Top 5 Home Improvement Projects


Kitchen Remodel and Full Home Renovation

Kitchen Remodel and Full Home Renovation

If you are planning a home improvement project we have good news to share with you. According to the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (, for the second consecutive year the value of home remodeling projects is rebounding, with a 5.5% jump (national average) from last year and the largest increase since 2005. A consistent trend in real estate’s rising resale value is driving the overall improvement.

The survey includes data from 35 projects ranging from lower cost improvements such as entry and garage door replacement to upscale remodeling projects and home additions. The report compares the average cost for these improvements against the value they are expected to yield at resale. Actual numbers will vary depending on specific neighborhoods and how closely the improvements match the report’s project description.

According to the report, the top five home improvements with the highest potential rate of return in Seattle are: 1) Entry Door Replacement 2) Minor Kitchen Remodel 3) Siding Replacement 4) Garage Door Replacement and 5) Window Replacement.

Entry Door Replacement (steel): Exterior replacement projects often yield a better return than remodeling projects. They are some of the least expensive and non-discretionary improvements to make that add instant curb appeal. Replacing an entry door is a relatively simple job, highly cost effective, and may also reduce utility costs. According to the report, up to 104.1% of the cost can be recouped to replace an existing door with a midrange steel door and new lockset.

Minor Kitchen Remodel: A minor remodel of a 200 square foot kitchen that is functional but in need of cosmetic updates. It includes replacing cabinet and drawer fronts, including hardware, but leaving the cabinet boxes intact. 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 97.9% return.

Siding Replacement (fiber cement): Siding replacement is good value and can significantly increase curb appeal by improving the overall look of a home’s exterior. Replacing siding with fiber-cement siding can yield an average return of 87.9% on your investment (in comparison vinyl siding yields 67.7% and foam-backed vinyl siding 71%). However, when deciding on the best siding materials for your home it is also important to keep in mind the style of your home and the others in your neighborhood. For instance, replacing traditional wood siding with vinyl may actually detract from the home’s value.

Garage Door Replacement: Replace an older garage door with a new high tensile strength steel door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks (reuse existing motorized opener). The upscale category door is foam insulated with thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels, includes top panel insulated windows, and has a lifetime warranty. The return on this improvement is expected to be 87.6%. The midrange category door is un-insulated, single-layer, embossed steel with a 10-year limited warranty and yields an average 85% return. Similar to replacing the entry door, garage door replacement is a relatively inexpensive improvement that adds resale value by increasing curb appeal. The added convenience of a highly functional door goes without saying.

Window Replacement (vinyl): Replacing older double-hung windows with insulated vinyl windows is the 5th project with the highest potential rate of return. The highest yield on window replacement is 86.9% and is based on a midrange product, wrapping the existing trim to match, and not disturbing the interior trim. Midrange insulated wood windows with the exterior clad in vinyl or aluminum has a slightly lower return of 82.3%. Alternatively, one can expect a 79.3-86% replacement value when choosing upscale, insulated, low-E, divided-lite vinyl or wood windows. The added comfort and energy savings achieved are yours to enjoy above and beyond the resale value of this improvement. © 2014 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

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