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2010-2011 Best Value Home Renovation Projects

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I’m not big on remodeling but every year I like to take a quick peek at Remodeling Magazine’s list of best value home renovation projects. Even in these terrible market conditions for homes, it’s important to understand what’s valuable and what’s not when it comes to a renovation. I know a lot of people love redoing their kitchens, but it pays to know how much of that renovation you can expect to recoup whenever it comes time to sell.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the several years I’ve looked at this list is that nearly every renovation loses money. For every dollar you spend, you can’t expect a dollar of return (with the exception of a steel entry door replacement, which is almost always 100%+) but that’s to be expected. It’s important to know that ahead of time.

Best Value Home Renovation Projects

This was a list I used a few years ago at some common remodeling projects and I always felt that refreshing this list helped give me an idea of where values are going. Then again, a quick peek at the list shows that everything is down compared to 2009-2010.

Project 2010 Recoup % 2011 Recoup %
Attic Bedroom 83.1% 72.2%
Deck Addition 80.6% 72.8%
Siding Replacement 79.9% 72.4%
Minor Kitchen Remodel 78.3% 72.8%
Window Replacement (Wood) 77.3% 72.4%
Window Replacement (Vinyl) 76.6% 71.6%

As was the case last year, the best value was the entry door replacement (102.1%) and the worst remains the 45.8% return you can get from a home office remodel. While I wouldn’t do a renovation with ROI in mind, if you had a few improvements in mind and didn’t have a preference, I’d take a look at this list. 🙂

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “2010-2011 Best Value Home Renovation Projects”

  1. Scott says:

    Remember, quality workmanship matters.
    Shotty work = no ROI

  2. Dave says:

    I love looking at these lists, but I always wonder where on earth they got their cost data from. $69,000 for a basement remodel? I remodelled about 800sqft of my basement with pretty high end stuff and it ran me about $20K in materials, and zero in labor because i did it myself. I don’t see how labor from a contractor could possibly cost $49,000. Maybe if they had a 2000sqft basement, but I certainly wouldn’t call that average…

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a hard topic these days with the bad economy for the past 2-3 years. I have a hard time doing any kind of remodel or adding “leave behind” things to my home. With home values continuing to drop in the majority of U.S. areas, I think I’d have to wait for my home to come back to 2008 year home value or more, before I decide I adding more than approx $500 to my home currently. I’d like to hear others thoughts….

  4. JamesV says:

    This is a hard topic as I can’t see adding any kind of “thing” or “remodel” project to my home until the value of my home comes back up to 2008 home value level. I just can’t see enuf of a ROI. I’d love to add a gas fireplace/stone surround or a 2nd full bath, but to stick $1,000-$3000+ minimally into my home now even with me doing all the labor, I just don’t see any ROI with my 1,600 sq/ft 3BR, 1BA home. I’d love to hear others thoughts on this topic….

  5. Steve says:

    Also is the recoupment if they sold immediately, or after they’ve “used up” some of the remodel, that is, lived in the house and enjoyed the benefits (while the remodel slowly got out of date).

    IMHO the only remodel that’s worth it when you’re about to sell is a fresh coat of paint.

  6. Shirley says:

    This Old House blog has a ton of ideas (many DIY) and tutorials for home improvement projects that can have a great ROI.

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