Renovations that can improve the value of your home

March 20, 2019 — Written by Teresa K Traverse

how to sell and buy a house at the same time - small repairs

Remodeling Magazine has released its Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, which compares the average cost for 22 remodeling projects and how those projects impact the resale value of homes in 136 U.S. markets. Real estate professionals are surveyed about how much a home’s value would increase after one of these projects is completed within a year of the sale.

What projects will improve my home value?

According to the report, the returns on exterior replacement projects outperformed those of larger interior projects. Only a minor kitchen remodel came close to the rate of return on most exterior projects.

The report explains: “The larger discretionary projects, such as kitchen, bath, and master-suite remodels, tend to be too individualized to provide broad, lasting appeal….”

Below are some of the home improvement projects that can have the biggest increase on your home value versus the cost in 2019.

Projects with the highest ROI:

Garage door replacement

  • Cost: $3,611
  • Resale value: $3,520
  • ROI: 97.5 percent

According to the report, installing a garage door replacement is one of the best ways to increase home value. A new, functioning garage door can not only improve curb appeal, but also help improve insulation, potentially lowering a home’s energy bill.

In the survey, old garage doors were replaced with four-section garage doors of high tensile strength steel, with two coats of paint, sitting on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks.

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Siding replacement (manufactured stone veneer)

  • Cost: $8,907
  • Resale value: $8,449
  • ROI: 94.9 percent

Replacing siding with a manufactured stone veneer can create a “high-end” look to your home. Manufactured stone veneer refers to siding that resembles real stone and usually costs less than natural stone. This material weighs less and is easier to work with than real stone, making it advantageous for builders to use.

In the study, a 300-square-foot strip vinyl siding from the attached garage to the corner of the side addition was replaced with manufactured stone veneer, framing the door and entranceway of the house and giving the home a more polished, refined look.


Minor kitchen remodel

  • Cost: $22,507
  • Resale value: $18,123
  • ROI: 80.5 percent

Many buyers view the kitchen as the true heart of a home, which is why kitchen remodels tend to generate a higher return. A modern, attractive kitchen can make or break the sale for many buyers.

In this study, a dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 feet of cabinetry and countertops was given a remodel. It included replacing flooring, repainting trim, adding wall coverings, and replacing cabinet fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts. It also added an energy-efficient cooktop/oven range and refrigerator, replaced countertops, and installed a mid-priced sink and a faucet.


Deck addition (wood)

  • Cost: $13,333
  • Resale value: $10,083
  • ROI: 75.6 percent

Summer bbq’s, spring time relaxing, and fall views… there are a lot of reasons a quality deck appeals to home buyers.

In the study, pressure-treated deck boards were installed in a simple linear pattern, as well as a built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. It also provided a complete railing system using pressure-treated wood posts, railings, balusters, and a three-step grade.

Entry door replacement (steel)

  • Cost: $1,826
  • Resale value: $1,368
  • ROI: 74.9 percent

First impressions make a big difference, even with something as simple as a door–every person who tours your home will likely step through the door. A steel door offers a polished look and gives buyers an impression that the rest of the home is just as modern and new. Steel doors also tend to be more durable than wood doors, having layers to help resist forced entry.

Final thoughts

These insights suggest it’s better to focus your time and money on minor updates that aren’t tied to individual tastes. The study also found that you can have a higher rate of return on projects that involve updating the exterior of your home versus larger interior remodeling projects like a bathroom or kitchen.

See our guide on expert tips to increase your home value. If you want to sell your home without the hassle of repairs, learn how selling to Opendoor compares to the traditional process.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

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