What Home Improvements Have The Best Rate Of Return?

The home improvement you’ll recoup the most from from is replacing siding with fiber cement, according to the 2006 RemodelingOnline report. They say you can expect to get 88% from your investment.

The next best value is vinyl siding replacement, with a 87.2% recoup rate, followed by window replacement at 85.3%.The lowest? A sunroom addition garners a paltry 66.3%. Houses it seems, unlike books, are judged by their covers.

Cost vs Value 2006 [Remodeling Online via Consumer World Blog]
(Photo: Getty)


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  1. vanilla-fro says:

    Am I dense or does it look like you don’t make any money at all doing these things? It looks like you get a percentage of the money spent back, making money off of it would require a 101% and higher.

    Maybe I’m wrong and I hope that I am because otherwise this is the worst article ever, it should just say “sell your house as is”

  2. NefariousNewt says:

    @vanilla-fro: No, according to this report, you only recoup a certain percentage of the cost. To me that’s bogus — ask any real estate agent. The things that sell houses, kitchens and bathrooms, give you a higher return on your investment. People will offer you far more money for a house with a remodeled kitchen or master bath than they will for a house that’s re-sided. Most people don’t even pay attention to siding, windows, etc. Frankly, I think they are taking maximum values for these renovations, because you certainly don’t have to spend that kind of money.

  3. vanilla-fro says:

    Oh I know their prices for the actual work are off. And if I recall a remodeled bathroom can pay for itself and then something like at least 10% of the cost. Its been a while since I’ve helped somebody do this work and the selling.

  4. backbroken says:

    So, is somebody going to explain what fiber-cement is?

  5. freshyill says:

    I’m also confused.

    So they’re saying if I buy a $100,000 house, and remodel the bathroom, which for some reason will cost the princely sum of $12,918, I can expect to sell the house for $110,970, a loss of $1,948?

    This makes absolutely no sense at all.

    I guess you’ve got to spend money to lose money.

  6. viriiman says:
  7. Schminteresting says:

    @freshyill: lol

  8. arcticJKL says:

    I remodeled because it looks better and is more functional.

  9. nursetim says:

    When we remodeled our bathroom, it cost about $10,000. That was gutting it completely and putting in new everything, including drywall and flooring. And it is a small bathroom too. I too am confused by their math.

  10. Smackdown says:

    My house is stone and Hardie Plank (FCS), and one of the benefits, that I don’t think you get with siding is that it qualifies as masonry – thus, my house is 100% masonry, which lowers my insurance premiums.

  11. BillyRuben says:

    HardiPlank and the like

  12. Beerad says:

    I’m not sure what’s so hard to understand about the fact that you will not get additional money over and above the expenses out of doing a renovation. Yes, if you spend $20,000 to redo a bathroom in a house worth $100,000, the house will not magically be worth $130,000. The house should be worth a bit under $120,000. This makes perfect sense because the renovator (assuming that person is the owner) gets the benefit of using the nice, newly remodeled bathroom, and the buyer gets almost the same (but not quite) value out of the no-longer-brand-new renovation when the house is sold.

    Remember, most renovations are not done to profit from doing so, but because the owner/occupant wants to live in a nicer space. Recouping some of the cost when you sell is just something to keep in mind if you’re considering different renovations and looking to maximize value.

  13. Frank Grimes says:

    Yeeh for Hardi Plank. I havwe anew built home but the stuff is fantastic. My paint looks as good today as when it was pianted, its mold resistent (important in Houston), is easy to clean and looks exactly like wood.

  14. Bryan Price says:

    And I would want to put fiber cement or siding on my brick house why???

    I’ll go back grumbling about how I need to remodel a bathroom now…

  15. thepounder says:

    I’d have to disagree with BEERAD at least on some level.
    Part of the reason to upgrade and/or renovate is for a return on your investment… besides making your house more awesome for you while you own and enjoy it.

    Anyone ever seen those “flipping” shows? The Flippers make a profit after something like 3 to 9 months worth of renovation. Many of them make enormous profits even after shelling out sometimes as much as the house cost on the renovations themselves.

    Thus, I refuse to hear anything about losing money on a renovated kitchen. I’ve never known any of my friends who’ve sold their places after a renovation who have lost money… that’s insane.

    It’s not just the money you put into the renovation… it’s also the fact that your house will appreciate over time anyway, assuming you keep it up in general. Investing money into renovation is always a good idea.