New Thoughts on Top-Value Home Remodel Projects


Special to Nvate | 506 words

Everyone who plans a large or small remodel must consider how much value the improvement will add to their home. Some home improvements are very cost-effective and others will never be recovered in added value. But the Remodeling Magazine 2014 Cost vs. Value Report found that a new front door adds almost 100 percent of the cost to the value of your home. And HGTV realtor protagonist Steven Aaron says you may not even have to replace the door, just paint it, to add a lot of value. The top remodel trends reported in the Cost vs. Value Report also tend to have the most resale value.

Converting the Attic

Converting the attic to a bedroom, while pricey at almost $50,000, adds quality living space that returns almost all of the cost of the remodel in added value. The converted space becomes a large bedroom with bathroom and shower, finished walls and ceilings, and safe and comfortable access. Aaron says the right kind of addition can add more than triple the value of the cost of the project. Any remodel that makes the home feel noticeably more spacious adds value.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

An outdated kitchen makes buyers start deducting from their offers and calculating how much it’s going to cost them to redo. But you can make the kitchen look great with a minor remodel that costs less than $20,000 but adds at least that much in value.

Teresa Mears, writing for U.S. News & World Report, explains that the general rule for spending on a kitchen remodel is about 25 percent of the home’s value. Spend any more, and you are unlikely to recover it in value. Master certified remodeler David Pekel also cautions that remodels should keep the architectural style of the house to keep value. Renovations to the home’s existing envelope, such as replacing windows, can be cheaper than more expensive remodels but add just as much value with aesthetics and energy savings while making occupants more comfortable.

The 2014 Cost vs. Value Report showed the average cost of a minor kitchen remodel nationwide was $18,856 for new appliances, countertops, cabinet doors, paint and hardware.

Adding a Deck

Adding a deck made from composite materials that are long-lasting and low or no-maintenance returns almost all the value of the cost of the project. A deck not only adds resale value, but lifestyle value as well, which Aaron says is much harder to quantify but is just as important. Even wooden decks are a good value and provide return on investment while adding a lot of extra usable space to the home.

Wooden Deck

Credit: Shutterstock

What Home Buyers Want

The National Association of Home Builders study “What Home Buyers Want” revealed that aside from strong resale value, home buyers want energy-efficiency and organization and storage. Remodels that include ENERGY STAR rated appliances and windows, spacious and well-appointed laundry rooms, walk-in pantries, and bathroom and garage storage will make life easier for current residents and attract buyers who want these lifestyle features in the homes they buy.

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