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Forbes’ Best Home Renovations List

Forbes produced another list of the best home renovations [3]/improvements in terms of their resale value and I thought it would be interesting to compare this list to lists I’ve seen, and blogged about, in the past. With all of these I looked only at the National Average values, since that’s what I’ve always looked at, and tried to pair them up with comparable renovations in past lists [4]. The data they used is from Remodeling magazine’s yearly assessment/survey/magic but one of the lists I used was from a handyman-type site [5] and not a magazine about remodeling.

Overall, Remodeling Magazine makes it sound like a lot of the renovations you make hold a lot of its material and labor value whereas the handyman site doesn’t paint as rosy of a picture. I’m inclined to believe that Remodeling magazine is at least somewhat biased, knowing nothing about it except that it likely sells advertising space to businesses in the remodeling industry, so I’d mark down their resale values a little bit. From a buyer’s perspective, which I was a year ago, I do know that more bedrooms and bathrooms the better (to a point, I’m only one person… I don’t need 8 bathrooms, I don’t even have 8 friends) but a renovated home office means nothing to me. So again, as I approached the other list, I believe the relative rankings of renovation value retention is likely correct though the actual values are subject to a multitude of factors a simple study can’t capture.

The comparative table is available after the jump. (oh, and if you’re going to replace your windows, you might be able to get a tax credit [6] for it because of the latest energy bill)

The first % column is from Forbes/Remodeling magazine, the second % is from this site [5]. Also, in my last post about home renovations [4] there are some interesting comments worth reading, including about how the handyman site’s prices appear to be too low.

Renovation Cost Resale % %
Minor Kitchen Remodel $14,913 $14,691 98.5%
Midrange Kitchen Remodel $43,862 $39,920 91.0% 90%
Upscale Kitchen Remodel $81,552 $69,194 84.8% 90%
Attic Bedroom $39,188 $36,649 93.5% 90%
Deck $11,294 $10,196 90.3% 80%
Basement $51,051 $46,010 90.1% 15%
Midrange Bathroom Remodel $10,499 $10,727 102.2% 70%
Upscale Bathroom Remodel $26,052 $24,286 93.2%
Midrange Bathroom Addition $22,977 $19,850 86.4%
Upscale Bathroom Addition $47,212 $40,488 85.8%
Midscale Siding Replacement $7,239 $6,914 95.5% 60%
Upscale Siding Replacement $10,393 $10,771 103.6% 60%
Window Replacement $9,684 $8,681 89.6%
Roofing Replacement $11,164 $9,456 84.7% 50%
Family Room Addition $54,773 $45,458 83.0%
Home Office Remodel $13,143 $9,569 72.8%
Midrange Master Suite Addition $73,370 $60,460 82.4%
Upscale Master Suite Addition $137,891 $110,512 80.1%