Most home improvement projects are initially prompted by a need or desire to expand or modify your home to better suit your family’s needs or lifestyle. Doing some research before finalizing your plans may also help maximize the return on your investment at resale.
The Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com) is a valuable resource. The full report examines 30 popular projects ranging from lower cost improvements to upscale remodels and home additions. It compares average costs by region across the U.S. and the value those projects are expected to yield at resale. Following is a local look at the Top 5 Best Value Home Improvement Projects in the greater Seattle area, according to and more fully described in the Cost vs. Value Report
Attic Insulation (fiberglass)
Adding or upgrading fiberglass insulation in the attic tops the charts as the highest valued investment at resale of all 30 projects evaluated across the U.S., as well as the Seattle area. It is estimated the project locally could yield as much as a 150.3% return on investment.
The project example includes air-sealing a 35×30 attic floor to address air leaks from conditioned space to unconditioned space. Fiberglass loose-fill insulation is then added, placing it over the top of any existing insulation that may already be present, until an R-30 insulation value is reached.
Manufactured Stone Veneer
The second project with the highest possible return includes adding a stone veneer accent to the front of the home. This relatively modest investment can dramatically change the exterior and increase curb appeal. Imagine a street of similarly designed homes and one of them has been upgraded with this classic look. If you were shopping for a home on that street, which one would pop out at you?
At a significant potential return of 142.8%, this upgrade has great value. The example in the Cost vs. Value Report includes removing 300 square feet of vinyl siding from the entire bottom third of the front of the home. Replace with a manufactured stone veneer, two layers of water-resistant barrier over bare sheathing, corrosion-resistant lath and fasteners, and a ½ inch mortar scratch coat and setting bed.
Garage Door Replacement
A strong third place contender involves replacing an older garage door with a new, updated door. Even though this upgrade dropped to third place from second in 2015, the resale value actually increased from 121.3% to 141.8% for a midrange replacement door. The report describes a 4-section, un-insulated, embossed steel door on new galvanized steel tracks (reusing existing motorized opener) with a 10 year warranty.
An upscale garage door replacement could fetch up to a 136.9% return, up from 110.5% in 2015. The upscale 4-section, high tensile steel door is insulated, includes insulated glass windows in the top panel, heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks (reusing existing motorized opener), and has a lifetime warranty.
Entry Door Replacement (Steel)
We all know how important first impressions can be. Nothing spruces up the look of a home quite like a new front door. Replacing the entry door is a relatively quick and easy job and adds instant curb appeal. For those handy around the home, it might even be a DIY project.
Ideally this investment may reduce utility costs and has a potential 127.9% return on a midrange steel door, including half-glass panel, and new brass or antique-brass lockset.
Window Replacement (Vinyl)
Replacing older, double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, vinyl windows, has multiple benefits.
The investment is expected to again more than pay for itself at an estimated 113.8% return. Not only can it also increase curb appeal, it has the added benefit of outside noise reduction and lower energy costs.
© 2016 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.
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