Have you ever wondered which home improvement projects add the most value to your house? Which renovations will pay off the most? We have. This guide will help you filter home additions by return on investment
So, we looked into it and discovered the 10 best home improvements for resale right now.
Here’s what we found.
Top 10 home improvements that pay off right now
While some projects allow you to earn back most of your investment, others won’t even come close. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you decide which projects to pursue.
You’ll learn details about each project, their average cost and resale value, and what industry experts have to say about it.
Home improvement ROI chart
Here’s a quick chart of the 10 best home renovations by ROI that includes the average cost recouped, average project cost, and average resale value.
Now let’s look at each project in more detail to see why they are the rainmakers of home improements.
1. Attic Insulation (fiberglass)
This project involves a contractor air sealing the attic floor. Doing so prevents your home’s inside air from leaking out. Fiberglass loose-fill insulation is added to the thickness, known as R-30.
Brian Davis, Co-founder of Spark Rental, weighed in on this project saying, “According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 report, only one home upgrade had a positive ROI when it came time to sell: new attic fiberglass insulation. Hardly the sexiest home upgrade, but very practical, boosting energy efficiency and dropping utility bills.”
2. Entry door replacement (steel)
Steel doors have insulating properties that help to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Installing one involves removing the existing door and jambs first. Afterward, a contractor will add a new steel door with new jambs, and an aluminum threshold with a composite stop. Additionally, they will replace the lockset and add new casings.
Davis points out, “Of the top three projects for ROI in this report– attic insulation, entry door replacement, and stone veneer– only the third is cosmetic. The first two represent more practical concerns of energy efficiency and security.”
3. Manufactured stone veneer
Popular over the last decade, stone veneer siding can significantly improve curb appeal. Manufactured stone is a combination of Portland cement, aggregates, and iron oxides that are baked in molds so they look like natural stone. This project involves removing existing vinyl siding in an area of approximately 300-square feet.
The area is typically street-facing, on the bottom third of the home, and around the main entrance. Next comes adding two layers of water-resistant barriers, lath and fasteners that are resistant to corrosion, a mortar coat, seating bed, and the stones.
Tonya Bruin of To Do Done says, “Many people don’t realize that making updates to the exterior of the home can also bring in a very substantial return on investment – not to mention, boosting curb appeal which makes your home more attractive on the market.”
4. Upscale garage door replacement
An upscale garage door replacement involves removing the existing garage doors and tracks and installing replacements that come with a lifetime warranty.
The new setup includes heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks, thermal seals, pitch-resistant panels, and a high tensile strength steel door with foam insulation to a level of R-12. Lastly, the windows are made from insulated glass that is 1/2-inch thick.
Connor Roberson of A Plus Garage Doors points out, “The Remodeling annual report shows that, for upscale renovations, a garage door replacement has the single best return-on-investment of options in the report, and at the midrange renovations level, it is the fifth best.”
5. Minor kitchen remodel
According to Remodeling, a minor kitchen remodel includes replacing the cabinet and drawer fronts of 30-linear feet of cabinetry with shaker-style wood panels (leaving boxes in tact).
Next, comes replacing old appliances with new energy-efficient ones. Lastly, the renovation cost involves removing laminate countertops and resilient flooring, while adding new mid-priced sink and faucet, new trim, and a new wall covering.
Julie Gans, an expert in home renovations, says, “I think bathrooms and kitchens offer the highest return on investments, as long as the rest of the home is in good condition. It is not worthwhile to redo the kitchen and baths if the rest of the house is in shambles.”
6. Entry door replacement (fiberglass)
Another door replacement option with decent ROI is an upscale fiberglass door. These are tougher than wood or steel doors because they don’t warp, scratch, or dent.
They are also energy-efficient and can be made to look like a real wooden door. The project includes removing the existing door and jambs and adding the new door, trim, casings, and lockset.
“Steel entry doors and fiberglass entry doors come highly recommended, as they are stylish, durable, secure, and can pay for themselves when you place your home on the market – not to mention the energy savings. Since a new entry door typically costs under a couple of thousand dollars even with all the bells and whistles, it makes a great, cost-effective home upgrade,” says Alan Ilyaich, Owner of Eco Choice Windows & Doors
7. Midrange garage door replacement
A midrange garage door replacement differs from an upscale replacement in a few ways. For one, it only has a 10-year limited warranty vs. the lifetime warranty. Also, the door has no insulation or glass, it’s made from embossed rather than high tensile strength steel, and it has baked-on paint rather than factory-applied.
But even so, this can still be a good option if you’re looking for a more affordable garage door replacement that will offer decent ROI.
8. Siding replacement
New siding can give a home a fresh new look. The project includes replacing 1,250 square feet of siding and all the trim at openings.
9. Window replacement vinyl
This project price includes adding 10 insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite vinyl windows. Additionally, it includes interior and exterior finishes, and the exterior trim.
Michael Bohm, Owner of BM Windows, says, “Replacing a home’s windows is one of the smartest investments someone can make in what is, for most people, their largest investment–their home. New windows are noticeably more energy-efficient than older, single pane windows with aluminum frames.”
He adds, “Experts estimate that homeowners can recoup between 70% and 80% of the project cost of replacing windows when they sell their home. They can also save hundreds of dollars per year (depending on the climate in which they live) in heating and cooling costs. In that sense, window replacement essentially pays for itself, making it a home improvement project with an excellent ROI.”
10. Deck addition (wood)
The average deck addition measures 16 by 20 feet. It contains pressure-treated joists and deck boards, four by four posts, and concrete piers. Additional features include stairs, a bench, a planter, and a rail system.
Owner of Decking Hero, Thomas O’Rourke, says, “Generally we find that garden decking is one of those projects with a fantastic ROI, as it can really add to the value of your property, provided you do it right.”
Home additions return on investment: Maximize your ROI
Now you know the top 10 home additions ranked by return on investment. What else can help you maximize ROI? It comes down to getting the work done right and minimizing costs.
This will require finding a reputable contractor you can trust that offers competitive pricing. HomeAdvisor ProFinder is an easy way to locate vetted professionals in your area.
How to finance home improvement projects
How you pay for your projects will impact your costs. For example, if you get a three-year personal loan with a 3% interest rate, you can save more than carrying a balance on a credit card with a 15% APR.
Online personal loan interest rates have become highly competitive, so that’s a good place to start. Different personal loans come with different rates, fees and requirements, so check out what the best personal loans are to ensure that you choose the best option for you. To receive personalized quotes from a wide variety of top lenders (without hurting your credit score), you can apply with the SuperMoney loan offer engine.
To further research each lender, you can access in-depth reviews and real user ratings on our Personal Loan Review page.
Finding the lowest rate you qualify for will ensure that you’ll pay the lowest possible price for financing your home improvement project.
So, the main takeaways here for homeowners are:
- Choose a project with high ROI
- Carefully vet contractors and choose the one that offers the best value
- Compare lenders to find the best deal on financing
By following these steps, you can rest assured that your home addition will be cost-effective and completed with high-quality.
Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, Commonbond, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Guardian, Personalloans.org and many others. She specializes in taking personal finance topics like loans, credit cards, and budgeting, and making them accessible and fun.