Home Remodeling Blog

Which Home Remodels Offer the Best ROI

By Bryan Slowick | Jul 12, 2018

Whether you want to ready your home for resale or you want to be sure that your personal projects add to its market value in the long term, it’s smart to research national and Chicago North Shore area ROIs for each home improvement project you’re considering. Today, we’ll synthesize statistics and advice from some of the largest and most reliable financial sources for home improvements: U.S. News and World Report, Bankrate, Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value, and Forbes.   

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U.S. News and World Report

According to U.S. News and World Report, the top ten remodeling projects that boost your home’s value for resale are adding insulation, installing a new garage door, hanging a new front door, landscaping your yard, remodeling your kitchen, updating your bathrooms, replacing windows, adding square footage (especially by remodeling an unfinished basement), adding high-efficiency appliances, and repainting your home’s interior. Bare in mind that this advice is based on national norms rather than area-specific information. 


Bankrate’s calculations are based on 2018 Cost vs. Value reports for markets all around the U.S. Of the 21 remodeling projects they assess, here are the top six that add the highest resale value to your home (on average): replacing your garage door, adding a stone veneer to your home’s exterior, installing a new front door, building a deck, undertaking a small-scale kitchen remodel, and replacing the siding on your home’s exterior. All of these home improvements add curb appeal and charm, making your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Cost vs. Value

With Bankrate’s national figures from Cost vs. Value in mind, let’s look at the top five home improvements with high ROIs in the Chicago area in particular. Adding manufactured stone veneer to your home’s exterior costs $9,016 and returns $10,071, or 111.7%. Hanging a new steel entry door costs $1,584 and returns $1,665, or 105.1%. Replacing your garage door costs $3,793 and returns $3,399, or 89.6%. Replacing siding costs $18,482 and returns $14,633, or 79.2%. Minor kitchen remodels cost $26,055 and return $19,640, or 75.4%. You can read detailed information on each project listed above here.

(The figures cited here are according to the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report [www.costvsvalue.com] for the Chicago, IL, area. [© 2018 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2018 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.])


While not citing particular projects that recoup specific amounts, Forbes gives some wonderful general advice on assessing which home improvements pay off. For instance, they recommend tracking price trends related to the cost of materials (driven by their availability and demand), location (discussed above), and seasonality (i.e. consider remodeling in “off seasons” for better deals). Forbes also recommends researching the real estate market in your neighborhood and ensuring that your home includes all the features buyers are looking for.

Finally, Forbes reminds homeowners that it’s always smart to address the basics first. In other words, it may be a great idea to add a second story to your home, but not if the furnace isn’t working and your kitchen sink is leaking.

Where All the Experts Agree

Forbes’ final bit of advice is one that all remodeling and market experts agree upon: if you’re focused on home improvement ROIs, begin by making sure the essentials are well cared for. Then dress up your home for some curb appeal and charm. Finally, if you have a bigger budget, be sure to make updates with quality materials that will serve you (and the next homeowner) well for years to come.

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Tags: Home Remodeling Chicago North Shore, Remodeling Investment, Remodel Planning

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