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home improvement projects

Nothing is less sexy than updating a home’s mechanicals, such as the furnace and HVAC system. After all, wouldn’t you rather sink that home improvement money into a slick new kitchen with all the bells and whistles? But, if you want to recoup costs in case you sell or want to maintain your home’s value, pay attention.

> See 15 reasons why independent brokerages are flocking to eXp Realty’s annual Cost vs. Value report has revealed the top 23 projects homeowners make and ranked each of the project’s highest return on investment.  Let’s take a look:

  1. HVAC Conversion: Yup – the unsexiest of all home improvements is No. 1. But, if you’re replacing your old outdated heating (oil anyone?) and air system with a new energy-efficient model, this type of improvement will not only make your home more comfortable but also reduce energy costs in the long run. According to the report, the job cost is $17,747 and the value at sale is $18,366, an increase of 103.5% of the cost recovered.
  1. Garage Door Replacement: Yes, we all still want that kitchen remodel, but, by replacing an old or outdated garage door, you can give your home an instant facelift and increase its curb appeal. On average, you can get back 102.7% of what you invest in the installation of a newer garage door. The average cost of a replacement door is $4,302 and the return value is $4,418.
  1. Manufactured Stone Veneer: Installing a manufactured stone veneer in either exterior or interior spaces can help give your home an upscale look, and it also offers a great return on investment. According to the Cost vs. Value report, you can expect to get back 102.3% of what you invest in this project. It’s also an excellent way to add value to your property and increase its curb appeal without breaking the bank.
  1. Entry Door Replacement: Replacing an old or outdated front door with a new one is another great way to give your home an instant facelift. On average, you can expect to get back 100.9% of what you spend on entry door replacement — making this a cost-effective improvement that will add value and make your house look more modern.
  1. Siding Replacement: According to the report, homeowners who replaced their old siding with new vinyl siding recouped 94.7% of its cost at sale, one of the highest returns for this type of improvement. The average cost for the job is $16,458 with a return cost of $15,485. Likewise, fiber cement siding (e.g., HardiePlank and GAF Weatherside) will return 88.5% of the value with a job cost of $19,361 and a return value of $17,129.
  1. Minor Kitchen Remodel: Now we’re talking! But unfortunately, the return on investment is not nearly as high as you’d think. A minor kitchen remodel can involve replacing hardware, countertops, and appliances or making small updates such as painting the walls or updating cabinets. The average cost of this type of upgrade is $26,790 with the return $22,963, which calculates to 85.7%. 
  1. Vinyl Window Replacement: Installing high-quality, energy-efficient vinyl windows can reduce your heating and cooling costs, as well as increase the value of your home for potential buyers. In some locations, such as in the Northeast, which tends to have more severe winter weather, this upgrade will recoup 72% of the value to do the job. 
  1. Midrange Bathroom Remodel: This is the perfect option if you want to upgrade your bathroom without spending too much money. It can include replacing fixtures and updating tiling (the floor or surround) or painting, giving it an entirely new look. The cost to do the job is $24,606 and the recouped value is $16,413, or 66.7% of the cost.
  1. Wood Window Replacement: Window replacement (wood) is another great way to boost energy efficiency and the overall value of your home. Wood windows are not only attractive but also highly durable, making them a great choice for any homeowner looking to improve their home’s exterior. The job cost is $24,376 and the return value is $14,912, or 61.2%.
  1. New Asphalt Roof: This big-ticket item has an average cost of $29,136 with $17,807 returned during a sale – or 61.1% of the value. But mainly, a new asphalt roof gives you – the homeowner – peace of mind for at least 15 to 30 years, depending on the roof style and manufacturer.

See all of the projects on’s Cost vs. Value report and drill down by region to see how your projects are valued.


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These figures are not a guarantee, representation or projection of earnings or profits you can or should expect. They also do not include expenses incurred by Agents in operating their businesses. eXp Realty makes no guarantee of financial success. Success with eXp Realty results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, diligence, skill, persistence, competence, and leadership. Your success will depend upon how well you exercise these qualities.

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