Money Well Spent: Renovations Add Most Value to Home

home exterior renovation ideas
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Homeowners get all sorts of advice when it comes to remodeling their homes.

“Buyers want new kitchens and bathrooms!”

“Add on a bedroom or a home office!”

“A spectacular master suite will practically pay for itself!”

At one point or another, these projects were at the top of many renovators’ to-do lists. But you might be surprised to learn that in 2015 the trends have shifted away from showy remodels. So put down your sledgehammers and take a look at the real heavyweights when it comes to renovations that add the most value to your home. Whether you’re renovating to create a more personalized space or fixing things up in order to sell, these are the best bets when it comes to getting a solid return on your investment.

Replace your front door

It may seem like a small gesture, but replacing your old front door with a steel one averaged a 98 percent return on investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. A steel door will up the energy efficiency of your home while providing a big boost in its curb appeal. Plus, it’s a one-and-done project – no maintenance necessary.

Red door renovation ideas

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New siding

This one actually places on the list in a few different places – second, fourth and seventh to be precise. Replacing your old siding with fiber-cement material will get you back an average of 83.9 percent, mostly because of perceived quality. Vinyl siding is less expensive and still gets a respectable 81.5 percent ROI. Although it comes in third in the race for superior siding, foam-backed vinyl may actually be the best option for those looking to earn back their money. This energy-efficient option may cost slightly more than its fiber-cement contemporary, but covering your house with this stuff may earn you energy savings of up to 5.5 percent over just two years.

TIP: Use Our Real-Time Remodeling Calculator and Find Out in Minutes How Much Your Remodeling Project Will Cost and How Much Value it Will Add to Your Property.

Minor kitchen remodel

According to the Cost vs. Value Report, major kitchen remodels saw a 7.3 percent drop in ROI in 2015. This might be because kitchens are such personal things. Many people are moving into homes with the intention of tweaking the kitchen to their liking. A recently gutted and reconstructed kitchen might not provide buyers the room for customization, therefore killing your investment. Minor nips and tucks, however, can still win you back some capital. Think small improvements that also make your life easier: countertops and backsplashes, wood cabinets, and energy-efficient appliances.

Kitchen renovation ideas

Image credit: INT2 Architecture

Garage door replacement

Forget books and covers – it’s homes that are being judged by their exteriors. And a new garage door, such as a modern-looking embossed steel door, really ups the wow factor of the outside of your house. This upgrade can get you back up to 80.7 percent of your original investment.

Coming in just short of the top five are some of the sexier home improvement projects. The addition of a wooden deck earns back an average of 80.6 percent, while an attic bedroom can bring in 79.3 percent.

Overall, making improvements to your home will never be a bad investment. The stabilizing real estate market is increasing the returns on most renovations. Cost vs. Value Report’s overall cost-value ratio for 2015 was 62.2 percent, the second highest it has been in five years. So keep hammering away at your dream home, homeowners, and let Kukun help you figure out what your renovation project will cost.

MORE: Is Your Home Renovation Project a Good Investment?

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