Home Renovations that Give the Biggest Returns

During the course of owning a home, many people do renovations and upgrades so they can better enjoy living in their home. Each year the National Association of Realtors® does a “Cost vs. Value” report, showing the average costs for about two dozen “midrange” home upgrades and the percentages of costs home owners can expect to recover when they sell their homes.

The report you’ll see in magazines and newspapers will give the nationwide statistics, but here are the 2014 numbers for the Middle-Atlantic region (it’s no surprise that in every case, the cost is higher than the national average). I’ve arranged them from the highest percentage recovery to the lowest. Note that there are 2 entries for entry door replacement and for deck addition.

               Project                                               Cost                 Value              % Recovered

Entry Door Replacement (Steel)                  $ 1,177            $ 1,098                        93.0%

Garage Door Replacement*                           $ 1,567            $ 1,318                        84.0%

Deck Addition (Wood)                                     $ 9,826            $ 7,856                      80.0%

Backup Power Generator                               $11,984           $ 9,215                        77.0%

Attic Bedroom                                                    $51,307           $38,888                     76.0%

Entry Door Replacement (Fiberglass)        $ 2,841            $ 1,980                        70.0%

Siding Replacement (Vinyl)                            $11,849           $ 8,148                        69.0%

Window Replacement (Vinyl)*                      $10,224           $ 6,913                        68.0%

Minor Kitchen Remodel                                   $19,350           $13,251                       68.0%

Window Replacement (Wood)*                     $11,177            $ 7,514                         67.0%

Deck Addition (Composite)*                           $15,633           $10,323                       66.0%

Major Kitchen Remodel*                                  $56,254           $35,911                       64.0%

Bathroom Remodel*                                          $16,601           $10,567                       64.0%

Basement Remodel                                            $65,233           $39,452                       60.0%

Two-Story Addition                                            $158,931         $95,604                       60.0%

Family Room Addition                                     $83,617           $48,525                       58.0%

Garage Addition*                                                 $51,107           $29,614                       58.0%

Roofing Replacement*                                      $19,478           $11,348                       58.0%

Master Suite Addition*                                    $107,303           $61,512                      57.0%

Bathroom Addition*                                           $39,317           $19,514                       50.0%

Sunroom Addition                                               $75,184           $32,974                      44.0%

Home Office Remodel                                        $28,813           $12,228                      42.0%

Projects with asterisks (*) were surveyed both for “midrange” and “upscale” versions; the numbers above are for the midrange versions.

For 20 of the above 22 “midrange” projects, the percentages of cost recoveries were lower in the Middle-Atlantic region than the national recovery percentages; only for adding a backup power generator and for garage door replacement were the percentages higher. I guess we value emergency generators and nice garage doors more than average Americans do!

Today’s bottom line: if you’re thinking of a renovation project just to make your home easier to sell in the next year or two, you might want to think twice about it. If your entrance door (or garage door) doesn’t make a good first impression, the low cost of replacement and high percentage of cost recovery make sense, and replacement definitely will increase your home’s “curb appeal”. However, you’d better really “love” enjoying the short-term benefits of other projects in order for them to make sense from a financial standpoint.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the average costs of 13 “Upscale” renovations in the Middle-Atlantic region and the recovery percentages for each of them.


Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)




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One Response to Home Renovations that Give the Biggest Returns

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