5 Home Improvements that Pay Off—and 5 that Don’t

By Suzanne De Vita | RISMEDIA, Saturday, January 23, 2016
Insulating a home ceiling

Insulating a home ceiling

Favorable economic conditions have long triggered investment in home improvements—more money, more upgrades—and progress on the housing front is set to spur the next wave of homeowner spending on both necessary and discretionary projects.

How should homeowners invest their remodeling dollars this year?  By and large, homeowners can expect to reap the highest returns on projects that cost relatively less, according to REMODELING magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report.

On a national scale, the top five projects with the greatest return on investment (ROI) in the report’s “midrange” cost category are:

1. Attic Insulation (Fiberglass) (116.9% ROI)
Average Cost: $1,268
Average Resale Value: $1,482

2. Manufactured Stone Veneer (92.9% ROI)
Average Cost: $7,519
Average Resale Value: $6,988

3. Garage Door Replacement (91.5% ROI)
Average Cost: $1,652
Average Resale Value: $1,512

4. Entry Door Replacement (Steel) (91.1% ROI)
Average Cost: $1,335
Average Resale Value: $1,217

5. Minor Kitchen Remodel (83.1% ROI)
Average Cost: $20,122
Average Resale Value: $16,716

On a national scale, the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “upscale” cost category are:

1. Garage Door Replacement (90.1% ROI)
Average Cost: $3,140
Average Resale Value: $2,830

2. Siding Replacement (Fiber-Cement) (78.1% ROI)
Average Cost: $14,520
Average Resale Value: $11,342

3. Window Replacement (Vinyl) (73.3% ROI)
Average Cost: $14,725
Average Resale Value: $10,794

4. Window Replacement (Wood) (72.1% ROI)
Average Cost: $18,087
Average Resale Value: $13,050

5. Grand Entrance (Fiberglass) (69.6% ROI)
Average Cost: $7,971
Average Resale Value: $5,545

On the whole, regional data mirror these national findings, but variations exist in markets abuzz with real estate activity. Homeowners in the Pacific region (California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington), for instance, can expect to see six of the 30 projects analyzed in the report recoup over 100 percent of their cost.

Read on for the 5 Home Improvements that Don’t Pay Off…

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