Departments HOME Home & Decor — 02 March 2018
Home improvements that pay off at resale

By Robyn A. Friedman

City & Shore Magazine

 Remodeling magazine recently released its 31st annual Cost vs. Value report, comparing costs for 20 of the most popular professional mid-range and upscale remodeling projects in 149 U.S. markets. The report outlines how much real estate professionals believe various types of investment will improve a home’s resale value.

The average payback nationwide for the 20 projects in this year’s report ranges from a high of 98.3 percent (garage-door replacement) to a low of 47.6 percent (backyard patio).

While many homeowners might believe a kitchen remodel or the addition of a bathroom might yield a high return on resale, that may not necessarily be true. According to the Remodeling report, it’s “curb appeal” projects that enhance the appearance of a home that provide some of the highest returns.

“This year, the bigger ticket items such as a master-suite addition or major kitchen remodel tended to drop in perceived value, compared with previous years,” says Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling and manager of the report. “But curb-appeal projects, for the exterior of the house, do better than interior projects. A lot of real estate people will tell you that the first impression of walking up to the front of a house is a big deal.”

In South Florida, the three projects with the highest returns are:

  • Entry-door replacement, including the removal of an existing entry door and jambs and replacement with a new 20-gauge steel unit with a dual-pane, half-glass panel, jambs and aluminum threshold. Complete this upgrade, and you’ll recoup 138.1 percent of your cost.
  • Garage-door replacement, including removal of an existing 16×7-foot garage door and tracks and installation of a new four-section garage door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks. This project will recoup 137.1 percent of the cost.
  • Manufactured-stone veneer, including the removal of 300 square feet of existing vinyl siding from a portion of the street-facing façade and replacing it with adhered manufactured-stone veneer. Although not a common project in South Florida, this would yield a 110.7 percent return on investment.

Read the entire Cost vs. Value report at


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