perfected over the years, and it looks remarkably similar to the real thing. Besides, isn’t a manufactured version better for the environment? According to Taylor Concrete, the term veneer “implies something that is decorative or cosmetic with a functional element,” which means these stone walls can be applied directly to most surfaces including drywall, concrete or brick. That makes it a much simpler home improvement project than actual stone.
Job cost: $7,519
Resale value: $6,988
Window replacement — 73.3 percent return:
Whether you’re admiring your home from the outside or peering at the world from the inside, windows are key to the overall aesthetic. They add major style props to its curbside appeal and flood it with natural light to elevate every room, not to mention that they improve your home’s energy efficiency. If you’re confused by choice, the Consumer Reports website helps you choose the best one for your home, and a major thing to note is that price doesn’t indicate performance.
Job cost: $14,725
Resale value: $10,794
Roofing replacement: 71.7 percent return:
If there’s one home improvement you can’t lose on, it’s the roof. It’s an investment that not only improves the look of your home but the quality of the time you spend in it too. A leaky roof isn’t pleasant, and neither are the health implications from the mold that grows as a result. Sometimes you might only need a small repair, which is much more affordable, but there are a few cases when a full replacement is necessary. Home Advisor states most roofs last 20 to 25 years, so if yours is nearing this age, you might want to consider a new one.
Job cost: $20,142
Resale value: $14,446