By early next year, Americans will spend nearly $320 billion on home improvement, with many of those dollars aimed at increasing resale value. But why spend money on your home when it’s too late to actually enjoy those upgrades yourself?
According to the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, a few select projects can increase your home value by a lot compared to their cost. So you can do them now, not later, with less stress.
Here are eight top projects that pay back in resale value — along with unique Thumbtack data on the cost of a quick fix instead of a total overhaul.
If you had to pick just one home improvement project, upgrading your insulation would be your best bet. It’s the only project that actually pays for itself (and then some) — and it’s relatively affordable to begin with.
The national average cost for new attic insulation is $1,343, and the resale value is $1,446, which means homeowners make back an average of $100 when selling. Plus, a properly insulated attic can shave 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill and keep your home cooler in the summer.
New Entry Door
A great front door should be more than nice to look at — it should also protect against the elements (and intruders).
While the national average to replace an entry door is about $1,400, the resale value is around $1,300, which means you’ll recoup about 90 percent of your costs. If you’ve already purchased the door you want replaced, Thumbtack data shows that it costs $215 on average to get the work done.
Manufactured stone veneer is more popular than ever because it’s an affordable way to add curb appeal to a home. It’s more cost effective than natural stone, it adds visual interest, and it complements the landscape.
The national average for parts and labor is about $7,850 and the resale value is around $7,000, so you’ll get back as much as 89 percent of your investment when you’re ready to sell.
Garage Door Replacement
Today’s garage doors are much stronger, more secure,and better insulated than doors built as recently as 15 years ago. A new door will work better and make the outside of your house look nicer.
The national average to replace a garage door is between about $1,750 (midrange) and $3,300 (upscale), while the resale value is anywhere from $1,345 to $2,810. Most people get back 77 to 85 percent of what they paid in resale value.
Just need your garage door repaired? Thumbtack data shows that the national average cost is $90.
Minor Kitchen Remodel
A new kitchen is usually near the top of a homeowner’s wish list — but a remodel could entail as much as your imagination (and budget) allows. Here, we’re talking about small upgrades, like redoing your cabinets, replacing countertops, installing a new sink, repainting, and replacing flooring that make a big difference in your home’s value.
Remodeling Magazine estimates these kinds of updates will cost around $21,000 with a resale value add of about $16,700 on average, so you’ll make back about 80 percent of what you spent for the upgrade.
Kitchen remodels typically involve several different pros, but the first person you’ll want to find is the contractor who’s going to help you see the job through from start to finish.
Like upgrading your insulation, replacing your windows doesn’t just improve your resale value in the long run: it also lowers your energy bills in the short term.
Whether you prefer vinyl or wood windows, you’ll get about 73 percent back of what you spent to replace them. Vinyl windows cost about $15,300 on average with a resale value of $11,300, while new wooden windows cost around $18,760 with a resale value of about $13,700.
If your windows are just drafty, rattling, or stuck closed, you can save money by hiring a repair pro. Thumbtack data shows that the average national cost for a window repair specialist is around $130.
There’s a reason decks were last year’s most popular home improvement project. A deck is a great place to relax and entertain, adds a ton of resale value, and can be improved and maintained with minimal intrusion into your life.
But here’s the secret to getting more value from your deck: build from wood, not composite. You’ll get back almost 72 percent of what you spend for the upgrade with wood, compared with only about 65 percent for composite. Plus, composite decks are more expensive overall with an average cost of more than $17,000, compared with just under $11,000 for a wooden deck.
After the initial installation, you’ll need to maintain the deck every couple of years. Thumbtack data shows it costs about $410 on average nationally to stain your deck.
If your roof is older than 20 years, it may very well be time to replace it, even if it’s not showing signs of failure. (In fact, waiting too long to replace a roof can end up being more expensive down the road.)
The good news is that it’s also a good investment: you’ll get back about 69 percent in resale value what you’ll pay for the replacement. It costs about $21,000 on average nationally to replace an entire roof, with a resale value boost of around $14,200.
If your roof is mostly in good shape, you can get a roofer to address minor repairs for much less. Thumbtack data shows that the average cost to repair a roof is about $240 nationally. Roof cleaning costs around $275.
* All pricing in this blog post reflect the national average cost for each category at the time of post writing. For current cost estimates specific to your location, please use our pricing tool.