If you're considering remodeling in 2010, you're likely mulling over the biggest question for all remodeling clients today: resale value. Before 2006 very few clients named resale value as top on their list of "must haves" for their remodeling projects. Most named wood species, appliance brands or rare granites as their remodel requisites; while these things are still important, value has superceded them all! With house prices down, it pays to know which upgrades will deliver the best return when you sell your home.
AK published Remodeling's Cost Vs. Value report for 2010 which showed that some projects pay back better than others. You get more bang for the buck putting money into a basement or attic upgrade than adding a wing to the house. (Duh, right? But the people adding a "wing" to the house are doing it for other reasons than just resale!) Some of the highest-return projects include a deck addition and replacements of old siding, entry door or windows.
Basic Replacements Rule
As a group, low-cost replacements — new siding, windows, doors and roofing — deliver the best bang for the buck now, a better payback than most any other project! Given great improvements in materials, you can replace your inefficient 10- or 15-year-old products with highly efficient ones for a decent return when you sell. In addition, the improvements help you save on heating and cooling bills. Replacing leaky windows with highly efficient newer ones is a good example. The technology behind the glass and frames has so improved that you’re tightening up your home’s weatherproofing in the process. You get more comfort and, from the real-estate agent’s point of view, new windows show off your house from the street.
The Best Bang For Your Buck
Keep in mind an pricing given are just an estimates made by Remodeling Magazine in an effort to calculate the value of the projects.
1. Replace the front door.
The absolute best return on the money of any of the projects surveyed — 129% of cost — is gained by replacing a beat-up front door with a $1,200 steel-shell door filled with foam insulation.
A new fiberglass door (more expensive, at $3,490) returns less, about 65%. (Fiberglass is the new chic building material because it’s rugged and durable, can be painted and will mimic almost any wood. Unlike wood, it doesn’t crack, warp or shrink and needs zero maintenance.)
Spend about $7,500 on an entire new entrance, including a widened opening, a solid-core wood door and high-end glass, new lighting and better locks, and you’ll recoup 69%, on average.
2. Replace home siding
Replacing old siding with a durable fiber-cement product ($13,287) recoups about 84% at resale. Use vinyl siding ($10,607) to get an 80% return. (prices vary greatly depending on size of the home)
Foam-backed vinyl ($13,022) costs more and earns back less — roughly 79% — but it is much more efficient at insulating a home.
3. Replace windows.
Three of the four window-replacement projects considered in the survey pay back about 77%:
Wood-trimmed windows ($11,700). (again, prices vary greatly depending on the size of the home and number of windows)
Lower-end vinyl windows ($10,728).
Windows trimmed in higher-end vinyl ($13,862).
The fourth project, higher-end wood-replacement windows ($17,816), has a return of about 72%. Fiberglass windows weren’t included in the study.
4. A new deck.
Wood is high-maintenance, but homebuyers love it: A new wood deck ($10,634) returns 81%. (again, prices vary greatly depending on the size of the home and size of the deck.)
A higher-grade composite ($37,745) brings an ROI of about 61%.
5. Kitchens & Baths: Scaled back but still popular!
The very high-end kitchen, at over $175,000, may be a thing of yesterday for most homeowners. But kitchen remodels ranging between $50,000 and $150,000 are ever popular! Kitchen and bath remodeling hasn’t stopped, since these projects maximize the enjoyment of the most-used spaces in a home. But people who blithely bought the best of everything now pursue the same look by choosing materials judiciously.
(Thanks To MSN Real Estate & Remodeling Magazine For Figures & Comments In This Piece.)