Top 8 Home Remodeling Projects with High Return on Investment Part 1: Exterior

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In terms of home improvement, the number of projects you can take on is infinite.  Considering the return on your investment as well as the direct benefits you will receive can help you decide which remodel/renovation projects you should tackle, and which you can hold off on. Whether you are selling your house and remodeling to increase the listing price, or simply want to make your home more comfortable, return on investment is an important consideration given the slow recovery of the real estate market, particularly in CT. We chose 8 remodeling projects from the 2011-2012 Remodeling Cost vs Value Report that we think are most likely to increase the value of your home.

Remodeling Projects: Average Cost and Amount Recouped (mid-range homes)

Data from Remodeling cost vs value report 2011-2012

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The following table compares the average cost and Return OInvestment (ROI) for our top 8 picks for remodeling projects that increase home value. The numbers provided are averages for midrange and upscale homes, respectively. The data is from remodeling cost vs value report 2011-2012 (http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2011/costvsvalue/division/new-england.aspx) and is specific to New England. Their website has a complete list of home remodel projects and cost vs. value analysis for other regions.

remodel projects ROI

OUR LIST AND OUR TIPS

Let's start with the Exterior:

First impressions are important. When it comes to homes, doors, windows, siding, roofs, and landscaping all affect that first impression. Landscaping is not included on our list of top remodel projects that increase the value of your home only because it is not technically a remodel.  Proper landscaping adds curb appeal, and if designed properly, it can provide privacy and create a defined boundary between your land and your neighbor's. Conversely, over-landscaped properties are not appealing to potential homebuyers. If you are selling your home, you don't know if the next occupant will be an avid gardener who wants to plant her own roses and herbs or a busy worker-bee who wants a low maintenance property. Landscaping is to your home as a hair style is to a job applicant, so keep it neat and simple, and consult a professional! 

#1 Garage Door Replacement

Garage doors are large: they can represent ' of the side of the house seen from the road.  Understandably, a garage door's appearance greatly affects someone's first impression of a home. Replacing a garage door in New England produces the highest yield per dollar invested of all remodeling projects for both midrange and upscale homes. Replacing a garage door costs about $1,545-$3,003, and returns 74.5-78.4% (remodeling cost vs. value report 2011-2012)

Cloplay is one of our favorite manufacturers of garage doors. 

#2 Siding Replacement

Siding typically covers more surface area of your home than any other component and determines the style of your home as much as the architecture itself. Replacement siding has the second highest return on investment for both midrange and upscale homes. For midrange homes, vinyl siding is recommended. For more upscale homes, fiber-cement or foam-backed vinyl siding produce the highest return on investment.  

 #3 Vinyl Window Replacement

Replacing your windows (the whole window assembly) with a vinyl window assembly ranks third in terms of increasing the value of your home per dollar spent.  In addition to increasing the value of your home, replacing your existing windows will almost certainly reduce your energy costs. The most important factor to consider for replacement windows is the energy star rating of the replacement window. Sunrise Windows earn an energy star rating, and the vinyl frames are attractive and durable.

#4 Deck Addition

Sitting outside on the deck allows you to entertain and enjoy the Connecticut outdoors. If you are remodeling for the purpose of maximizing the utility your home provides you, adding a deck is a great idea, and over 50% of the cost will be recouped when you decide to sell. CertainTeed is our favorite supplier of decking material. We use their products because they are made of resilient extruded polyvinyl chloride, a material that lasts in the harsh and always changing Connecticut climate.

#5 Kitchen

We have a lot to say about kitchen and bathroom remodels, so we are going to explore interior-remodeling separately.  

#6 Bathroom Remodel

(Interior tips to come)

#7 Roofing Replacement

Putting a new roof on your house can be a functional as well as aesthetic upgrade. Homebuyers feel more comfortable purchasing a pre-owned home that has had the roof redone recently because old roofs are prone to problems. You should have a professional inspect your roof to determine the extent to which it needs to be redone, but, generally speaking, replacing your roof entails removing the existing roof down to the bare sheathing, installing new underlayment, and covering it with new roofing material. In CT, that usually means shingles.

CertainTeed is our brand of choice for roofing materials because their products can withstand the variable CT climate. Certainteed offers their durable roofing materials in a wide range of styles and colors.

#8 Basement Remodel

(Interior tips to come)

Fall is a great time to take on some projects!  Our guide can help you decide what projects your home would benefit from: