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Going from wood to steel with your front door can immediately add value to your home - more than the cost of the door.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, May 14, 2015 3 years ago

Top five home upgrades to get the most bang for your buck

What upgrades to our house will pay off the most in the long run?
by: Samantha Mazzotta

Q: What upgrades to our house will pay off the most in the long run? – Karl V., Melrose, Massachusetts

A: Many people think that remodeling the kitchen is an expense they can fully recoup (in terms of home value or resale value), but that is not necessarily the case. According to Remodeling Magazine, which puts out a cost vs. value chart each year on home remodeling, a major kitchen remodel averaging $56,768 will recoup 67.8 percent of that cost, or just $38,485.

However, a number of indoor and outdoor projects will increase the value of your home. Here are five projects on the midrange cost scale that will provide the biggest return for your remodeling investment:

  1. Entry door: Replacing your entry door with a steel door will recoup 101.8 percent of the cost. (Replacing it with a fiberglass door will return 72 percent.)
  2. Veneer: Replacing the bottom third of your home's exterior siding with manufactured stone veneer will recoup 92.2 percent of the cost.
  3. Garage door: Replacing your garage door will recoup 88.4 percent of the cost.
  4. Siding replacement: Adding vinyl siding to your home's exterior will recoup 80.7 percent of the cost.
  5. Wooden deck: Adding or expanding a wooden deck will recoup 80.5 percent of the cost.

Other projects that have a higher chance of recouping their cost include a minor (below $20,000) kitchen remodel (79.3 percent), wood window replacement (78.8 percent) or converting part of your attic to a bedroom (77.2 percent). Remodeling your bathroom will recoup 70 percent of its cost.

So, when putting together a remodeling project list, take their lasting value into account. You may decide to downscale that ambitious kitchen or bathroom remodel and shift some of the budget to your home's exterior elements.

TIP: Wood or vinyl windows? Carefully consider the merits of both before deciding on replacement windows. For example, wood windows are aesthetically pleasing, but vinyl windows require almost no maintenance.

NOTE: This is my final print column for This Is A Hammer. It's been a great, 14-year run with King Features Weekly Service. But it's not going away completely: You can find archived columns, great home tips and more at And as always, you can continue to send your questions or home tips to [email protected].

(c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.

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