The Best Returns

Home Base, the publication for the American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance provides advice to help people buy, sell, finance, remodel, build, or maintain their homes. This month Home Base featured an article about the home remodeling project that provides the best return. Can you guess what it is? 

"Remodeling Magazine’s recently released 24th annual Cost vs. Value Report shows that exterior home improvements are leading the list of home improvements based on the return on investment. The free 2010-2011 report covers 80 U.S. cities and is available for download at The report contains data that compares construction costs for popular remodeling projects against the share of those costs recovered at resale. In addition to city data, the report includes tables with national and regional averages, as well as complete project descriptions, 3-D images and QuickTime movies for all 35 projects surveyed. 

The best return on investment was a steel entry door replacement which provides a 102% return on the cost at resale. A garage door replacement provides an 84% return. Projects with a 70-80% return included attic bedroom remodels, basement remodels, wood decks, minor kitchen remodels, window replacements and siding replacements. It is interesting that half of the eight best returns on investments, including the two top ones, were exterior improvements. This suggests that they might be effective investments for home sellers looking for an extra edge in the curb appeal department. The best return on investment for owners of single family homes will be landscaping in many cases. Thoughtful landscaping on an under landscaped home can return more than 100% of the investment, especially if you plant smaller trees and shrubs and give them a few years to grow..."


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