Written by Jaymi Naciri
“Basic maintenance, such as the roof and exterior painting, are frequently more important than an awesome kitchen,”said HGTV.
“For the first time, a fiberglass insulation attic upgrade was included among the list of 30 home renovation projects evaluated and proved to add the greatest value to the home at 117% of the cost of the project, according to Hanley Wood, publisher of Remodeling Magazine,” said KCEN TV.
Sound like a snoozer? Only if saving money – and energy – puts you to sleep.
Key Trends in the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report
Manufactured stone veneer was new to the project list last year and came in at No. 2. It finished in the same position on the 2016 report, with an ROI of 92.9%. Next were:
- Midscale garage door replacement (91.5% ROI)
- Steel entry door replacement (91.1% ROI and falling from last year’s top spot)
- Upscale garage door replacement (90.1% ROI)
Notice what they have in common? These four projects are all exterior, which highlights the importance of curb appeal. In fact, “12 of the 15 highest-scoring projects” in this year’s report were for “work done on the exterior of the home.”
Reflection of the Real Estate Market
Remodeling projects follow the logic of the real estate market overall. Remodeling notes that, “Gains in the new-home market are helping lift the value of remodeling projects even as costs rise.” With more money and equity can come more complex undertakings, so some “bigger and more expensive projects” also saw gains this year,” they said.
A minor kitchen remodel that costs $20,122 comes in at 83.1% ROI, up from 79.3% last year. A family room addition at a cost, on average, of $86,615 will bring a return of 67.9%, up from last year’s return of 64.1%.
Capitol Kitchen & Bath
- Midrange bathroom addition (56.2% ROI)
- Upscale bathroom addition (56.7% ROI)
- Upscale master suite (57.2% ROI)
- Upscale bathroom remodel (57.5% ROI)
Not surprisingly, the projects that are easier to accomplish and make the lowest impact on a bank balance continue to dominate the list. “As a general rule, the simpler and lower-cost the project, the bigger its cost-value ratio. Four of the five projects that cost less than $5,000 for a pro to do were ranked in the top five for cost recouped, and the remaining one was the cheapest project in the $5,000-to-$25,000 price range,” they said.
“No project costing more than $25,000 ranked better than 15th. This is in part because the simpler projects tend to require less time and skill by a professional remodeler. It stands to reason that it’s far easier to replace a steel entry door than it is to design, source, and build a two-story addition.”
It’s not hard to daydream about shiny new countertops and fancy new appliances and one of those spa baths with a dozen sprayers and a chic soaker tub, but when it comes to home renovations, the sleek and sexy often take a back seat to the basic and boring.