Best home remodeling projects for a higher sales price

Replacing an asphalt shingle roof will give you a 68.2% return on your investment.

Most homeowners remodel their homes to improve their quality of life. Nearly all hope the renovation adds equity to their home so that when it comes time to sell, they will recoup a portion of the expense.

But not all upgrades are smart. Over-improving or over-personalizing a home may end up costing a homeowner.

“After helping hundreds of clients sell their homes for maximum profit, we have found that the best places to spend money are in the kitchen, the bathrooms and out front with your curb appeal,” said Dan Rochon, a real estate agent with Keller Williams.

Each year, Remodeling magazine puts together a cost-vs.-value report, which compares the average cost of 22 remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 136 U.S. markets. We selected five projects to show which provided the best return on investment. In each category, we list the cost of the renovation, the amount the improved feature will add to the resale price and the percentage of the cost recouped.

Omaha figures are shown. If you go to you can see regional and national numbers.

Siding replacement

Cost: $15,320 Resale value: $12,700 Percentage recouped: 82.9%

Replace 1,250 square feet of existing siding with new siding installed to manufacturer’s specifications. Include factory trim at all openings and corners.

Roof replacement (asphalt shingles)

Cost: $21,001 Resale value: $15,563 Percentage recouped: 74.1%

Remove and dispose of existing roofing to bare wood sheathing. Install 30 squares of minimum 235-pound fiberglass asphalt shingles (minimum 25-year warranty) with new 30-pound felt (or equivalent synthetic) underlayment, galvanized drip edge and mill-finish aluminum flashing. Assume a rectangular hip roof; custom flashing at two average-size skylights; and custom cap treatment at vented ridge.

Window replacement (wood)

Cost: $20,029 Resale value: $13,912 Percentage recouped: 69.5%

Replace 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-light wood windows. Interior finish of stained hardwood; exterior finish of custom-color aluminum cladding. Trim exterior to match existing; do not disturb existing interior trim.

Midrange major kitchen remodel

Cost: $64,181 Resale value: $38,526 Percentage recouped: 60%

Update outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen with functional layout of 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, including 3-by-5-foot island; laminate countertops; and standard double-tub stainless steel sink with standard single-lever faucet. Include energy-efficient range, vented range hood, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal and custom lighting. Add new resilient flooring. Finish with painted walls, trim and ceiling.

Midrange bathroom remodel

Cost: $19,613 Resale value: $11,441 Percentage recouped: 58.3%

Update existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid-surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; and vinyl wallpaper.

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