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's List founder Angie Hicks. "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 ROI include:
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 longer.
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.
An outdated bathroom can spoil a sale.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.
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.
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, more for fiber cement, but you should get at least 80 percent back.
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.
HIRING A REMODELING CONTRACTOR
Do your due diligence when hiring a contractor for any improvement. Visit Angie's List for consumer reviews on highly rated contractors, builders and other service professionals.
"Don't settle for a company without a great local reputation or references you can verify," Hicks says. "Wait for the right contractor."
Staci Giordullo is a reporter for Angie's List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit AngiesList.com.