The perennial champ when it comes to giving a return on your investment, an entry door replacement featuring a modestly priced steel door upgrades both energy efficiency and curb appeal. Steel doors come in many colors and can be painted to fit your exterior scheme.
National average cost: $1,162
Related: What Your Front Entry Says About You
Image: Terry at ForeverDecorating.Blogspot.com
What better way to enjoy outdoor living than on your backyard deck? At a cost of about $30/sq. ft., a wood deck provides generous amounts of living area at a fraction of the price of an enclosed addition — and it satisfies our all-American appetite for al fresco dining, relaxing, and entertaining.
National average cost: $9,539
Related: 9 Inspiring Deck Ideas
Image: All Weather Decks
Need another bedroom? An attic conversion lets you add valuable living area without altering the footprint of your house. Soundproof rooms below by adding insulation between attic floor joists, or by installing a rubber acoustic barrier under flooring.
National average cost: $49,438
Image: workshop/apd / T. G. Olcott Photography
Nothing upgrades the look of your house like a new garage door. Manufacturers offer terrific styles and choices, from plain steel panel doors to energy-efficient, insulated models with glass windows and panels that look like painted wood.
National average cost, midrange steel: $1,534
National average cost, upscale insulated steel: $2,791
Image: First United Door
The royalty of siding, fiber-cement offers longevity and resistance to termites, moisture, rot, and fire. It’s stable and doesn’t flex, so repainting is less frequent — saving money over time. Fiber-cement has marketable cache as an upscale, high-quality product.
National average cost: $13,378
Image: Sun Home Improvement / James Voepel, owner
New energy-efficient windows look great and help you save money. Options, such as low-E coatings and argon gas insulation, help maximize savings, depending on your local climate and the orientation of your house to the sun.
National average cost, 10 midrange vinyl replacement windows: $9,978
National average cost, 10 upscale wood replacement windows: $16,798
Image: Mary Lee Gaffin
Known for being light weight, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive, vinyl siding continues to be the most popular choice for siding replacement. Color-fast formulas and seamless installations help vinyl look better than ever. Insulated vinyl adds to your wall’s thermal resistance, helping cut energy costs.
National average cost, midrange vinyl: $11,475
National average cost, insulated vinyl: $14,236
Image: Linda Johnsonbaugh/iStock
A minor kitchen remodel that includes new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, along with new appliances, countertop, and flooring, has one of the highest average returns in the Cost vs. Value Report over the past 10 years.
National average cost: $18,856
Related: Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You’ll Never Regret
Image: Benchmark Home Improvements in NH, ME and MA
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