Not all home improvement projects are created equal, especially when it comes to getting money back on your investment. While you’ll very rarely see a 100% return on your money, there are some projects that get you close to it.
Remodeling magazine compiles a report each year that tells you which home improvements will get you the best return on your investment. Go here for more information about all the projects in the report. This information is especially valuable because it’s specific to Salt Lake City.
In general, exterior improvements are a better investment than interior improvements. The only exception to that on this list of top projects is the minor kitchen remodel.
Also, this year’s improvements are worth a bit less than they have been in the past because the price of doing them has gone up. This is important because this trend will likely continue. Skilled labor is in high demand, and the cost of construction materials continues to rise. These issues were both heightened by the natural disasters around the country last year.
So, without further ado, here are this year’s top choices for the best investments in your home.
1. Manufactured Stone Veneer
This improvement gives you a whopping 103.4% back on your investment, and it’s the only project that comes in over 100%.
Just remove a continuous band of existing siding from the bottom third of your home’s street-facing façade, beginning at the garage and continuing around the main entryway. Replace the siding with manufactured stone veneer. Include sills, corners, and an address block with two separate layers of a water-resistant barrier underneath the veneer.
2. Deck Addition (Wood)
This is a really useful and fun addition to your home that also just so happens to add a lot of value. A wood deck addition can get you back 98.6% of the money you spend on the project.
Add a 16×20-foot deck with pressure-treated joists and boards. Include a built-in bench and planter out of the same material. You’ll also want to include stairs and a complete railing system made out of the same pressure-treated wood.
3. Garage Door Replacement
An upscale garage door replacement comes in at 95.5%.
For this improvement, install a new, four-section garage door on brand-new heavy-duty steel tracks. You can reuse the motorized opener you already have. The door should be high-tensile strength steel and have two coats of factory paint. It should also have foam insulation with thermal seals and come with a lifetime warranty.
4. Minor Kitchen Remodel
A minor kitchen remodel actually gets you a higher return on your money (77.6%) than a major, very expensive kitchen remodel does. You’d be surprised what a difference a minor kitchen remodel can make for a dated kitchen; in fact, a full remodel might not even be necessary.
A minor remodel should include a few important upgrades. Leave the existing cabinet boxes but replace the fronts with new, shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts. Don’t forget the new hardware! Replace the cooktop, oven range, and fridge with energy-efficient models. Replace countertops with laminate (there are a lot of really beautiful options these days). Add a new mid-priced sink and faucet. Then you can repaint the trim and walls, and you’re done!
5. Siding Replacement
Here’s another project to freshen up the exterior of your house. You’ll get an 69.7% return if you replace all of your existing siding with new siding. Don’t forget to include factory trim at all openings and corners.
6. Roof Replacement
This gets you a 68.9% return on your money. For this project, remove your existing roof down to the bare wood sheathing. Install 235-pound fiberglass asphalt shingles (they should have at least a twenty-five year warranty). Install new felt underlayment, a galvanized drip edge, and mill-finish aluminum flashing.
7. Window Replacement (Vinyl)
New windows can make your home look brand new, and they offer a solid return on your investment—74.3%.
Your new vinyl windows should be insulated, low-e windows, which are energy-efficient with a coating that affects how heat passes in and out of the home. They should have a simulated wood-grain finish on the inside, and you can leave the existing interior trim. Trim the exterior to match the rest of the home.
I hope this helps you know what kinds of home improvement projects are the best use of your money. For more info, go here to check out all the Salt Lake City data in the full report.