Home Renovations with Highest Returns on Investment Revealed

Exterior Home Remodeling is not only great for curb appeal as you can see in this beautiful home during a sunset, but it is also a great investment

According to the latest Cost vs. Value report from housing market research firm Zonda Media, home renovations focused on curb appeal offer the highest returns on investment in history.

Exterior Projects Dominate Top 10

A striking nine out of the top 10 projects with the highest ROI were exterior improvement projects. The top performers were:

  1. Garage door replacements (194% ROI)
  2. Steel front door upgrades (188% ROI)
  3. Stone veneer installation (100%+ ROI)

“When it comes to adding resale value to a home, exterior replacement projects continue to make the most sense,” said Clay DeKorne, chief editor at Zonda’s JLC Group.

The Importance of Curb Appeal and Exterior Remodeling

Curb appeal is crucial in attracting potential buyers and maximizing a home’s value. A well-maintained and visually appealing exterior can create a strong first impression and set the tone for the entire property.

Shane Rosenow, Owner of Rosenow Customs in Neenah, Wisconsin, a popular exterior home remodeling contractor serving the Green Bay and Fox Cities area, emphasizes the value of investing in exterior upgrades. “Roofing, siding, and windows are great investments for homeowners looking to improve their home’s curb appeal and overall value,” Rosenow states. “These projects not only enhance the aesthetic of the home but also provide practical benefits such as improved energy efficiency and protection from the elements.”

Exterior renovations serve many purposes. First, you want to make sure your home is protected. You want to repair any issues on the outside and prevent further damage from occurring. Second, you want to make sure your home looks fantastic. And finally, you also want to make sure you improve the value of your home. A $10,000 renovation that you want is one thing, a $10,000 renovation that adds $20,000 in value to your home is quite another.

New Roofing

NARI found that a new roof will give homeowners an average of 109 percent ROI. Most home buyers don’t want to have to replace a roof; having a new roof is a huge selling point. Additionally, most people aren’t going to buy a home that needs a significant amount of roof repairs. When it comes to new roofing, a new roof can also improve your insulation — making you more comfortable and saving on energy bills. Adding ventilation can also extend the life of your roof, preserving the investment you have already made in your home.

On a practical level, you need to replace your roof periodically regardless. If your roof is 20 to 30 years old, it’s likely approaching the end of its viable lifespan. You’ll have to replace your roof soon if you want to avoid problems such as water damage inside your home.

New Windows

New windows have an ROI of nearly 76 percent. They also improve your insulation by a great deal, depending on how old your existing windows are. Updating all the windows in your property will both save on your energy and can update an older looking home to a modern one.

New Entry Doors

Entry doors don’t just have a high ROI (steel doors provide over 101 percent return), but they’re easy to install and affordable. If you want to change the look of your home through a minor adjustment, entry doors can be the right choice. You can also change out your garage doors to dramatically change the look of your home from the curb.

New Siding

Siding provides an 88.1 percent return on investment. Additionally, like a roof, it can help you save on energy bills; it’s something that continuously provides value. There are many new types of siding today, which are stronger, more attractive, and far easier to maintain.

New Decking

A deck can give you anywhere from 68 percent to 80 percent ROI, depending on the material you use, the size of it, and its functionality. Decking adds appeal and enjoyment to homes, providing additional livable space, and giving people something to help imagine themselves inside the property.

New Paint

Exterior paint is one of the fastest ways to make your property look like new, both to you and potential buyers. Exterior paint has a 55 percent ROI. Light gray, dark gray, blue, and charcoal tend to be the most popular home paint colors, and the colors with the best ROI. Take a cue from your neighbors if you want to see what’s popular in your area.

The Importance of Professional Installation

While the ROI of exterior renovations is impressive, it’s crucial to note that these figures are based on professional installation. Attempting to tackle these projects as a DIY endeavor may result in lower quality work and potentially costly mistakes, ultimately reducing the ROI.

When hiring professionals for exterior renovations, be sure to choose a reputable contractor with experience in the specific type of work you need. Look for contractors who are licensed, insured, and have a proven track record of successful projects. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and to see examples of their previous work.

Balancing ROI with Personal Preferences

While ROI is an important consideration when planning exterior renovations, it’s not the only factor to keep in mind. Your personal preferences and the overall aesthetic of your home should also play a role in your decision-making process.

For example, if you have a strong preference for a particular color or style of siding, it may be worth choosing that option even if it has a slightly lower ROI than another choice. The same goes for features like decking or entry doors – if a particular style or material better suits your taste and complements your home’s architecture, it may be the right choice for you.

Planning Your Exterior Renovation Project

Before embarking on any exterior renovation project, it’s essential to carefully plan and budget for the work. Start by assessing your home’s current condition and identifying any areas that need immediate attention, such as a leaking roof or damaged siding.

Next, prioritize your wishlist of renovations based on a combination of ROI, personal preferences, and budget. Work with your contractor to develop a detailed project plan and timeline, and be sure to factor in any necessary permits or approvals.

Finally, consider the timing of your renovations. While exterior work can be done year-round in many areas, certain projects may be better suited to specific seasons. For example, painting is best done in mild weather, while roofing and siding installations may be easier to schedule in the off-season.

Kitchen and Bath Remodels Fall Short

In contrast, major upscale kitchen and bathroom remodels failed to deliver strong returns, recouping only 38% and 45% of costs respectively. Minor kitchen updates like painting and backsplash upgrades fared better, recouping 96% of costs.

“Doing expensive upgrades on the kitchen aren’t going to pay off,” cautioned Angelica Ferguson VonDrak, a New York real estate broker. She advises focusing on “un-sexy upgrades” like HVAC conversions, roofing, and windows.

Consult Local Experts

With high home prices and tight inventory, sellers need to be strategic to attract top-dollar offers. An appealing exterior “could be the thing that makes one house stand out against all the others,” noted Todd Tomalak, Zonda’s principal of building products research.

VonDrak recommends consulting local realtors on which specific renovations may boost home values in your market, as payoffs can vary by location. Even simple refreshes like thorough cleaning, decluttering, and updated furnishings can make a big impact. “You want everything to feel fresh and new,” she said.

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