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 %|
|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. 🙂