The 10 Best Remodeling Projects to Boost Home Value in 2016

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/11/16 5:44 PM

Topics: Home Ownership

Curb appeal, energy efficiency and higher-cost remodeling and renovation projects topped the list of Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report. For the 30 projects reviewed, the average cost and average resale return was 64.4%, the second-highest return in the past eight years. If you’re thinking of making home improvements to improve resale value, here’s what the report found to be the greatest remodeling, renovation and home improvement projects for cost recoupment.


Attic Insulation (Fiberglass)

Job Cost: $1,268

Resale Value: $1,482

Cost Recouped: 116.9%

This home improvement brought in the highest return on resale value. Insufficient attic insulation accounts for nearly one quarter of home heat loss. The loose-fill fiberglass insulation used in the Cost vs. Value Report model dominates the new construction housing market.

Fiberglass is comparatively lower cost than cellulose insulation but has similar insulating values.

Manufactured Stone Veneer

Job Cost: $7,519

Resale Value: $6,988

Cost Recouped: 92.9%

Real stone is costly and sometimes structural needs put it out of reach for homeowners. Though the cost recoup is down three-quarters of a percent from 2015, manufactured stone has been in high demand for homeowners who want the beauty and style of real stone with half the cost and speedier installation.

Garage Door Replacement (Midscale)

Job Cost: $1,652

Resale Value: $1,512

Cost Recouped: 91.5%

This renovation project is more for curb appeal than energy efficiency. The model used for cost vs. value included replacing an existing garage door with a new uninsulated, single-layer door. For ways to update your garage door without replacing it, see our blog post here.

Entry Door Replacement (Steel)

Job Cost: $1,335

Resale Value: $1,217

Cost Recouped: 91.1%

Entry door replacements help with both curb appeal and home security. Steel is a good option if durability is a top priority. It’s stronger than both wood and fiberglass doors and won’t crack or warp due to the weather elements. An added bonus is that steel is also the cheapest of options.

Garage Door Replacement (Upscale)

Job Cost: $3,140

Resale Value: $2,830

Cost Recouped: 90.1%

This exterior renovation jumped over 15% for cost recoup over the last year as homeowners have placed extra emphasis on making energy efficient home improvements. The model used for the cost vs. value report included a high-strength steel door with core foam insulation and insulated glass windows.

An insulated garage door is a great home improvement regardless of your area’s climate. On top of home energy efficiency, insulated garage doors are stronger and serve as noise buffers.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Job Cost: $20,122

Resale Value: $16,716

Cost Recouped: 83.1%

The model used for cost vs. value included installing new cabinetry fronts, new hardware, replacing an oven/cooktop with more energy efficient models, replacing laminate countertops, installing mid-priced sink and faucet, repainting trim, adding wall coverings and replacing resilient flooring.

Renovation dollars spent in the kitchen are usually well-recouped as kitchens serve as the heart of any home. For the best practices in renovating or remodeling your kitchen, see our blog here.

Entry Door Replacement (Fiberglass)

Job Cost: $3,126

Resale Value: $2,574

Cost Recouped: 82.3%

Apart from the higher price tag, fiberglass is also a great entry door material. It’s tough, maintenance-free and is a good option for homeowners living in harsh or humid climates.

Siding Replacement (Engineered)

Job Cost: $13,832

Resale Value: $10,866

Cost Recouped: 78.6%

This remodeling project is new to the list due to introductions of several brands of siding that aren’t made from typical materials like vinyl, fiber cement, or solid-sawn wood. LP Building Products is one of the manufacturers that makes what they call LP SmartSide. Advantages of this material include realistic woodgrain texture, easier installation, fewer seams, longer warranties, and more impact resistance in comparison to fiber cement.

Siding Replacement (Fiber Cement)

Job Cost: $14,520

Resale Value: $11,342

Cost Recouped: 78.1%

According to This Old House, nearly 15 percent of all new homes are clad with fiber cement siding, and for good reason. It’s resilient, rot-, fire- and termite-proof, affordable, requires minimal upkeep and is aesthetically pleasing. This year’s cost recoupment did drop approximately 6 percent as value decreased and cost increased.

Deck Addition (Wood)

Job Cost: $10,471

Resale Value: $7,850

Cost Recouped: 75%

Though cost recoup dropped nearly 5% for 2016, you can expect to see lots of homeowners spending renovation budgets on outdoor living spaces.

Trends of the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report

  • There is a lot of value in curb appeal. Twelve of the 15 highest-scoring projects were exterior improvements.
  • You may be better off replacing than remodeling. In this year’s report, replacement projects saw a higher rate of return (61.5%) than remodeling projects (57.3%).
  • But kitchen remodeling is still valuable. While the report saw across-the-board drops in recoup rates, the only project that increased this year was the minor kitchen remodel, going from 79.3% to 83.1% this year.

If you’re interested in undertaking some renovations, home improvements or remodeling projects, download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for options on rolling the costs of remodeling into your mortgage loan.

Download: Rehab & Construction Guide

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