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2020: Home Improvement Projects with the Highest Return on Investment (ROI)

Meghan Henderson Homeowner Tips Leave a Comment

Trying to choose between home improvement projects with a sale on the horizon can be difficult. What do you invest in and what do you leave for the buyers to handle? While this can be different from neighborhood to neighborhood, a general study of projects that pay off can be fruitful. Lucky for you, Remodeling Magazine has once again released their “Cost Vs. Value Report” highlighting the home improvement projects that deliver the highest return on investment (ROI).

The data for the “Cost Vs. Value Report” was collected from real estate professionals in 101 different U.S. housing markets via an online survey conducted by Hanley Wood and calculated by RemodelMax’s popular estimating software, Clear Estimates. The results are based on generic projects and doesn’t take into account highly personalized projects, custom materials, and short fluctuations in local pricing.

This year’s results show an increase in costs and an overall decrease in perceived value on all projects. The perceived value is what determines return on investment. Why did this happen? Remodeling Magazine believes it is a side-effect of “consumer jitters.” Consumer confidence, an economic indicator that measures the degree of optimism that consumers feel about the state of the economy and their personal finances, was rocky in 2019, even falling below 2018 numbers at one point. This lack of confidence leads homeowners to hold off on remodeling and selling, and potential buyers from entering the market. Real estate is a big investment!

Results for Wilmington, NC, are included in the South-Atlantic Region. They don’t study Wilmington specifically, so we use the results for Raleigh, the closest city in North Carolina that’s included. The 10 home improvement projects that we’ve shared below are sorted by the Raleigh results. For a deeper understanding of what each project consists of, download the report at the link above.

1. Manufactured Stone Veneer

National Average Cost: $9,357
Return on Investment: 95.6%

Raleigh Average Cost: $8,855
Return on Investment: 98.2%

2. Siding Replacement (Vinyl)

National Average Cost: $14,359
Return on Investment: 74.7%

Raleigh Average Cost: $12,515
Return on Investment: 89.7%

3. Siding Replacement (Fiber-Cement)

National Average Cost: $17,008
Return on Investment: 77.6%

Raleigh Average Cost: $14,832
Return on Investment: 83.8%

4. Garage Door Replacement

National Average Cost: $3,695
Return on Investment: 94.5%

Raleigh Average Cost: $3,700
Return on Investment: 81.1%

5. Deck Addition (Wood)

National Average Cost: $14,360
Return on Investment: 72.1%

Raleigh Average Cost: $12,399
Return on Investment: 76.8%

6. Window Replacement (Vinyl)

National Average Cost: $17,641
Return on Investment: 72.3%

Raleigh Average Cost: $16,573
Return on Investment: 70.0%

7. Deck Addition (Composite)

National Average Cost: $19,858
Return on Investment: 66.8%

Raleigh Average Cost: $17,792
Return on Investment: 68.7%

8. Minor Kitchen Remodel (Midrange)

National Average Cost: $23,452
Return on Investment: 77.6%

Raleigh Average Cost: $21,248
Return on Investment: 66.8%

9. Roof Replacement (Asphalt Shingles)

National Average Cost: $24,700
Return on Investment: 65.9%

Raleigh Average Cost: $20,999
Return on Investment: 63.8%

10. Bath Remodel (Universal Design)

National Average Cost: $34,643
Return on Investment: 62.0%

Raleigh Average Cost: $31,360
Return on Investment: 63.6%

Download all the stats for Raleigh here. See last year’s stats here.

The “Cost Vs. Value Report” is good for providing a general idea of what projects provide the most value and how much they cost on average. However, return on investment is also determined by the features of similar homes in the neighborhood. A midrange kitchen remodel in a neighborhood where other sellers have only done minor kitchen updates may not prove to be a cost-effective choice. That extra money could instead be put towards a repair or upgrade that will make your home more appealing to buyers.

If you’re considering making improvements to your Wilmington area home and aren’t sure which projects offer the best ROI in your neighborhood, give us a call. We’re happy to provide some insight from past sales.

2020 Top 5 National Home Improvement Projects for Return on Investment ROI

2020: Top 5 National Home Improvement Projects for Return on Investment (ROI)

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About the Author
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Meghan Henderson

Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books.