Which Remodeling Projects Pay Off?

If you’ve noticed all the construction in the city this summer, maybe it has you thinking about doing a little of your own. Remodeling season is at its peak, and while everyone has a laundry list of home improvements they’d like to make, you might want to know which remodels pay off the most in terms of resale cost.

The annual Cost vs. Value Report, which gives a round-up of the most common remodeling projects and the value they add to a home, has been released for 2015. This report can be sorted by region, state, or city—let’s take a look at what it says for the Seattle area!

Door Replacement

This year, garage door replacement and steel entryway door replacement led the pack in cost versus value. Replacing your garage door cost an average of $1,721 and added a value of $2,087 to the home for a 121.3 percent recoup. Replacing your entry door with a new steel door—at an average cost of $1,344—had a whopping 124.2 percent recoup. Both of these projects had by far the greatest added value percentage to homes, but it’s kind of a stretch to call this kind of cosmetic, low-cost replacement a “remodel.”

If you’re looking to add quick and easy value for fast resale, one or both of these door replacements is clearly the way to go. Another very high percentage of cost recouped was in wooden window replacement, offering 99.5 percent added value relative its cost, a savings margin that is very specific to the Pacific Northwest, but really more of a “retro-fit” than a remodel.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

For Seattle, the Pacific, and the national average, a minor bathroom remodel offers the best cost-versus-value margin. In the Seattle area, a minor kitchen remodel cost consumers about $21,122, while adding a value of about $20,502 to the home, for a cost recouped percentage of 97.1 percent. It’s the fourth most cost-effective, value-adding remodel you can do for your home.

The report describes a minor kitchen remodel as replacing the fronts of cabinetry, replacing the stove and cook-top with energy-efficient models, and replacing laminate countertops. The absolute best replacement for those laminate countertops, as is shown time and time again in remodeling magazines, home improvement shows, and real estate literature, is natural stone. A recent article in the New York Times quotes a senior vice president of a New York real estate broker as saying, “[Granite or marble countertops] do add value, most definitely. Beauty sells. A beautiful kitchen, with marble or granite, is all to the good.

People hate dingy, dirty, old, and things that look like 1982.” The article also notes, though, that if the rest of your kitchen looks drab and low-quality, granite won’t make a big difference, so make sure your cabinetry and features like your sink are up to snuff.

If you’re interested in learning about other remodels that will add value to your home, visit the report! Other great investments include adding a stone veneer accent, a bathroom remodel, or a deck addition. If your remodeling plans call for the use of natural stone surfaces—the surest way to add beauty and value to a kitchen or bathroom—call us at Granite and Marble Specialties to talk about your options for natural stone!