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Home Renovations That Increase Your Resale Value (2010 Edition)

Submitted by on April 13, 2010 – 5:52 AM4 Comments

Not all home improvement projects are created equalNot all home improvements are created equal. Especially if you’re looking for “resale value” back from your work.

An article from the Wall Street Journal lays it out cleanly. Function beats flash these days so be wary of where you spend.

Environmental upgrades such as home insulation and energy-efficient steel entry doors are recovering a much greater percentage of their cost these days than major remodels including kitchens or bathrooms.  This is especially true for homes that are already “over-improved” relative to the neighborhood.

Upgrading the biggest and best homes on the block can be a losing proposition.

The article’s findings include data from groups such as the National Association of Home Builders, Remodeling Magazine, and Consumer Reports.  It lists the following home improvements among its top “paybacks”:

  • Steel entry door replacement : 129% cost recovery
  • Wood deck addition : 81% cost recovery
  • Vinyl-replacement window : 77% cost recovery

Energy-efficiency projects also recoup costs monthly in the form of lower heating and cooling bills.

Remodeling Magazine says a larger number of homeowners will remodel their homes in 2010 with less emphasis on upgrading kitchens and bathrooms, and more emphasis on adding new rooms.  From an appraisal perspective, this is a terrific way to increase your home’s value — especially if your home’s bed/bath count lags your neighbors.

Before starting a home improvement project, regardless of whether your goal is increase resale value, talk with a real estate agent about other homes in the area and how they’re built. At worst, you’ll gather some ideas you can work into your plan. At best, you’ll keep yourself from over-improving.

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  • Go Green. Insulate, turn down water heaters, seal bottoms of doors. this will reduce your carbon footprint as well as save you money.

  • Some very useful tips here that i think will work for me. thanks

  • Kate says:

    Does adding vynil siding to a brick home that is roughly 35 years old add value or is it just extra spending?


  • Cheryl Bower says:

    Hi Kate,

    thank you for visiting.

    Curious why you are interested in installing vinyl over brick? Is it for aesthetic purposes or for maintenance purposes?

    I can’t say that I’ve seen vinyl siding that is very attractive whereas brick depending on style can be very attractive.

    Happy to talk more about approach/value &/or I can put you in touch with appropriate trades people.