At Home: Makeovers reap high return on investment

Remodeling kitchen, bathroom boost resale values

Kitchen upgrades consistently get high returns on investment, as do bathroom upgrades. (Frank Espich)

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,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks.

Home remodeling projects with the highest ROI include:

n 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 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.

n 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An outdated bathroom can spoil a sale.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.

n 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.

n 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, more for fiber cement, but you should get at least 80 percent back.

n Window replacement.

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. Expect a return on your investment of at least 70 percent.

n 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.