Will your project pay off? For a trustworthy estimate, consult Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report to find comprehensive data you can use to gauge whether a given upgrade is likely to add home value.
The methodology of the report evolves every year. Currently, three streams of information are taken into account: typical project costs, home sale prices, and survey data from the National Association of Realtors.
You can’t know the exact dollar amount to be returned by a renovation you’re considering, but the report may help you locate the sweet spot between adding home value and going overboard—spending more than you’re likely to recoup upon resale.
Most useful are the regional estimates indicating the likely return for upgrades, whether routine or extravagant. Nationally, the top five high-value projects are:
Replacing an entry door
Replacing a deck
Replacing a garage door
Completing a minor kitchen remodel
This hit parade underscores the overriding caution that pervades most home improvement projects. While replacement projects return a national average of 67.6%, remodeling projects that incorporate upgrades, on average, return 59.7% of the initial investment.