Home Improvements with The Best Return on Your Money

Each year, Remodeling magazine puts out a report that details exactly what the home improvements with the best return on your money are. Although you’ll almost never get back 100% of what you pay, there are some projects that are better investments than others. Here are this year’s improvements with the best return on your money, based exclusively on Salt Lake City data.

Rules of Thumb

In general, simple, less-expensive home improvements are the ones that give you the most bang for your buck. This is largely because the materials for these projects cost less.

As the housing market improves, luxury improvements are beginning to be worth more. But overall, they’re not going to be worth as much as midrange upgrades. Most luxury improvements will net you just 40 to 50% of what you pay to have them completed.

Another note: home improvements with the best return on your money are usually projects that add to your curb appeal. You’ll notice that every single item on this list is a project that contributes to your home’s curb appeal.

Midrange Upgrades

Manufactured Stone Veneer

This project involves removing the bottom third of the home’s street-facing facade and replacing it with stone veneer. It includes layers of a water-resistant barrier, mortar, and a setting bed.

Manufactured stone veneer adds a high-end, customized look to any home, instantly increasing its curb appeal. This project will cost around $7,600 to complete and will return 82.7% of its cost.

Composite Deck Addition

This project includes a composite 16×20 deck with a built-in bench and planter of the same material. It also includes pressure-treated joists anchored to concrete piers, stairs, and a matching railing.

At $16,000, this improvement isn’t cheap. But it will make your home look better and will make it more functional. It will return 78.9% of what you pay for it.

Interestingly, a wood deck, though much less expensive at $9,800, returns just 54.9% of its cost. Things to think about if you’re considering a new deck.

Steel Garage Door Replacement

Install a new, four-section garage door on new galvanized steel tracks. The new door is uninsulated, single-layer, embossed steel with two coats of baked-on paint and galvanized steel hinges. The door includes 10-year limited warranty.

A garage door can do wonders for your curb appeal, especially if the old one is dirty or peeling paint. Plus, this project costs about $1,600 and will return 72.1% of its cost.

Siding Replacement

A siding replacement is also a solid choice for adding value to your home. Replace all existing siding and add factory trim at all openings and corners.

This project will cost about $13,300 and will return 67.4% of its cost.

Upscale Improvements

Are you more interested in doing some upscale home improvements with the best return on your investment?  Like I said earlier, these kinds of improvements won’t return nearly as much of their cost, but some are still solid choices.

Garage Door Replacement

Install a new four-section garage door on heavy-duty galvanized tracks. The new door should be high-tensile-strength steel with two coats of factory-applied paint, foam insulation, and thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels. It should also have insulated windows in its top panel. The hardware should include galvanized steel hinges and ball-bearing urethane rollers, and the door should come with a lifetime warranty.

This upscale garage door replacement will cost around $3,200 and return 73.1% of its cost.

Grand Entrance

A fiberglass door with grand entrance is another great choice for upping the curb appeal of your home and for getting a decent return on your money.

This projects includes adding a fiberglass door with dual sidelites that match the door. It also includes a new threshold, lockset, and decorative PVC-wrapped exterior trim that matches existing trim.

This upscale home improvement costs around $8,200 and returns 59.7% of its cost.

Window Replacement

A vinyl window replacement is another good choice if you’re looking to do an upscale improvement. This includes replacing all windows with low-emissivity, insulated vinyl windows. (Plus, read about tax energy-efficient tax credits here.)

This project costs about $14,500 recoups 57% of its cost.

Home Improvements with the Best Return

Need some ideas for more home improvements with the best return? Check out Remodeling’s full report. And don’t forget to keep coming back to my blog! This is one of my favorite topics, so I’ll have more ideas for you in the future.

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