Realtors Say Small, Exterior Home Improvements Offer the Best Value Investments in 2015

Realtors Say Small, Exterior Home Improvements Offer the Best Value Investments in 2015
Image: NCCC
January 13, 2015

Homeowners often consider various remodeling and replacement projects as a way to add value to their home. Whether it's a new deck, replacement windows or an updated kitchen, some projects add more value and better recoup their costs than others.

So which home improvement projects will give you the biggest bang for your buck? In the 2015Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, Realtors from across the country have rated the value of a variety of small and exterior home improvement projects.

Compiled annually in collaboration with Remodeling Magazine, the report compares changes in home improvement project costs with Realtors' perceptions of what those projects contribute to a home's price at resale.

"It can be a daunting task to even decide on what home improvement projects to undertake, let alone to physically tackle and complete them," said National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Chris Polychron. "Realtors know what buyers are looking for during their search, and curb appeal is and always will be important. That explains why Realtors once again rated exterior projects as some of the most attractive and valuable for homeowners.", NAR's consumer website, highlights the results of the report in its 'Best Bets for Adding Value to your Home in 2015' slideshow. The site also provides information and advice on numerous home improvement projects, including bathroom remodeling ideas that will add style and value to a home.

Just as they did last year, Realtors identified a steel entry door replacement as the project expected to return the most money, with an estimated 101.8 percent of costs recouped upon resale (compared to an estimated 96.6 percent recoup last year). The steel entry door replacement is consistently the least expensive project in the annual Cost vs. Value Report, costing little more than $1,200 on average and was the only project on this year's list to recoup more than 100 percent of its cost at resale on a national level.

Rounding out the top 10 projects in terms of cost recouped include a manufactured stone veneer (newly included in this year's report) at 92.2 percent, a garage door replacement—midrange project (88.5 percent), a siding replacement with fiber cement (84.3 percent), a garage door replacement—upscale project (82.5 percent), vinyl siding replacement (80.7 percent), a wood deck addition (80.5 percent), a minor kitchen remodel (79.3 percent), wood window replacement (78.8 percent), and foam-backed vinyl siding replacement (77.6 percent).

The 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, now in its 17th consecutive year, compares construction costs with resale values for 36 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 102 real estate markets across the country.