Which Upgrades Will Add the Most Value to Your Home?

Backyard deck with deck chairs and a pergola on a sunny summer day.
filo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

You’re interested in making a few home improvements, but you want to do it strategically. Instead of focusing on items at the top of your personal wish list, you’re planning to prioritize those that will increase resale value.

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Different buyers want different things in a home, but there are plenty of projects that are coveted by most everyone. Here’s a look at the upgrades that will add the most value to your home, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value report.

Garage Door Replacement

Your garage door takes up a notable part of your home’s exterior, so it needs to look good — and of course, function properly. Investing in a new one will cost you an average of $3,907, but expect to recoup 93.8% of that, with a resale value of $3,663.

Of course, if a relatively new garage door just has a minor problem, it will probably be much cheaper to fix it. For example, garage door dent repair costs an average of $100-$300 and spring replacement comes with an approximate price tag of $150-$350, according to HomeAdvisor.

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Manufactured Stone Veneer

Plain siding is nice, but buyers tend to gravitate toward properties with a little extra flair. Removing a 300-square-foot continuous band of existing vinyl siding from the bottom third of the street-facing façade of your home costs an average of $10,386, but you’ll likely recoup 92.1%, as it should increase your resale value by $9,571.

Siding prices have increased 5%-10% this year and delivery can be slow, according to HomeAdvisor. Therefore, it’s best to create a little extra room in your budget and start your project well before you plan to list your home.

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Midrange Minor Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so it makes sense that giving yours a light update will boost resale value. The average cost of a minor kitchen remodel is $26,214, and you can plan to recoup 72.2% of this — i.e., $18,927.

Specifically, this project might involve replacing both cabinet and drawer fronts — including new hardware — as well as countertops, the sink and faucet, flooring and painting the walls, trim and ceiling. You’d also want to upgrade your cooktop/oven range and refrigerator.

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See: 5 Affordable Ways To Make Over Every Room in Your House

Siding Replacement

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but feel confident that potential buyers will gauge their initial interest in your home on its exterior. If it looks shabby, they’ll keep on driving.

The national average cost to replace fiber-cement siding is $19,626. Expect to recoup $13,618 of this cost — i.e., 69.4%.

If your siding is vinyl, replacement costs are notably less at $16,576. You’ll recoup slightly less at 68.3% or $11,315.

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Window Replacement

It might not be the most exciting upgrade, but replacing the windows on your home won’t go unnoticed. After all, buyers don’t want to hear every noise in the neighborhood or feel a draft when standing next to a window.

Replacing 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-light vinyl windows with a custom-color exterior finish costs an average of $19,385. You’ll recoup around $13,297, which equates to 68.6%.

Wood windows are more expensive to replace. Plan to spend $23,219 to swap out 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-light wood windows with a stained hardwood interior and custom-color aluminum cladding exterior. Expect to recoup slightly less — 67.4% — at approximately $15,644.

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Deck Addition

Outdoor space is important to buyers, so it’s not surprising that a deck addition can make your home more competitive. Whether they want to host regular family barbecues or have a nice, quiet place to read a book in the summer months, people value decks.

A wood deck addition is the cheapest option, costing an average of $16,766 for a 16-by-20-foot space. Expect to recoup 65.8%, which is $11,038.

If you prefer a composite deck, plan to spend significantly more at $22,426 for a 16-by-20-foot addition. Still a decent investment, you’ll recoup approximately $14,169 or 63.2%.

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Grand Entrance

Your entryway welcomes guests to your home, so it makes sense that upgrading this area provides a respectable bang for your buck. If buyers are impressed, they’ll start their tour off on a positive note.

The national average cost to create a fiberglass grand entry is $10,044. This involves removing the existing entry door and cut and reframing the opening for a larger entrance door with dual sidelights.

Costs also include moving an electric box, ensuring the door blank and PVC-wrapped exterior trim match the entry and adding wider interior colonial or ranch casings in hardwood, stained to match the door. Expect to recoup around $6,116, which is 60.9% of the total cost.

Roofing Replacement

When purchasing a new home, buyers literally want the roof over their heads to be in good shape. Afterall, no one wants to move in and have to deal with a leak.

The average cost to replace a roof with asphalt shingles is $28,256. Expect to recoup 60.7% of your money, which is $17,147.

Notably pricier, replacing a metal roof costs approximately $46,031. You’ll recoup less, at 56.1% — or $25,816 — but still a good amount.

Home upgrades are a big decision, so it’s important to do your research. Knowing how much of your investment you can expect to recoup can keep you from inadvertently choosing a project that doesn’t add enough value to make it worthwhile.

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