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7 Best Remodeling Projects for the Money

Planning your remodel and want make sure you’re spending your hard-earned cash wisely? Each of these replacements and upgrades earned top honors in Remodeling magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value Report* for having the biggest bang for your buck — giving you the best return on your home improvement dollar while preserving the value of your home.

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#4: Energize Your Tired Kitchen

If your kitchen is looking dated but the layout and size are fine, a minor kitchen remodel can work wonders without big expense. Get a low-cost facelift by leaving the cabinet boxes in place, and adding new doors and drawer fronts, hardware, and an inexpensive but stylish laminate countertop. New vinyl kitchen flooring and EnergyStar-rated appliances complete the transformation.

National average cost, minor kitchen remodel: $19,588*

Value at resale: $14,120*

Percent of investment recouped: 72.1%*


Credit: Katie Ridder Interior Design and Decoration

Image: Katie Ridder Interior Design and Decoration
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  • Vinyl remains the most popular choice for siding material. Its durability and low cost make it a sensible option, and its light weight makes it easy to install, saving on labor. Modern vinyl siding comes in many colors, and certain varieties include foam backing, which contributes stiffness while adding money-saving insulation.

    National average cost, replace 1,250 sq. ft. of existing siding with foam-backed vinyl siding, including trim: $14,274*

    Value at resale: $9,937*

    Percent of investment recouped: 69.6%*


    Credit: CertainTeed Corporation

  • We Americans love the out-of-doors, especially our own backyards. That’s one reason decks remain popular home improvement projects. They also increase living space at a reasonable cost — you can build a 16-by-20-ft. wood deck for about $32 per sq. ft. That’s less than half the cost of new housing construction. Plus, all the fresh air and sun are free.

    National average cost, 16-by-20-foot pressure-treated wood deck: $10,350*

    Value at resale: $7,259*

    Percent of investment recouped: 70.1%*

    Credit: RDM Architecture

  • Garage doors account for up to 20% of your home’s façade — and a whole bunch of its curb appeal. A new garage door not only makes your homestead more appealing, it helps preserve its value. You can get a new 16-by-7-ft. steel double door for about $1,500. If you move up to an insulated garage door with glass window panels, you’ll pay about $3,000.

    Average cost for a mid-range steel replacement garage double door: $1,512*

    Investment value at resale: $1,087*

    Percent of invest recouped: 71.9%*


    Credit: Amarr Garage Doors

  • If your kitchen is looking dated but the layout and size are fine, a minor kitchen remodel can work wonders without big expense. Get a low-cost facelift by leaving the cabinet boxes in place, and adding new doors and drawer fronts, hardware, and an inexpensive but stylish laminate countertop. New vinyl kitchen flooring and EnergyStar-rated appliances complete the transformation.

    National average cost, minor kitchen remodel: $19,588*

    Value at resale: $14,120*

    Percent of investment recouped: 72.1%*


    Credit: Katie Ridder Interior Design and Decoration

  • Converting attic space to a bedroom reaps big rewards. You’ll add value by adding bedrooms without altering your home’s footprint. Planning is key — ask an architect or structural engineer to ensure there’s enough headroom, the floor joists are strong, and there’s emergency egress.

    National average cost, convert a 15-by-15-ft. attic to a bedroom plus bath: $50,148*

    Value at resale: $36,346*

    Percent of investment recouped: 72.5%*


    Credit: Birdseye Design, architect/Birdseye Building Company, builder/Susan Teare, photo

  • Few projects have the cost-effective impact of a new steel entry door. For less than $1,500, you can enhance your home’s curb appeal and recover a portion of your investment if you sell your home. Steel doors, however, lack the durability of wood and fiberglass exterior doors that cost twice as much.

    National average cost, replace an existing entry door with a 36-inch-wide, half-glass, 20-gauge steel door, including new jambs and trim: $1,238*

    Value at resale: $903*

    Percent of investment recouped: 73%*


    Credit: Kevin Quinlan Architecture, LLC

  • Durable, weatherproof, fireproof, and resistant to insects and decay, fiber-cement siding is a popular trend for siding replacement. One of its key benefits is stability — it doesn’t shrink and expand with changes in temperature and humidity. Exterior paint and caulking jobs last longer, contributing to low-maintenance exteriors.

    National average cost, replace 1,250 sq. ft. of existing siding with fiber-cement siding, including all trim: $13,461*

    Value at resale: $10,493*

    Percent of investment recouped: 78%*


    Credit: James Hardie

  • If you like these, you may want to take a spin through HouseLogic’s library of slideshows.

     

  • #7: Siding with Value
  • #6: All Decked Out
  • #5: Put a New Face on Your House
  • #4: Energize Your Tired Kitchen
  • #3: A Bedroom with High Aspirations
  • #2: A Low-Cost Entry Door with Steely Good Looks
  • #1: Tough-as-Nails Siding Replacement
  • Like our slideshows?
  • 7-siding-with-value
  • 6-all-decked-out
  • 5-put-a-new-face-on-your-house
  • 4-energize-your-tired-kitchen
  • 3-a-bedroom-with-high-aspirations
  • 2-a-low-cost-entry-door-with-steely-good-looks
  • 1-tough-as-nails-siding-replacement
  • more-slideshows
  • Image: CertainTeed Corporation
  • Image: RDM Architecture
  • Image: Amarr Garage Doors
  • Image: Katie Ridder Interior Design and Decoration
  • Image: Birdseye Design, architect/Birdseye Building Company, builder/Susan Teare, photo
  • Image: Kevin Quinlan Architecture, LLC
  • Image: James Hardie
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