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by Amanda Harding
December 28, 2018
by Amanda Harding
December 28, 2018
It's sad but true: not every home renovation offers a great return on investment. In fact, most upgrades that you make around the house wind up costing hundreds or even thousands more than they're worth. If you love the result, then those overpriced changes can be worth it. But if you have any intention of selling your house in the future, then you'll want to choose renovations that make sense, cost-wise.
The home renovation industry has positively exploded thanks to the popularity of HGTV, Houzz, and other media that glamorizes home improvement. In 2015, Americans spent $326 billion making home upgrades. But is it really a good idea to rip out all the interior walls and add subway tiles and reclaimed wood to every surface?
Remodeling.net recently conducted a research study comparing the cost of renovations compared to what you can expect to recoup on the investment. The results may surprise you.
Two wooden car garage | Marcin Leszczuk/iStock/Getty Images
The garage door might not be the first renovation you think to do when you're channeling your inner Joanna Gaines, but it turns out that this particular replacement has one of the highest returns you can get. You'll get back almost exactly as much as you spend. And if you get your new door for a discount? You might even make money on the project.
Next: Manufactured stone veneer
Stone home exterior | hikesterson/iStock/Getty Images
Curb appeal is worth a lot of money to buyers. Some might not even stop to check out your open house if they don't like how it looks from the outside. Putting in a stone exterior is a difficult and pricey upgrade, but adding a manufactured stone veneer costs much less and helps increase the value of your home.
Next: Entry door replacement
Front door | dpproductions/ iStock/Getty Images
First impressions matter – that's why a solid, attractive steel entry door is worth the cost. You can get an expensive-looking door installed for cheap and then recoup almost all the money you spent buying it.
Next: Wood deck addition
Wooden deck | volgariver/iStock/Getty Images
Homebuyers are almost always looking for space to entertain and that includes outdoor areas. A deck isn't cheap, but it will increase the value of your home enough to almost cover that cost.
Next: Minor kitchen remodel
Kitchen | Beisea/Getty Images
When it comes to kitchen remodels, the sky's the limit as far as costs are concerned. But rather than gutting your existing kitchen down to the studs and starting from scratch, you can do a minor kitchen remodel – which may include upgrades such as new flooring, new appliances, and refurbishing the cabinets – and get back most of the money you put in.
Next: Siding replacement
House exterior | alabn/iStock/Getty Images
Siding isn't the obvious thing people think of when it's time to remodel, but it makes a big impact on the overall value of your home. Replacing the siding is a renovation that's well worth the money.
Next: Vinyl window replacement
Windows | Joe_Potato/iStock/Getty Images
New windows don't just look better – they also have unexpected benefits like keeping your energy costs down. Potential buyers want replacement windows and are willing to pay top dollar for them.
Next: Universal design bathroom
Accessible bathroom | BenDC/iStock/Getty Images
As people age, they start to look for bathroom features such as walk-in showers, support bars, wheelchair accessibility, and other key elements that will prolong their time spent at home in safety and comfort. Having these items in your home means getting most of your money back.
Next: Bathroom remodel
Bathroom | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images
This proves the old adage that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. A bathroom remodel isn't a quick or cheap weekend project, but you'll get back almost as much as you put in, especially if you stick to neutral color palettes and upscale fixtures.
Next: Replacement roof
Roof | Lex20/iStock/Getty Images
No one wants to pay to replace a roof – they'd much rather it was already done, and recently. This unglamorous yet essential upgrade is worth the money you spend when you can add, "new roof!" to your listing.
Next: Bathroom addition
Bathroom KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images
Can you ever have too many bathrooms? Probably. Adding a bathroom where none existed before can be tricky, but you'll see a lot of that money returned to you. Consider putting in a powder room if a full bath isn't an option.
Next: Major kitchen remodel
Kitchen | hikesterson/Getty Images
Sometimes a full gut job on the kitchen is necessary. It won't get you back as much money as a minor remodel, but you will get back a significant amount when it's time to sell. Plus, it'll look beautiful in the meantime.
Next: Master suite addition
Master bedroom | iStock.com/ArchiViz
These days buyers are pickier than ever and most are interested in a full master suite, not just another cramped bedroom. Adding a suite including a spacious bedroom, walk-in closets, and a full bathroom can cost well into the six figures. But once you have it, people will be willing to pay top dollar for your house.
Next: Backyard patio
Outdoor kitchen patio | ozgurcoskun/iStock/Getty Images
Backyard upgrades are crucial and homeowners should never neglect those spaces when they're renovating a house. A well-appointed and clearly defined patio with a firepit, outdoor kitchen, flagstone pavers, and sliding glass access doors will get a nice return on the investment.