Remodeling and Return on Investment

Just last night, there was a conversation had about whether to replace a roof before listing a home. As a buyer or seller, what would you do? Buyers, would you spend more on a home if the roof was brand new? Sellers, would you replace it before closing knowing it could add to your bottom line?

Below is an article about what makes sense if you are thinking about preparing your home for market. It doesn’t mention roofs, but in our opinion, we say it’s worth updating.

If you are looking at a lengthy “to do” list this spring and summer, and are wondering which improvements to your property will have the most impact on a future list price, you are in luck! Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs Value report is out, measuring 29 of the most popular remodeling projects and how the costs of those projects are recouped when it is time to sell.

The average return for the 29 common projects analyzed resulted in a 64.3% return on investment if the home was sold within one year of project completion. The trends for this year? Smaller incremental improvements provided the highest return. However, upgrades that affect curb appeal such as improvements to doors, windows and the siding also generated high marks, in fact, higher than a whole home remodel.

Which improvements scored the highest? You may be surprised!

  1. Attic insulation – Adding attic insulation was the only project whose return was higher than the cost outlay with 107.7% of costs recouped (and with a cost of about $1,343).
  2. Entry Door Replacement – Replacing an entry door with a steel door recouped 90.7% with an average cost of $1,413.
  3. Manufactured stone veneer – With a cost of $7,851, this job returned about 89.4%.
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel (which includes updating the cabinet doors and hardware, replacing cooktop, range, and slide-in fridge as well as replacing laminate countertops, flooring, sink, and faucet and touching up drywall and repainting) – This cost an average of $20,830 and recouped 80.2%.
  5. Garage Door Replacement – This project cost an average of $1,749 and had a return on investment of about 76.9%.

This might have you wondering whether it makes sense to do upgrades before selling if you can’t truly recoup your costs. However, in our opinion, this is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. A home with upgrades that is for sale will show better in the market and in our experience, will receive more attention from potential buyers, resulting in an overall higher price. While we don’t recommend a big remodel before going on the market, some of the smaller projects listed above may indeed be worth the time and money.

Larger projects such as adding a two-story addition, basement remodel, or major kitchen remodels cost more and didn’t recoup as much of the initial costs within the first year.

Wondering what improvements are having an impact on home values in our area or would you like to know what type of return to expect on your next project? Contact us at or



One Reply to “Remodeling and Return on Investment”

  1. That’s impressive that kitchen upgrades had a 80.2% ROI. Remember to always consider function when you’re upgrading. Home project investments are investments you have ROI for as well as the ability to get utility from then while you live there.

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