Buying & Selling Homes

5 Savvy Upgrades That Add Home Value

Will your project pay off? For a trustworthy estimate, consult Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report to find comprehensive data you can use to gauge whether a given upgrade is likely to add home value.

The methodology of the report evolves every year. Currently, three streams of information are taken into account: typical project costs, home sale prices, and survey data from the National Association of Realtors.

Slideshow: 7 Renovation Tips to Boost Resale Value

You can't know the exact dollar amount to be returned by a renovation you're considering, but the report may help you locate the sweet spot between adding home value and going overboard-spending more than you're likely to recoup upon resale.

Most useful are the regional estimates indicating the likely return for upgrades, whether routine or extravagant. Nationally, the top five high-value projects are:

  • Replacing an entry door
  • Replacing siding
  • Replacing a deck
  • Replacing a garage door
  • Completing a minor kitchen remodel

This hit parade underscores the overriding caution that pervades most home improvement projects. While replacement projects return a national average of 67.6%, remodeling projects that incorporate upgrades, on average, return 59.7% of the initial investment.

For more on return on investment, consider:

Biggest Bang for Your Buck? The Bath
Radio: Return on Investment
5 Smart Home Improvements? Think Again!