Home ownership is often considered an escalator of wealth in America. In fact, according to data from the Federal Reserve, homeowners are worth forty times more than renters. But a home's purchase price is just one part of the investment for most people. Between renovations and repairs, U.S. homeowners spend more than $300 billion a year on their homes, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
If you're planning on selling your home in the near future, it's a good idea to consider whether the project will help you command a higher sales price. After all, the money you put into home improvements can't always be recouped. Let's look at some that offer the highest return on investment (ROI).
Home renovations that get top dollar
Each year, Remodeling magazine releases a Cost vs. Value Report, analyzing common renovations homeowners make. Here are the ones that offer the highest return on investment.
Garage Door Replacement
Average Cost: $3,470
Increase in Value: $3,411
Older garage doors can come with a host of problems. They may lack modern safety features, make a ton of noise, or be vulnerable to thieves. Your old garage door may be working just fine but replacing it with a modern door and new tracks can net you the highest ROI at resale.
According to Fixr, a homeowner can typically handle this project on their own in nine hours and a professional can complete it in five. Whether you go the DIY route or hire a pro, make sure you choose a design that fits the architectural style of your home.
Manufactured Stone Veneer
Average Cost: $8,221
Increase in Value: $7,986
Curb appeal is a big factor in getting the best price when selling your home. Adding stone veneer can boost curb appeal by giving your home a more sophisticated look.
The timeframe for this project depends on the size of your home and how much area you plan to cover, but don't cut corners. Low-quality materials and poor installation can result in a project that looks cheap and may actually lower rather than improve the value of your home.
Entry Door Replacement (Steel)
Average Cost: $1,471
Increase in Value: $1,344
If stone veneer isn't in the budget, a lower cost way to improve your home's curb appeal is replacing your front door. But a new door isn't just about appearances.
We might not think of doors as being technologically advanced, but new steel doors are more energy efficient than old wooden doors, and there are a wide variety of new lock systems that allow you to lock and unlock a door by entering a code on a keypad or tapping your smartphone.
Plus, it's a relatively quick fix. According to Angie's List, this project usually takes about four hours from set-up to tear down.
Average Cost: $15,072
Increase in Value: $11,554
Siding protects your home from the elements. Rot, cracks, and gaps are not only unsightly, the jeopardize your home's structural integrity.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average siding installation project takes about two weeks, including removal of the old siding, prep time, adding insulation, and installing the new siding. You can usually get a better deal from siding contractors during their 'off-season' in fall and winter.
Grand Entrance Addition
Average Cost: $8,591
Increase in Value: $5,809
Is your front door looking a little uninspired? If you have the space, consider reframing the existing opening to add decorative glass and sidelights. Windows create a more open and inviting feel to your entryway and allow more natural light in your home.
Like replacing your entry door, this is a relatively quick project, although reframing for windows will add to the project's timeline. Two or three installers can typically install a double pre-hung door with top windows in about four to eight hours.
If you're planning on selling your home soon, it's smart to know which renovations will fetch top dollar. Focus your efforts on those that offer the highest ROI and time your projects accordingly, so your property will be ready to perform when it goes on the market.
Feeling more pragmatic? If you're looking for projects that will increase your enjoyment of your home and hold it's value, check out this article.