By Andrew Kay
If you’re a homeowner, chances are you’re considering a home remodeling project. It seems one of the benefits of homeownership is the constant opportunity to improve your living space.
And, of course, you want to remodel according to your tastes. You live in the house, after all. But if you are looking for remodeling projects that provide the best return on investment when it’s time to sell your home, there are things to consider other than personal taste.
Every year, the home remodeling industry releases its “Cost vs. Value” survey, which lists the home improvement projects that give you the best bang for your buck. Some are major projects with huge budgets. But you can actually do quite a few of the projects with the best ROI on the relative cheap. In fact, here are five top projects for resale returns, according to industry publication Remodeling Magazine, which publishes the survey:
Attic insulation – According to the survey, the average attic fiberglass insulation in the United States costs $1,343, which makes it the least expensive of the 29 popular projects in the Cost vs. Value survey. Meanwhile, it translates to $1,446 at resale, fully recouping the cost and then some – a 107.7-percent return on investment. This ROI tops the list, and the energy efficiency added could help you save on heating and cooling costs while you live there.
Steel entry door – Many newer houses come with steel doors at the front entranceway, but if you’re in an older home, you still might have a wooden front door. Upgrading the door and casing costs an average of $1,413 and carries with it an average return on investment of 90.7 percent, almost full cost of this remodeling project.
New garage door – Another relatively cheap and easy remodeling project that can enhance curb appeal, a modern garage door replacement costs an average of $1,749 according to the survey. The third remodeling project on the list that can be had for under $2,000, this one carries with it a return on investment of 76.9 percent.
Manufactured stone veneer – Things start to get a little pricier with this remodeling project – yet another curb-appeal contributor – costing an average of $7,851. But the 89.4-percent return puts it third on the list of ROI.
A minor kitchen makeover– This is the most expensive of the projects with the top 5 returns on investment, with an average cost of $20,830. But plenty of buyers want the kitchen to be the focal point of their new home, so it’s important to make it pop, and it provides a return on investment of 80.2 percent. Interestingly, a “major” kitchen remodel (three times the price at $62,000) provides only a 65.3-percent return.
Keep in mind that the survey includes results from the 99 biggest metropolitan areas in the country. So the average cost for each remodel might not actually apply to your home. Also, things like a “minor” kitchen remodel might include only countertops, flooring, modern appliances, and a coat of paint – upgrades that could be had in most places for less than the $20,000 estimate in the survey.
Some of these home improvements might not be what you’d expect on a list of remodeling bang-for-your-buck projects. But before you go ahead and gut that kitchen or bathroom and splurge for whole-house carpeting, think about the potential less-expensive remodel projects might have to provide greater returns.