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Home upgrades that yield top returns

The 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report is out.

The annual study (, done by Remodeling magazine in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine, looks at how much of your investment you can expect to recoup on renovation projects when you sell. 

As in previous years, the data is sliced in various ways. For instance, you can get

a big picture by looking at national data. Or you can see the data broken down by geographic area and look at midrange and upscale projects’ standings nationally and by geographic area.

If you have a second home in the United States or you’re thinking about buying one, look to the study to get a sense of the most valuable upgrades you can make. 

The study is also valuable if you’re buying and you want to make apples-to-apples comparisons of prospective homes’ features.

Here are some key results from the study.

Top 5 Midrange Projects (national averages in terms of cost recouped)

  1. Entry door replacement (101.8%)
  2. Manufactured stone veneer (92.2%)
  3. Garage door replacement (88.4%)
  4. Siding replacement, vinyl (80.7%)
  5. Deck (wood) addition (80.5%)

Top 5 Upscale Projects (national averages in terms of costs recouped)

  1.       Siding (fiber-cement) replacement (84.3%)
  2.       Garage door replacement (82.5%)
  3.       Siding (foam-backed vinyl replacement) (77.6%)
  4.       Window (vinyl) replacement (74.9%)
  5.       Window (wood) replacement (71.9%)