If you are undecided about where to spend your home improvement money in 2015 this report breakdown can be a great tool for you.
These annual reports are the result of a collaboration between Remodeling Magazine and the National Association of Realtors.
For Middle Atlantic (PA, NJ, NY) home owners, here are the lists of projects, with the percentage of investment return at resale, with our notes, for midrange and upscale projects.
$$ Midrange Projects $$
1) Steel Entry Door Replacement - 88.5% - This is the least costly of the listed projects and has been #1 for three years running. Pair it with some stone veneer and you can't go wrong.
2) Manufactured Stone Veneer - 78.1% - This is the first new addition to the list in at least three years and with so many wonderful options and applications it is a must do project!
3) Garage Door Replacement - 77.5% - Similar to front doors, this is a very visible project and also a less costly one to undertake.
4) Wood Deck Additions - 69.9% - More cost effective than composite decking and also consistently holds a better value. I would argue that this would be #3 in our area.
5) Vinyl Siding Replacement - 68.6% - A very good choice when upgrading from T1-11 and beautiful mixed with Manufactured Stone Veneer.
6) Attic Bedroom - 68.5% - A consistently decent return on investment over the last three years. Probably this is a good project to undertake when you already need roofing work done. This is the most costly project in the top 10.
7) Minor Kitchen Remodel - 68% - No change from last year with the return and still slightly higher than 2013's number of 66.2%.
8) Fiberglas Entry Door Replacement - 66.4% - More costly than steel and less desirable. This option consistently performs lower than steel doors.
9) Wood Window Replacement - 66.1% - Slightly more costly than vinyl with very similar returns over the last three years. It's a toss up.
10) Vinyl Window Replacement - 64.8% - Slightly less expensive than wood with similar returns. Consider overall aesthetics with these choices.
11) Composite Deck Addition - 62.2% - Much more costly than wood and consistently has a lower return. Not as popular as wood in our area so this would probably rank lower locally.
12) Major Kitchen Remodel - 60.6% - Consistently returns in the lower 60's over the last three years but took an also 4% hit from 2014's report. For the amount of money involved that translates into a decent pinch but if your kitchen is circa 1975 it is probably a good way to go.
13) Bathroom Remodel - 58.3% - ROI is lower than 2014 but still higher than 2013. Like kitchens, if your bathroom hasn't left the disco era than it will be money well spent.
14) Basement Remodel - 57.9% - The average job cost on this will fluctuate wildly based on what you have now. If you have ever seen water in your basement or have mold, those issues need to be addressed first.
15) Roofing Replacement - 57% - If you have a chimney make sure it is flashed correctly and the roof has an adequate chimney cricket.
16) Backup Power Generator - 56.3% - This project took a huge hit from 2014 when it was 77%! Unless we have another storm like Sandy in the near future the money spent for this project (avg. job cost $12,445) is probably better spent on other things.
17) Garage Addition - 55.4% - These are tricky if you will only have your home a short time and it's not something you need. If you not going to use it for yourself but your resale value demands it, absolutely add a garage.
18) Family Room Addition - 55.3% - You usually will not go wrong with adding additional living space. This one has hovered in the mid to upper 50's for three years so it is no exception to that rule.
19) Two-Story Addition - 54.4% - The most costly of the midrange projects. As with any project you need to be sure you will get value for the money. If this is improperly done the ROI will be extremely lowered and due to the average cost ($169,889) that will translate into a big dollar loss.
20) Master Suite Addition - 53.9% - The second most expensive project on the list comes in with a dismal return compared to the others.
21) Bathroom Addition - 47.1% - Locally I see this one as being much higher on this list. It is not uncommon to find a three bedroom one bath home locally. Adding an attic bedroom (or basement remodel) and a bathroom addition would greatly increase the value of those homes.
22) Sunroom Addition - 41.3% - This should be, in my opinion, also higher on this list in our local area. Due to our abundant natural beauty, a sunroom (or 'Pocono Room') added onto a wood deck is NOT a 41.3% return. It is practically expected.
23) Home Office Remodel - 38.7% - This is consistently the lowest returner. Better bets would be to add an attic bedroom and use that as an office or finish the basement and use that area. Both of those items will perform better for you than a dedicated office area.
$$ Upscale Projects $$
1) Fiber Cement Siding Replacement - 71.9% - This was also number one on the 2013 report. Pair this with some stone veneer siding and you can't go wrong.
2) Garage Door Replacement - 71.8% - This was number two in 2014 and being a visible project it is certainly a big boost to any property. It also enjoys being the lowest expense on this list.
3) Foam Backed Vinyl Siding Replacement- 68.4% - Another great pairing with stone veneer that enjoys a good return in the high 60's year after year.
4) Vinyl Window Replacement - 63.1% - These upscale windows have dropped in resale value since 2013. If it doesn't make a difference in the home's aesthetics the midrange windows perform better.
5) Wood Window Replacements - 60.8% - These too have dropped lower than their 2013 numbers. As with number four, if you can go midrange you will get back more of your investment.
6) Fiberglass Grand Entrance - 59.6% - If your home's value calls for it then you can't go wrong.
7) Roofing Replacement - 52.5% - Upscale roofing has a similar return to the midrange version but a much higher price tag. Take into consideration the visibility of your roof when making these decisions.
8) Composite Deck Addition - 52.1% - This has a lower return than 2013 and I would expect it to be lower on this list locally. Wood is the way to go in our area.
9) Major Kitchen Remodel - 51.9% - This return is lower than the 2013 percentage for upscale projects. The midrange projects are performing better.
10) Bathroom Remodel - 51% - Hovering around 50% for three years but with more than double a midrange project's price tag......maybe somewhere in between is the best bet.
11) Bathroom Addition - 50.8% - Added square footage is not a bad thing. Adding very expensive square footage needs to be thought through. Most homes in our area will benefit from a new bathroom so this item will likely perform better in our local market but I'd stay near the midrange price.
12) Master Suite Addition - 46.3% - The most expensive project on the upscale list is almost dead last. It was last in 2014 and 2013. Your money may be better spent in other areas until we see where this number goes.
13) Garage Addition - 45.7% - Upscale garages aren't performing regionally and I would not suspect them to perform any better locally. Stick to the midrange options unless your home's value demands all the bells and whistles.
Bill Pearn Masonry Blog
Quality construction does not only build structures, it also builds: town pride, small business opportunity, beautiful neighborhoods, home equity, and ultimately better lives.
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