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What Home Improvement Projects Give the Most Value?

A kitchen remodel might be a sexier project, but if you want the most financial return on your home improvement dollars, think curb appeal.

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Upscale Garage Door

New garage doors add style and curb appeal to your home, and upscale models take everything a step further. Imaginative garage doors made of fiberglass or steel mimic carriage doors or years gone by, or can be made to look like expensive woods. Doors with windows add light to garage interiors.

National average cost: $2,720
Value at resale: $2,046
Percent of investment recouped: 75.2%


Credit: Scottsdale Art Factory

Image: Scottsdale Art Factory
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  • Famous for its durability and reasonable price, lightweight vinyl siding also is easy to install, which cuts labor costs. Manufacturers keep coming up with new colors that won’t fade, so there are more choices than ever. Good-quality vinyl siding will last 30 years or more.

    National average cost: $11,192
    Value at resale: $8,154
    Percent of investment recouped: 72.9%


    Credit: Just a Girl blog

  • Fiber-cement siding is a popular choice for replacement siding. Although its initial price is higher than many other types of siding (it’s heavy and labor-intensive to install), the durability and stability of fiber-cement means less maintenance in the long run. It takes paint well, so you can have your choice of exterior paint colors. It’s also fireproof and rot-resistant.

    National average cost: $13,083
    Value at resale: $10,379
    Percent of investment recouped: 79.3%



    Credit: All in One Contracting Services

  • Replacing an older entry door with a new steel model is the most cost-effective project in the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report. A steel door costs less than half of a similar fiberglass door. The steel outer layer is susceptible to denting; a brass kickplate (shown) helps protect the door from accidental dings.

    National average cost: $1,137
    Value at resale: $974
    Percent of investment recouped: 85.6%


    Credit: Between Naps on the Porch

  • A deck is a cost-effective way to increase your living space and is a great way to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is nice. A simple deck using pressure-treated lumber is a good DIY project and saves up to 50% of a professionally built deck. Clean and seal your deck annually to keep it in great shape.

    National average cost: $9,327 (professionally built)
    Value at resale: $7,213
    Percent of investment recouped: 77.3%


    Credit: Alabama Slacker Mama blog

  • Swapping out older, leaky windows for new wood replacement windows is a style upgrade that saves energy. The Efficient Windows Collaborative says you’ll save up to $450 per year if you switch out single-pane windows for new double-pane windows in a 2,150-sq.-ft. house. Not in the market for new? Inexpensive weather stripping will keep out the drafts.

    National average cost: $10,708 (10 replacements)
    Value at resale: $7,852
    Percent of investment recouped: 73.3%


    Credit: Tilt-n-turn windows installed during Harlem townhouse renovation

  • A new garage door is a great way to improve your curb appeal. Mid-range doors with steel veneer are readily available at home improvement centers, and come in many colors to complement your house. A skilled DIYer can install a garage door in a weekend.

    National average cost: $1,496
    Value at resale: $1,132
    Percent of investment recouped: 75.7%


    Credit: Marissa Garr

  • New garage doors add style and curb appeal to your home, and upscale models take everything a step further. Imaginative garage doors made of fiberglass or steel mimic carriage doors or years gone by, or can be made to look like expensive woods. Doors with windows add light to garage interiors.

    National average cost: $2,720
    Value at resale: $2,046
    Percent of investment recouped: 75.2%


    Credit: Scottsdale Art Factory

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

     

  • Vinyl Siding
  • Fiber-Cement Siding
  • Steel Entry Door
  • Wood Deck
  • Wood Replacement Windows
  • Garage Door
  • Upscale Garage Door
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  • Image: Just a Girl blog
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  • Image: Between Naps on the Porch
  • Image: Alabama Slacker Mama blog
  • Image: Tilt-n-turn windows installed during Harlem townhouse renovation
  • Image: Marissa Garr
  • Image: Scottsdale Art Factory