5 Home fix-ups that offer the best return when you sell

deck frame

When you’re spending money on home improvements, your goal is to ultimately get a return on your investment when you sell your home. Not all home improvements are created equal, however.

Thankfully, Remodeling Magazine puts out a report each year that lets you know which projects are most worth your while. We’re going to share that information* with you, along with some insight as to why those returns are higher than others.

Entry Door Replacement (Steel)
Cost of Job: $1,140
Resale Value: $983
Return on Investment: 86.3 percent

Replacing your entry door with one made of steel is a relatively inexpensive home improvement, but it makes a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal. They are resistant to many issues that affect wooden doors, such as rotting, warping, shrinking and sagging. They are also energy efficient, which can help save on utility bills.

Deck Addition (Wood)
Cost of Job: $9,288
Resale Value: $6,851
Return on Investment: 73.8 percent

Adding a deck has many benefits that add value to your home, including increasing your living space, enhancing your yard usability, and adding visual interest. It’s the latter that makes the difference when selling your home. Many home buyers shop online and view photos of properties for sale before they visit an open house. A nice wooden deck can definitely catch a buyer’s eye.

Window Replacements (Wooden and Vinyl)
Cost of Job: Wooden – $10,647; Vinyl – $9,730
Resale Value: Wooden – $7,217; Vinyl – $6,585
Return on Investment: Wooden – 67.8 percent; Vinyl – 67.7 percent

With such a small difference between the ROI of the two window replacements, we didn’t see a need to split them up. There is, however, a slight cost difference between the two. Vinyl window replacements are less expensive, but don’t have the same “wow” factor that wooden windows do. On the other hand, vinyl windows don’t necessarily leave a negative impression either, and they require less maintenance.

Minor Kitchen Remodel
Cost of Job: $18,453
Resale Value: $12,483
Return on Investment: 67.6 percent

The kitchen is one of the areas that buyers are most interested in when it comes to appearance, so making a few minor changes to improve the look of your kitchen is a great investment. A few examples of what a minor kitchen remodel could entail include: replacing cabinet fronts, doors and drawers; replacing ovens and stove tops for newer models; replacing laminate countertops; installing new sinks and faucets; and replacing flooring.

Garage Door Replacement
Cost of Job: $1,496
Resale Value: $1,004
Return on Investment: 67.1%

The major benefit of replacing your old garage door goes back to the idea of curb appeal, as a new garage door will improve the appearance of your home. There are some additional benefits as well, including the option to install an insulated garage door, which will help with energy costs. A new garage door will make you and potential buyers feel more secure if it has an opener with access codes. Newer garage doors also have additional safety features that stop the door from closing if someone passes underneath it. This will be a very important feature for buyers with children.

Did any of these results surprise you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

* Information based on mid-range homes in the West North Central region of the US (Sioux Falls, SD).

Photo via Flickr.

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