Remodeling magazine just released its 22nd annual Remodeling Cost vs. Value report for 2009-2010. Conventional thinking would have thought that remodeling kitchen and bathroom still offers the best value, right? Not anymore. It's the other part outside and inside the house that offers better return for your money. The greatest return of this year's cost vs. value reportedly come from curb appeal, outside your house projects.
Seven out of top 10 high-yielding value, are exterior projects, that cost under $15,000 and yet offer the best return. The driver: recession. It's the economy. Many homeowners have decided to scale back their projects and be frugal. Another reason for the popularity is the tax credits for energy-efficiency upgrades, like roof, windows, etc. (more on energy-efficiency tax credits). Most buyers wouldn't mind paying a bit more for new and energy-efficient windows.
The best bang-for-your-buck: entry door replacement (steel). This is where cheaper is better. The job cost $1,172 on average, however, the resale value of $1,470 recoup 128.9% of your investment. If you replace your entry door with fiberglass door, instead of steel, it doesn't offer you the same return. Not only the product cost more than double at an ave. of $3,490, it only recoup half of (steel) for a mere 65.2% return on your money. Not bad. But not the best investment for the money.
Here are the top 10 mid-range remodeling projects. (in bracket shows cost recoup):
- Entry door replacement steel (128.9%)
- Attic bedroom (83.1%)
- Deck addition wood (80.6%)
- Siding replacement vinyl (79.9%)
- Minor kitchen remodel (78.3%)
- Window replacement wood (77.3%)
- Window replacement vinyl (76.6%)
- Basement remodel (75.4%)
- Major kitchen remodel (72.1%)
- Bathroom remodel (71%)
For our area, Washington DC region, the four value added mid-range projects with great potential, are attic bedroom, backup power generation, basement remodel and roofing replacement. The more expensive projects, even though cost more, the recoup cost is far less than the money spent. In other words, it's not worth it.