Winning Renovations

When you get that itch to remodel, it’s smart to consider which renovations will deliver the best Return on Investment (ROI) when selling your home. If you’re planning to live in your house or condo for several years, your enjoyment of the upgrade should also be taken into account.

While the home improvements listed below typically provide the best ROI, it’s important to realize that there will be variations based on your community and neighborhood, as well as the cost and quality of the updates themselves.

First impressions still count. A steel door replacement will yield an average return of 101.8%.1 Other valuable improvements include siding and garage door replacement. Beyond these doors, many interior projects will serve you well.

Kitchen updates are often listed as the quintessential renovation – and for good reason. The kitchen is often the heart of a home. In addition to the enjoyment and convenience of an updated kitchen, it generally produces an average return of 79.3%.1

The benefit of bathroom updates varies. Homes with only one bathroom can recoup 80% or more of the cost to add another one. However, the ROI is less predictable for homes that already have two or more bathrooms. 2

Adding a deck can increase your home’s value, especially in warmer climates where outdoor living is part of the culture.

Attic insulation also pays good dividends with a typical ROI of 116.9%. While this update isn’t highly visible, energy efficiency is important to buyers – and the cost to blow loose fiberglass insulation into an attic is relatively low. 3

Projects That Don’t Pay

In terms of ROI, there are several updates to AVOID. These include in-ground swimming pools, gourmet kitchens with high-end appliances, sunrooms and garage additions. Some remodeling projects vary greatly in their payoff, so it’s wise to get input from a local real estate professional or appraiser before undertaking a high-end bathroom makeover, addition of a master suite or roof replacement.

Prior to opening your checkbook and scheduling a contractor, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this project necessary to bring our home in line with local sales prices? Reviewing sites like can provide you with important insight.
  • Am I making this update for our family to enjoy while we continue living here? If so, the ROI is only one part of the equation.
  • Does my proposed renovation make sense in our region? In our neighborhood? A real estate prof can help you review comps to determine this.

Best wishes as you move forward with your home improvement projects!

- By Keisha Dunstan, Aug 22, 2016