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Which remodeling projects offer the highest return on investment?

Remodeling or updating your kitchen is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. Generally, you can expect an 85 percent return on investment for changes you make to your kitchen.
Remodeling or updating your kitchen is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. Generally, you can expect an 85 percent return on investment for changes you make to your kitchen. skeyser@kcstar.com

Angie’s List surveyed top remodelers and real estate professionals to determine which remodeling projects result in the best return on investment when it comes time to sell your home.

“Well-planned and executed home improvements make your house more livable while you live there, and they boost your home’s resale value,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “If you’re investing in your home specifically to help sell it, focus your dollars on the things that will really wow a potential buyer.”

Home remodeling projects with the highest return include:

▪ The kitchen: Whether it’s a major overhaul or just a simple makeover, putting a fresh face on your kitchen is your best investment. Many homes on the market still have cabinets, appliances and fixtures dating back to the 1990s or before.

Maximize your return by limiting your project cost to no more than 20 percent of the value of your home. Expect an 85 percent return on your investment.

▪ The bathroom: An outdated bathroom can spoil a sale. Current trends have homeowners installing large showers instead of garden tubs. A major update by a reputable bathroom remodeling contractor costs less than $20,000, but it should yield an 80 percent return.

▪ Decks: A new deck can cost a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on size and materials used. Before you build, look at other homes in your area and build accordingly. If the deck is in good shape, your return could be more than 80 percent.

▪ Siding: If your home’s facade is siding, and it’s not in good shape, replacing or repairing it can bring instant freshness. You’ll likely spend at least $10,000 for vinyl — and more for fiber cement — but you should get at least 80 percent back.

▪ Windows: The energy efficiency of new windows is a clear benefit to switching out older windows, but in some cases it’s a safety feature, too. Costs depend on the number of windows you’re replacing, of course, and the type. Expect a return on your investment of at least 70 percent.

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