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November 29, 2014

2012-13 Cost vs. Value: Make the First Impression Count

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2012-13 Cost vs. Value: Make the First Impression Count

Updating the outside of a home pays off, according to this year’s Cost vs. Value Report. Real estate professionals ranked exterior improvement projects as winning the buyers’ eye and providing sellers with the most return on investment.

If your clients are wondering what home improvement projects will give them the best return on the sale of their home, tell them to think “curb appeal.”

When buyers are shopping for a home, the exterior can make (or break) the first impression. According to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, exterior replacement projects are among the most valuable home improvements that sellers can currently invest in, starting with the front door.

A steel entry door topped this year’s survey with an estimated 85.6 percent of the costs recouped at resale. The steel door replacement is also the least expensive of the 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects included in the survey, costing $1,137 on average.

This is the 15th year that Remodeling magazine — in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine — has released the Cost vs. Value Report. This year’s survey included more than 3,900 appraisers, sales agents, and brokers across the country who provided their opinions and estimates.

Exterior projects dominated the list with six of the top 10 most cost-effective midrange projects and eight of the top 10 upscale projects.

Top 10 Midrange Projects

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel)
Job Cost: $1,137
Resale Value: $974
Cost Recouped: 85.6 percent

2. Deck Addition (wood)
Job Cost: $9,327
Resale Value: $7,213
Cost Recouped: 77.3 percent

3. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $1,496
Resale Value: $1,132
Cost Recouped: 75.7 percent

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $18,527
Resale Value: $13,977
Cost Recouped: 75.4 percent

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $10,708
Resale Value: $7,852
Cost Recouped: 73.3 percent

(tie) 6. Attic Bedroom Addition
Job Cost: $47,919
Resale Value: $34,916
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

(tie) 6. Siding Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $11,192
Resale Value: $8,154
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $9,770
Resale Value: $6,961
Cost Recouped: 71.2 percent

8. Basement Remodel
Job Cost: $61,303
Resale Value: $43,095
Cost Recouped: 70.3 percent

9. Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $53,931
Resale Value: $37,139
Cost Recouped: 68.9 percent

10. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $15,084
Resale Value: $10,184
Cost Recouped: 67.5 percent

Top 10 Upscale Projects

1. Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
Job Cost: $13,083
Resale Value: $10,379
Cost Recouped: 79.3 percent

2. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $2,720
Resale Value: $2,046
Cost Recouped: 75.2 percent

3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,818
Resale Value: $9,926
Cost Recouped: 71.8 percent

4. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,055
Resale Value: $9,295
Cost Recouped: 71.2 percent

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $16,361
Resale Value: $11,194
Cost Recouped: 68.4 percent

6. Grand Entrance (fiberglass)
Job Cost: $7,088
Resale Value: $4,528
Cost Recouped: 63.9 percent

7. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $34,403
Resale Value: $20,532
Cost Recouped: 59.7 percent

8. Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $107,406
Resale Value: $64,113
Cost Recouped: 59.7 percent

9. Bathroom Remodel
Job Cost: $50,007
Resale Value: $29,162
Cost Recouped: 58.3 percent

10. Roofing Replacement
Job Cost: $33,880
Resale Value: $19,194
Cost Recouped: 56.7 percent

Ending a six-year cost-value ratio decline, this year’s Cost vs. Value Report is good news for remodeling industry with a rise in the ratio by three percentage points to 60.6 percent. According to the report, lower construction costs and stabilizing house prices were the principal factors for the upturn.

While every region improved over last year’s survey, the Pacific region — Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington — had the highest average cost-to-value ratio overall at 71.2 percent, despite having the highest construction costs in the country.

Visit www.costvsvalue.com to find information from the 81 cities included in the survey and download free PDFs that include specific market data. Site registration is required. Also visit HouseLogic.com for a slideshow of the report’s results.



Construction cost estimates were generated by RemodelMAX. Cost vs. Value is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood, LLC.


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