When you're planning a remodeling or renovation project, one of the biggest factors is whether it will pay off down the road, and if so, how much. These considerations have taken on even greater importance as the housing market has tightened in recent years.
Remodeling magazine's annual cost vs. value report highlighted the value of exterior renovations such as siding, landscaping and windows. The reason being that if a house doesn't look well-maintained on the outside, prospective buyers may move on to the next home without ever seeing the inside.
Pop quiz: Which interior project delivers the greatest bang for your buck?
If you said kitchens, you'd be right. Minor midrange kitchen remodels took the top spot, with major midrange kitchen remodels placing fourth. You might be surprised by the other three projects that made the top five - mostly because bathrooms didn't make the cut.
Running a close second was attic bedrooms. They're expensive ($50,148 on average) but if you have the money, you can recoup more than 70 percent of that in a sale. Basement remodels and two-story additions occupied the third and fifth spots. Bathroom remodels, traditionally considered a top return on investment (ROI) earner, came in sixth. Here's a look at the average ROI for the report's top five interior remodeling projects:
|Project||Return on investment (ROI)|
|Minor kitchen remodel (midrange)||72.8 percent|
|Attic bedroom||72.2 percent|
|Basement remodel||70 percent|
|Major kitchen remodel (midrange)||68.7 percent|
|Two-story addition||65 percent|
While this information can be helpful if you're thinking about remodeling, keep this in mind: these are averages that reflect national trends, so they may not translate to home improvement in your local area. In real estate, as in all areas of life, trends and tastes can change quickly.
And with the average cost of these five projects hovering north of $72,000, talk with a real estate agent and/or home contractor in your area to make sure you have the best advice before jumping into a remodel. That's the best way to ensure your project will get you the best return on investment for your particular area - and for your specific situation.