This is a great article by Barbara Pronin on where to invest your money when remodeling your home.
When you own a home, it seems like there is almost always something you would like to do to make it more comfortable, attractive, or eco-friendly. But, home remodeling experts tell us, if you plan to sell your home at some point, put your time and effort into one of more of these renovations proven to pay you back because they increase the value of the property:
New garage doors – Nothing says curb appeal like attractive garage doors – and you can’t beat the bang for the buck. A mid-range replacement will likely return more than 80 percent on your investment.
A wood deck – Here’s a renovation you are likely to enjoy – and a $10,000 investment will also return about 80 percent of what you spent.
Exterior siding – New siding will not only give your home a major facelift. It will return a strong 87 percent on project costs of about $14,000.
Attic conversions – Adding another bedroom or playroom upstairs give a home more usable living space without increasing its footprint. The remodel investment will likely return 84 percent of a $50,000 project cost.
Kitchen updates – No need to overhaul the entire kitchen, experts say. Upgrading the counters, and replacing cabinets and appliances will likely cost about $18,000 – and will return some 97 percent of cost. Oddly, a big-ticket total kitchen remodel costing over $100,000 may only return 63 percent of the investment.
New windows – New, energy–efficient windows throughout your home will save you money on heating and cooling bills – and you will probably get a return of 79 percent on a $10,000 investment.
Basement remodel – Another great way to add living space to a home is with a basement remodel. Adding insulation and flooring, and upgrading the walls and ceiling may cost as much as $60,000. But return on investment is estimated at 77 percent.
Back-up power generator – The unpredictable weather of the past few years has led to a surge in the popularity of this relatively inexpensive home addition. An average cost of $11,000 could net you a 67 percent return on your investment.