Home Improvements And ROI

Dated: 04/19/2016

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When it's time to sell your home, how many of the home improvements you've made actually bring in a return on investment (ROI) ?

Here are some of the areas of improvement that stand a better chance of a high ROI once they get done:

Small or Larger Bathroom Remodel or Renovation Project (not a bathroom addition)

Even small changes such as replacing or tearing down old, mildew stained wallpaper and using a fresh coat of paint will go a long way.  Replacing older lighting with a system that you can actually see better with, usually can be done without emptying your checking account.  Adding a new vanity, a new tile floor and even something as minor as changing the hardware or fixtures can all be done today for less than $700.  Converting a walk-in closet into a powder-room with toilet and sink can really bring in about 15 percent for an updated bathroom area--not including plumbing expenses.


Removing a stained sink or old microwave or refrigerator for newer, energy-efficient models add big value to your home at selling time. Later, if needed, move on to new cabinets, back splashes or counter-tops. Generally speaking, you can expect to get back about 25 percent of a home's value for a new kitchen or a remodel project.


Nothing makes or breaks the ROI more than miserable looking flooring, especially after a room remodel or renovation.  Laminated floors, simulated wood flooring or even a tile job may do the trick. If you have budget constraints, then consider replacing the carpet and re-doing the floor covering--one room at a time, starting with whichever is worse.   Refinishing your already existing hardwood floors is well worth its cost when it comes to selling your home.

Replacing A Garage Door or Front Door

Replacing an older, two-car, steel garage door may give you a healthy ROI of 87 percent on a $2,500 investment. That being said, if you convert your garage into in-law living quarters (making it heated/cooled additional sq ft), expect an even higher ROI. 

If your front door gets tired and worn out, replacing it with a new steel door is a project that kicks up your homes curb appeal and yields the best payback.  According to the "2015 Remodeling Impact Report," a new steel front entry door has a national median cost of $2,000 installed, and can recover 75% of that cost at resale.

Which Brings In The Highest Returns?

  • Front door replacement: 96.6 percent

  • Wood deck additions: 87.4 percent

  • Attic bedroom or efficiency garage conversion: 84.3 percent

  • Garage door replacement: 83.7 percent

  • Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7 percent

Which Brings In The Lowest Returns?

  • Home office remodel: 48.9 percent

  • Sun-room addition: 51.7 percent

  • Bathroom addition: 60.1 to 85 percent

  • Backup power generation: 67.5 percent

  • Master suite addition: 67.5 percent

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Marianne Princetta

I'm a baby boomer who grew up during the 1950s in The Bronx, NY. In the mid 1960s my family relocated to Monmouth County, NJ where I graduated from high school and attended what is now known as Monmo....

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