If you happen to get a tax refund check from your state government or Uncle Sam, you have a great opportunity to invest it in home improvements and increase the equity in your home.
To find those projects that give the most bang for your buck, we checked the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value report, a collaboration between several research teams including REALTOR Magazine and the National Association of REALTORS® that compares the average cost and resale value of 35 popular remodeling projects across 101 American cities. Here are its findings:
1. Replace the Front Door
Adding a sleek-looking, new front door can boost your home’s curb appeal as well as improve its insulation while toughening up its security. Buying and installing a new steel entry door costs $1,162 and has a return-on-investment (ROI) of 96.6%.
2. Add a Deck
Deck additions now have the best ROI since 2007. A 16-by-20-foot wood deck addition will run you about $9,540 but will return about 87.4% of its cost after resale. If you already have a deck, you could add some extras, such as an outdoor fireplace.
3. Add a Bed and Bath to Your Attic
An extra bedroom can substantially increase your home’s value. So while it’s not cheap—turning an attic into a 15-by-15-foot bedroom with a 5-by-7-foot bathroom with shower will cost, on average, about $49,400—you can expect a decent ROI of 84%. If you choose to forgo the bathroom, the job will be cheaper but the ROI may not be as high, since there is value in not having to go downstairs for a bathroom (The report doesn’t offer a cost vs. value analysis without it).
4. Replace the Garage Door
Replacing that rickety garage door with a smooth-moving, modernized one is an inexpensive addition with an average cost of about $1,530 and an estimated ROI of 83.7%. While the garage might not rank high on your list of things to fix, remember that more than three out of every four homebuyers purchase a home with a garage.
5. Tweak Your Kitchen
Kitchen remodeling is predicted to be the most common renovation that homemakers will decide to make in 2014. However, you don’t need to do a full-blown kitchen redo for a solid investment. Leave the old cabinets but replace the doors and drawers; pop in some new energy-efficient appliances; and install a new, modestly priced sink. Replace old countertops, touch up the paint and fix cracked flooring. The cost for this type of mid-range remodeling is $18,856, and is estimated to have an ROI of 82.7%.
6. Replace Windows
Not only can replacing windows earn a solid ROI, you can also cut down on your heating and cooling bills and earn energy tax credits with energy-efficient models. The cost to replace 10 standard windows with insulated wood replacements is about $10,900, with a 79.3% ROI, according to the Cost Vs. Value report. If you’re going with vinyl windows, the job will cost about $9,980 and has an estimated ROI of 78.7%.
This article was originally published by Angela Colley on Realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.