Remodeling can be a serious business, especially if you’ve got several pet projects on your list and a limited budget with which to work. It can be tempting to go straight to the items that you find the most important, but if you’re considering reselling your home in the not too distant future, the return on your remodeling investment is really the thing to watch. Luckily, Remodeling Magazine has been tracking remodeling trends and returns for the US market since 2002 and has amassed a great deal of data on which projects you should focus your money on if you’re concerned about how well it will return.
A Note on Cost Return Versus Resellability
It’s important to note that there is a distinction between items that will be reflected in your home’s value and those which will help your home sell. These aren’t always the same thing. For example, you might find that adding a pool is a lot of fun and that people are drawn to homes with pools in your area, but a pool doesn’t necessarily increase the amount of money you’ll be offered for your home. On the flip side of that, new kitchen cabinets almost always both increase value and help make your home easier to resell.
This Year’s Top Remodeling Items for Returning Your Dollars
Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 numbers are in, and much of what they have to say isn’t too surprising. Over the last several years, trends for return on your investment dollars have been mostly holding steady. Consider these items if you’re planning a remodel before you sell your home:
- Manufactured Stone Veneer. This year it’s number one on the list, though it was ranked second in both 2019 and 2018 for the percentage of cost recovered. At an estimated $9,357 for the average stone veneer project, you’ll see an average of 95.6 percent return.
- Garage Door Replacement. Bumped from number one for 2018 and 2019 to a still respectable number two, garage doors will provide an average of 94.50 percent return for your average $3,695 project. Garage doors can change the entire face of your home, so they’re still a great choice for a quick facelift if you don’t have stone veneer money this year.
- Kitchen Remodeling. It’s no surprise that a nice kitchen can pay for itself, but you have to be very careful about how you spend your money. A minor, mid-range kitchen remodel might include small updates like replacing the drawer, door fronts, and hardware on cabinets, as well as new appliances, flooring, and sink and faucet, plus a fresh coat of paint. That’s estimated to cost about $23,452 this year, but the return on it will be about 77.6 percent. This is also one of those items that will absolutely push a buyer to choose your home over another, so there’s value beyond simple dollars and cents.
- Siding Replacement. In the past, Remodeling Magazine has grouped all major siding types (excluding stone veneer) together, but this year it has separated them into two categories: fiber-cement and vinyl. Both are popular, durable choices for a home, and both return quite well. Fiber-cement should recoup about 77.6 percent of the $17,008 bill; vinyl returns about 74.7 percent of an estimated $14,359.
- Vinyl Replacement Windows. Replacement windows can be a huge selling feature, especially if your home is in a neighborhood where a lot of houses still have their original windows. They can be ordered with a myriad of design elements to make them just as charming as the windows you’ll be replacing, down to the tiniest details. You’ll be looking at a cost of around $17,641 for the project, but you’ll recover about 72.3% of that when you sell your home. As a bonus, the new homebuyers will have plenty of incentive to choose your home, since energy efficiency is still a major decision point.