Design Dilemma: 5 Exterior Renovations with a Big Payback | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: 5 Exterior Renovations with a Big Payback

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When many of us renovate our homes, we’re thinking beyond just an improvement in space, functionality and looks for ourselves. We’re also thinking that down the line, when it comes time to sell, there could be a financial payoff as well. Some of us, in fact, decide to spruce up a space, specifically for that reason.

So what are the best renovations if you hope to substantially increase the value of your home? A new pool? A big fancy kitchen? A complete overhaul of the electrical wiring or old plumbing?

The answers may surprise you. According to Realtors® in the 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, smaller exterior projects are actually those that provide the best return on the investment. The report is compiled annually in collaboration with Hanley Wood’s Remodeling Magazine and compares changes in home improvement project costs with Realtors®’ perceptions of what those projects contribute to a home’s price at resale.

Here’s where you get the best return on your dollar:

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1) A Steel Entry Door.

Realtors® say a steel entry door replacement returns the most money, with an estimated 101.8 percent of costs recouped upon resale (compared to an estimated 96.6 percent recoup last year). The steel entry door replacement is consistently the least expensive project in the annual Cost vs. Value Report, costing little more than $1,200 on average and was the only project on this year’s list to recoup more than 100 percent of its cost at resale on a national level.

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2) Stone Veneer.
Manufactured stone veneer on the exterior is a great way to spiff up a home, and nearly always pays back —at 92.2 percent. Also in this category are fiber cement siding (84.3 percent) and vinyl siding replacement (80.7 percent).

Here’s what fiber cement siding looks like:

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And here vinyl siding — we can see why clean new siding would enhance a home’s value!

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3. Garage Door Replacement.

Because garage doors are often the public “face” of homes in the United States, they make a big impact on curb appeal, as you can see below. A mid-range replacement brings an 88.5 percent return on investment, and an upscale replacement 82.5 percent:

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And here:

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And here:

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4. A Wood Deck Addition.

The return on this investment is 80.5 percent, and it’s easy to understand why. A wood deck, in effect, provides a whole other “room” to be enjoyed in good weather. Barbecues, sunning, birthday parties, and dining al fresco all become possibilities.

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And here:

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5. Wood Window Replacement.
Cracking warped single pane windows are one of the most obvious replacement targets with a substantial payback at 78.8 percent. The best thing about this renovation is that it also reduces utility bills, so it’s double payback!

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So there you have it. Clearly, renovations with a big payback are those that provide clear curb appeal to your home. And these are not necessarily more expensive structural changes. Basically, anything that dramatically improves the aesthetics of your home is going to provide a huge payback, and not just for your wallet, but for your own enjoyment.

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