The 2019 COST VS VALUE REPORT is here!!
Remodeling Magazine compares average costs for 22 remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 136 U.S. markets.
We've broken out the numbers by Mid-Atlantic regional averages and then by our closest local market data, which is Allentown PA.
Here are our picks for the best home improvement projects to increase property value in 2019.
We've included: the average percentage recouped at resale, both in the regional market and closest local market. Plus, any thoughts we have for local home improvement projects.
There you have it folks! If you are planning home improvements for 2019, crunch the numbers and get the most out of your hard earned money!
View the full report here: https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2019/
Follow us on social media for home improvement ideas, trends and tips!
It doesn’t feel like it now, but, fall is just a few weeks away.
You can save money this winter by taking a little time to prepare your home during the autumn months.
Here is our Top Ten Fall Home Maintenance Checklist for 2018.
Call us if you need us: (267)226-8293
We all have the ability to improve our home’s value even with the ever changing real estate market. Simple well thought out home improvements will pay off years later with a little planning.
Things that affect your home’s value:
Weekend DIY Projects: Some inexpensive ideas to add value to your home now!
- Add some mulch
- Tend to your plants, shrubs, and trees
- Refresh your paint where you see peeling or chipping
- Clear the clutter from the yard and garage
Home Improvements worth paying for in 2018:
- Manufactured Stone Veneer
- Garage Door Replacements
- Entry Door Replacements (steel)
- Deck Addition (wood)
Read about the 2018 Cost VS. Value report from Remodeling Magazine: www.billpearnmasonry.com/blog/home-improvements-2018-cost-vs-value-report
Welcome to summer! Here is a quick run down of some of the top DIY home improvement projects you should be focusing on this season. Then, with the kids getting out of school soon, we included a great list of kid friendly DIY projects in the second part with a Pinterest Board of examples.
Have a wonderful summer everyone!
Dryer Vents – Detach and thoroughly clean your dryer vent from the dryer to the outside of your home. Don’t forget to unplug the dryer before working on this.
Paint –Summer is a great time to work on your home’s exterior and fresh paint is an affordable way to create a new look. Along with prepping the area, be ready to fix damaged or rotting wood. This project will give you a big leg up preparing your home’s exterior for winter weather.
Windows – Older windows can create costly home heating leaks in colder months. If you can’t afford to replace all your windows you can simply start with one room or one side of the home and then continue with the rest next summer.
Power Washing – Siding, decks, walkways and patios all benefit from occasional power washing. If you don’t own, or don’t want to buy, a power washer you can simply rent one from your local equipment rental business.
Stain and Seal Wooden Decks – Keep your wooden deck looking new with regular maintenance. Staining and sealing will beautify your deck for all your summer activities and protect it from the elements. Be sure to check its structural integrity annually.
Pool Deck Repairs – Simple timely pool deck repairs will save you thousands in the long run. Watch for cracks, popping, and any shifting in the pool deck materials and correct accordingly.
Kid Friendly DIY Projects!
Teaching kids to maintain their own home will be lessons that benefit them their entire life. Try these kid friendly summer projects to teach your children new skills while creating new memories!
Sandbox – Planning and building a sandbox is a great summer building project for the whole family and it creates a new seasonal play area. Be sure to include a sandbox cover to keep animals out when it is not in use.
Tree Swing – All you need is some rope and wood, or an old tire, for this project! If you use a tire be sure to create a drainage hole in the bottom so rainwater runs out.
Bird Houses – If you don’t have the tools to cut scrap wood then bird house kits will be just fine. Each child can paint their house as they’d like and then they can watch and learn about their new tenants!
Gardening – Any kind of small garden is a fun way to create new summer activities. You can try vegetable, herb, or flower gardens in a variety of sizes.
Mulch – New mulch is a fast affordable way to create visual appeal to your landscaping and it’s something that the whole family can do! Layout the outside of your mulched area and let the kids fill it in and rake it out.
Check out our Pinterest board of kid friendly DIY projects and ideas:
Conserving water isn't something we immediately think of when the spring melt off is in full swing and everyone's minds are turning to their concerns about their damp basements.
However, since the spring home improvement season is in full swing this is a great time to take a critical look at your water consumption to reduce your use all year long.
Conserving water may save on water bills (if you are on a shared system) or home maintenance costs (well systems) since less use will reduce the wear and tear on your well pump, holding tank, hot water heater, etc.
Check out this info-graphic by SanifloDepot for great DIY home maintenance tips on how you can reduce your water needs.
Our top 10 Spring home maintenance checklist for 2018!
Here is your Spring home maintenance checklist to start getting your home ready for Spring and Spring home improvement projects.
We also have the printable Spring Home Maintenance Checklist PDF attached at the bottom with areas for homeowner notes, contractors to call, and ideas for home improvement projects.
Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
1. Roof Maintenance – look for:
• lost or damaged shingles
• damaged or warping of flashing
• water stains
• any sagging in the roof line.
2. Gutter Maintenance – look for:
• leaking gutters
• clogged gutters
• improper downspout drainage
3. Chimney Maintenance – look for:
• damage to chimney and cap
• damage to cricket
4. Concrete – look for:
• signs of movement
• improper drainage
• surface damage
5. Outside Faucets – look for:
• freeze damage
• damage to hoses
6. Yard Tools – look for:
• discolored gasoline
• check batteries and chargers
• clean equipment
• sharpen blades
7. Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for:
• loss of or loose mortar
8. Deck and porches – look for:
• loose spindles and rails
• rotted wood
• damage or rust on ledger board and bolts
9. Wood burning Fireplaces – look for:
• rust and damage on damper
• missing mortar joints between fire brick
• rust or damage on spark arrestor
10. Exterior Walls – look for:
• water stains
• check for openings
• damaged areas or knots that have popped out
Remodeling Magazine has published their annual home improvements cost vs. value report!
There aren't a lot of surprises this year so we'll just highlight some home improvements that should be on the minds of home owners in our area, starting with their top suggestion for our Mid-Atlantic Region.
#1 Best Home Improvement ROI for 2018
Manufactured Stone Veneer: Home owners are looking at an almost 94% return on investment with this home improvement.
Our suggestion: Be open minded about stone types. The big box stores can often be more expensive than independently owned retailers and certain types of stone veneers can require more labor costs than others. Visit our siding page for stone veneer ideas.
#2 - Garage Door Replacements (90,6% ROI)
#3 - Entry Door Replacements (steel) (78.4% ROI)
Our suggestion: These two home improvements are both minor projects but they also give a big boost to the look and feel of your home. Replace both doors at the same time with complimentary styles for maximum curb appeal.
#4 - Deck Addition (wood) (74.1% ROI)
Our suggestion: Decks and/or patios are necessary features for homes in the Poconos. Most homes will have one or both, or need one or both to maximize the home's functional space.
Wood decks are again outperforming composite decking this year and with a sizable cost difference it is easy to see why.
If you have a deck now, inspect it regularly. Every single year older decks fail in the Poconos because they were not built to reflect current codes, or, they have not been properly maintained.
If you need help with ideas for new decks/patios, or with understanding the lifespan of your current deck, visit our decks page.
#20 - Backyard Patio (43.9% ROI)
Our suggestion: The write up they give for this project makes it a major home improvement project with a good amount of maintenance and a high price tag ($56.067). For most home owners in our area, this specific project as described is going to be a financially out of reach home improvement.
We would likely suggest a backyard patio design that is similar in size (20'x20') but with less expensive features, at least initially. Our well thought out designs are beautiful projects on their own, but also leave plenty of opportunity for additional upgrades. Visit our landscaping page for great patio ideas.
To learn more about the entire list of home improvement projects, visit this link: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2018/middle-atlantic/
Here is our latest top ten tips for winter home maintenance!
There is always plenty to do this time of year so check our other blog posts for our winter tips lists from years past.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Pocono homes are still rich with paneling from decades ago. On the upside, paneling walls are generally very sturdy and long lasting. On the downside, paneling walls immediately date the look of your home.
Painting your walls is one of the most cost effective DIY home improvements available to home owners. Painting paneling walls, is one of the fastest and easiest way to create a fresh new look and updated feel in your home.
This DIY project may vary slightly depending on exactly what kind of paneling you have and the desired end result.
5 How To Steps for painting your paneling walls:
1. Make sure the walls are clean. Some Dawn dish soap, water, a bucket and sponge, along with some elbow grease will be all you need. Make sure the walls are free of smudges, buildup, and grease.
Pro Tip: Using extra lights will help you create a polished look by allowing you to see all the small detail areas that need attention throughout this process.
2. Do the walls have a shine? If your paneling has any kind of sheen to it you will need to get rid of that shiny top coat to allow the paint will stick. Any local paint store will have some removal agents that can be wiped on, but, a light sanding will also complete this step.
Pro Tip: Use a shop vac liberally or use a sander with a dust collector to save time cleaning up.
3. Step back and consider: Outlets, light switches, trim, and defects. If your paneling color and paint color are very different shades you may need to replace the electrical fixtures and trim, or, paint them to get the look you'd like.
Tip: This is the best time to fix any dings, holes, or loose nails in your walls.
4. Prime! Use a good primer from the paint store, use a brush to cut in around all the edges, and then roll an even coat of primer on everything that will be painted. If you have any areas that require extra cleaning or sanding you should be able see and fix them at this point.
Tip: Most wall paneling has grooves so once the primer coat is on you will have a good visual idea of how those grooves will, or won't, work with the look you are trying to achieve. If you really don't like them you can fill them in with some Spackle.
5. Paint! A good coat of interior latex paint is your next step. Use a brush to neatly cut in around the edges and roll, or brush, a good coat on everything else. Once the paint has dried you can decide whether or not you will need any additional coats.
Pro Tip: When you buy your paint, get a little extra so you have a perfect match for future touch ups.
That is pretty much all there is to this DIY home improvement project. If you try it, post your results in the comment section.
If you have a suggestion for a future DIY blog topic post it in comments section below!
Landscaping with gravel is simple, clean, beautiful, affordable, and environmentally friendly.
Gravel can be used for large and small landscaping projects. It lends itself well to driveways, walkways, and foundation skirts, as well as decorative borders for trees, shrubs, and fencing.
A variety of gravel types, colors and sizes can be used to create visually interesting areas that are also low maintenance and have extensively long lifespans.
This type of landscaping is very approachable as a DIY project, but it is also an affordable option to have done by a hired Home Improvement Contractor.
The ease of upgrading these projects creates a win-win for home owners since the original material investment is almost never lost. Plain gravel can be easily upgraded with paving stones, brick, concrete, more gravel types, and more decorative pebbles and stones to create a more sophisticated look.
Few home improvements are as timeless and worthwhile as gravel landscaping.
Visit our Pinterest Landscaping board for an amazing variety of landscaping ideas from around the web!
I don't know who to credit the image below to, but, it is a perfect example of the versatility of gravel landscaping.
I found it on Pinterest.
When done correctly, a finished basement is a cost effective way to add valuable living space to your home. This blog is a general guide to help you save money and have a successful home improvement project. Every home is unique, however, these basic principles will apply to almost every home in our service area.
If you are planning this type of home improvement project, you will save a lot of money in the long run by first properly examining your basement for potential areas of failure and necessary upgrades. For example, here in the Pike County PA area moisture penetration, insect/animal activity, and high levels of radon are all common issues for home owners. It is much cheaper for the home owner to address these issues right in the beginning their project.
Let’s look at your basement from the bottom up.
Anyone looking to finish a basement should already have a concrete basement floor. Take a good hard look at the quality of the concrete work and any defects in the floor such as: cracks, moisture penetration, or uneven areas. Those items need to be addressed prior to framing and with a consideration of what type of flooring will be going on top of it. You can use concrete stain and sealers to finish your existing floor if it is in good enough shape, or, you can use it as subflooring for another type of flooring system. If you do not already have a concrete basement floor, give us a call and we’ll make sure your project gets off to a great start.
You need to understand what your foundation is made of, and when it was built, so you can assess the remaining lifespan of that material. No home owner benefits from paying for a finished basement if it floods or molds over in a year because of a failure in the foundation.
Whether your basement is made of cinder block, concrete block, poured concrete, or stone you are looking for the following issues: cracks, rotation, disintegration, moisture, missing mortar, and caulk. No one should be using caulk to fix defects in the mortar. That is a band aid fix that will fail much faster than simply replacing the mortar.
Basement Windows and Basement Doors
Now is the time to make decisions about whether or not to change or upgrade the windows and doors. Prior to considerations about insulating your basement or adding basement heaters: look at how the age of the windows or doors will affect heating efficiency. In addition to that, also look for rotting of the frames and look at the general functionality of the items. Do you have good ingress and egress? Do your existing windows and doors match your idea of how you’d like your finished basement to look?
Take a good look at the sill plate, floor joists, and main beam for rotting or warping and for insect or animal activity. Also take a look at the main beam supports. Check the spans on your supports and make sure you have proper support for your beam, especially if you plan on later renovations upstairs.
Electrical and plumbing issues for the entire home should also be taken into consideration at this point. Any work that may need to be done there to bring things up to code is far more efficiently done prior to finishing the basement. The same goes for moving any utilities (water heaters, holding tanks, etc.) that are currently housed in the basement.
Take a look at our Basements page for repair options and great basement finishing ideas!
When you have those areas of your basement ready you will be in a good position to continue with your project.
The specific needs of your home should dictate the types of construction methods used to frame and finish it, but, these videos from This Old House are good overviews for what comes next.
How to Frame Out Basement Walls - This Old House
How to Frame Walls for a Basement Room - This Old House
Follow this home improvement blog for all your DIY or professionally done projects.
If you have a specific topic you’d like to see us cover, leave a comment below.
I have worked in almost every single Home Owners Association in Pike County, PA and many in Monroe County and Wayne County.
Most places are very nicely run, but I have had several customers discuss with me alarming stories regarding their HOA and how it conducts business.
Unfortunately for me, my HOA Horror Story tends to be the worst of them all.
I moved to Shohola with my wife and son with the intention of building a life and a business.
We enjoy the Delaware River, DVSD schools have been very nice, and all of my customers have allowed me to make an honest living.
I never anticipated that simply living the American Dream makes you a target.
I have been fighting a neighboring HOA in court, and winning, for over six years.
They initially sued me on a $5,400 "back dues" bill. I don't owe any dues, let alone back dues. The "bills' I received only went up from that amount.
Eventually they sued me for these "back dues". The judgments are on the website linked at the bottom.
Currently, May 2017, they are appealing me to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania because they are unhappy with the $30.00 judgement they received because THEY pushed us to go to a non-jury trial last year. That is not a typo, that is thirty dollars.
The local judges have been spot on with their judgments. The HOA just doesn't seem to like that they are told they are wrong.
I did not buy a home in an HOA because I did not WANT a home in an HOA. If you think this can't happen to you, your friends, or in your neighborhood HOA, you are very wrong. I have worked in enough HOAs in the last 15 years to see the strength and weaknesses of the different communities.
Please take a few moments to read about our story and then sign the petition if you do not agree with the HOA.
Here is my HOA Horror Story: Poconos Edition
Home improvement cost vs value report for 2017.
Here is a list of some of the best home improvement investments you can make, and the percentage of costs recouped at resale, for projects in 2017.
Manufactured stone veneer, additional benefits: durable, pest resistant, fire proof, water resistant, a wide variety of choices. Visit my siding page for inspiration!
Basement remodel, additional benefits: additional living space, healthier home, better insulation, higher resale value, pest control, radon mitigation. Visit my basements page for inspiration!
Backyard patio, tick resistant, surface water management, outdoor living space, curb appeal, lower outdoor maintenance. Visit my landscaping page for inspiration!
Benefits of adding an addition: higher resale value, additional living space, design aesthetics, cheaper than moving, enjoyment factor. Visit my foundation page to learn about how I can help you get started!
For the full list of top national home improvement projects for 2017 go to:
I know there are a zillion how to articles on home improvement websites that deal with this topic but I’d like to add my two cents anyway. We meet people of all walks of life every week. We have worked in this industry in our little corner of the world for over 12 years now and I've seen some patterns that leave consumers unhappy at the end of their project. Here are my top 3 ways to have a happy construction project.
Consumer Tip #1 – NO NOT shop by price only! To many home owners fall into the lowest bid trap. All contractors are not created equal. Their experience, process, and the materials used will make the price of a project fluctuate. You may in fact find that the lowest proposed price is the best option for you. You may find that the highest price is the worst quality..... BUT you will only know this if you are comparing apples to apples and not apples to oranges.
For example: If you need your front step repaired and you get three proposals (I say proposals because they are hard numbers and not akin to estimates which are a faster guessed type of price) and those proposals are $500, $1,000, and $1,500. Ok so what you need to know is why there is a price spread. Do not assume that the plan for repair is the same across the board. It may be very likely that the $500 proposal is to caulk the steps. That may be it. Just caulk. You could caulk it yourself for about $30. The $1,000 proposal may be for joint repair where that contractor is planning on repairing all the joints. This is a good thing! This is a better long term option than the $500 proposal so it will save you money over time. Now the $1,500 proposal may be repairing all the joints PLUS fixing the water issue that caused the problem in the first place. That is even better! Ideally (budget allowing) this is what you want to have done.
Proposals are not always as straight forward as I described. The caulk contractor may be the $1,000 person and the joint repair may be the $500 person because they live a mile away and the overhead is less. So to be able to compare apples to apples ask to have a description of work and materials used in the proposal. Those items need to be in the PA contract anyway so it’s not a big deal to ask for a quick summary on the proposal. Most contractors work up these numbers between work, kids, household responsibilities, emails and phone calls so it’s easy to leave it off simply to be timely in getting the price to the consumer who is often in a rushed state. Which brings me to #2…..
Consumer Tip #2 – DO NOT be in a rush! Plan early when you have a project in mind so that you can shop for the best contractor to work with. On numerous occasions we have had customers that decide on …oh say… Thursday that they want to have a chimney repaired by Sunday. So they call a list of names they find on the internet and just hire whoever has the time to do it. These are the Home Improvement Gamblers. They MAY get lucky. They MAY get a reputable person who happened to have the time to fit you in but the odds are against them. The most likely scenario here is that the consumer will find a person who is not busy, because they have a poor work history or little work history, or they will find someone whose plan is to send over an inexperienced crew member just so the job can get done and the monies collected. Do not be a Gambler. Simply plan ahead a bit. If you find you do have a more urgent need but the contractor you liked the best is busy for a few weeks ask them if they can do a short term repair to prevent more damage. It may simply need a tarp put on it or have some temporary supports put in. Maybe the temporary fix will be nominal charge (and possibly credited back in the contract) to cover costs but in the long term it will likely be money well spent…..and well spent money is spent LOCALLY.
Consumer Tip #3 – BUY LOCAL! Your local small businesses are your best bet to avoid problems. There are a number of reasons for this but I will elaborate on my top five.
A) Small local businesses care about their communities. You want to hire a person who owns a home in your general area such as your county or a neighboring county. They will have a vested interest in staying established and doing things well to maintain a good reputation. Look around you. Look for contractors you see at school functions, at local government meetings, at the local stores, at the doctor/dentist/vet, etc.
B) Do you see someone who is a good potential business? Learn about them online. Hopefully they have a website with some information. Check their PA Home Improvement Contractor status. ***Check to be sure they have NOT changed business names very often!!*** I have seen this numerous times up here. If someone changes their business name from Bill Pearn Masonry (a sole proprietor name) to Pike County Masons LLC that is OK. They upgraded from a sole proprietor to a corporation. That is certainly a normal course of business. If they change it from something like Pike County Masons LLC to something like Pocono Masons LLC be very wary. It is costly to do a lateral type change like that so it is likely that it means they went bankrupt. Now bankruptcy is not necessarily their fault. Things like injuries/illnesses and divorces can cause issues where financial reconstruction is necessary, but, I know one home improvement business up here that has changed names FIVE times in 12 years. Do not EVER hire someone like that. The nice thing about local businesses is that it is easier to look this stuff up. Out of state guys….well, you never know ……..
C) Big box stores are a rip off. Period. They will only sell you products they inventory and they only hire the lowest bidder. Then you pay their percentage markup on all of that. You’re paying a medium price for a lowest bid product.
D) Hire someone you like. Good tradespeople do not necessarily make good business people because they have been hard at work learning their trade. Good business people do not necessarily make good tradespeople because they have been learning to sell and not learning how to actually build things. You need to find a person who you like overall and whose vision is in line with yours.
E) Check references, check references, check references! You’re looking for local references with projects done over a span of years. Maybe one person had work done this year, one was last year, and one was five years ago. That is a good span because it lets you find out if the work holds up over time and if the long term customer service level is in line with what you’re looking for.
For the full list of top home improvement projects for 2016 go to http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2016/middle-atlantic/
We've all tried the DIY route and we've all tried the low cost route. For a lot of home improvements these are cost effective ways to handle minor repairs.
As we see in the image above, masonry repairs are usually more specialized and benefit from more advanced skills. The handyman who repaired these steps before us only succeeded in adding additional costs to the repair work.
Proper repairs of masonry materials far extend the lifespan of the improvement and therefore maintain its value over a longer period.
1. Once you notice problems don't ignore it. They are not likely to go away. If your busy, or just not sure if you need to pursue it, just take some pics and email them to us. We will be glad to give you a free opinion.
2. Water penetration is one of the biggest concerns in freeze/thaw cycle areas. This is where proper masonry repairs are essential. Short term repairs, such as caulk, will only increase the costs of, and possibly complicate, a proper repair.
3. Masonry projects have an incredibly long lifespan. Don't be easily persuaded to rip them out in lieu of newer materials. That 1960's chimney, properly maintained, will still be beautiful and functional for our great grandchildren at minimal cost.
4. Improper chimney repairs can, and will, burn your home down with your family in it. The kicker here is, it is NOT costly or complicated to maintain a wood burning chimney. You simply need to maintain it in a timely manner with a knowledgeable chimney mason.
5. Only hire a mason with experienced. Don't pay someone who says they do masonry. Hire an ACTUAL mason who is experienced in the repairs you need.
Call us today!!
Everything you do, and don’t do, to your real estate can affect its value somehow. This principle makes it imperative that home owners have a sense of awareness about how their home’s value will change when they decide on, or decide to forego, home improvement projects.
One of the many long term perks of masonry construction is the lifespan of the materials. Well installed masonary materials have an incredibly long lifespan compared to wooden, or newer composite materials.
The lifespan is important to appraisal value, for example:
Home Owner A
Both home owners maintain their walkways in a sufficient manner and in 10 years both decide they want to retire to a sunnier climate. Who can blame them!
Anyway, here is what happens at home appraisal time when the walkways are considered:
Home Owner A
Now, here is another possible scenario:
Home Owner A
Home Owner C likes Home Owner A’s walkway but finds a less expensive ‘deal’:
Again, both home owners maintain their walkways in a sufficient manner and in 10 years both decide they want to retire to a sunnier climate.
Home Owner A
Home Owner C
While the initial project budgets are different, in both scenarios the loss on the investment is greater when insufficient materials and installation methods are used.
Careful spending on your home improvement projects will benefit you greatly in the years to come.
Have a project idea? Contact us!
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.
More articles are available on the individual topic pages.
Blog Home Page