Top 5 Best Value Home Improvement Projects
If you own a home, it is likely you have an ongoing wish list of future home repairs or upgrades. Deciding which improvements are most important to you and your family, as well as which improvements will produce the best return on your investment, is worth giving careful consideration.
The following article breaks down the Top 5 Best Value Home Improvement Projects in the Seattle area, according to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com). The full report examines 36 popular projects ranging from lower cost improvements to upscale remodels and home additions. It compares average costs to make the investment by region across the U.S. and the value those projects are expected to yield at resale. More detailed descriptions of each project can also be found in the full report.
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. Potentially this investment could reduce utility costs and has a potential 124.2% return for a mid-range steel door with new lockset.
Garage Door Replacement
Upgrading the garage door has a similar eye popping effect as a new front entry door and is the second leading improvement in terms of value. A mid-range 4-section, un-insulated door on new galvanized steel tracks (reusing existing motorized opener) with a 10 year warranty is expected to bring a 121.3% return. Selecting an upscale high tensile steel door that is insulated, includes windows in the top panel, and has a lifetime warranty yields a slightly lower, yet still significant return of 110.5%.
Stone Veneer Accent
Keeping with this year’s theme of adding curb appeal, the third project with the highest possible return is adding a stone veneer accent to the front of the home. This relatively modest investment can dramatically change the exterior and potentially increase salability. At a potential 101.2% return, this upgrade has great value. The example in the report includes removing a 300 square foot strip of vinyl siding from the entire bottom third of the front of the home. Replace with a manufactured stone veneer along the full façade, outlining an arched entry. 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?
Window Replacement (Wood)
Replacing older double-hung windows with insulated wood windows has multiple benefits. The investment is expected to again just about pay for itself at an estimated 99.5% return. As with the first three improvements, this one again increases curb appeal. However, it also comes with the added benefit of outside noise reduction and lower energy costs.
Minor Kitchen Remodel
The last but not least home improvement project includes a minor remodel of a 200 square foot kitchen that is currently functional but in need of cosmetic updates. It leaves the cabinet boxes intact but replaces the cabinet fronts with raised-panel wood doors and drawers, including new hardware. Replace laminate countertops, sink, faucet, flooring, wall covering, and paint the trim. Replace wall oven and cook top with new energy-efficient models. Being careful to stay within a modest budget this type of remodel could yield a 97.1% return.
© 2015 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.
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