Remodeling is a great alternative to moving. It's a lot of work but when you think about getting your home ready to sell, the actual selling process plus packing, moving and unpacking is even more work. Coupled with the current housing marketing, many homeowners are deciding to remodel, i.e. create an extra bedroom or their dream family room, to avoid selling and moving.
Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs Value Remodeling Report, 2008-2009 represents 4,000 buyers (may also be sellers) completing the survey. New in this year's report was a trend graph comparing the last 7 years (2003 to 2009). Given the ups and downs of the economy and the housing market, people were pleased to see a drop in the average cost of remodeling projects while the resulting value held steady.
Remodeling Trends, The Big Picture
Overall trends show more focus on smaller, low-maintenance projects with an emphasis on home essentials over luxury extras. Energy efficient features continue to dominate the top 10 list including windows and siding.
- Decline in average, cost-to-value ratios lower than previous year … at 3.86%.
- Construction are continuing to rise, up 2.67%, while home values are declining.
- Exterior replacement projects top the rankings, with 8 of the top 10 spots. Factors include curb appeal for resale plus these projects are less expensive than additions.
- Energy efficient projects like replacement windows and siding, rank high on the list.
Top Remodeling Projects From A Cost – Value Perspective
As in past years, many remodeling projects are projected to recover more than 75% of the cost. Most of these projects are exterior improvements and they are still delivering 75 percent or more of their cost, when it comes to resale value. … so you should still consider these projects for both immediate benefits (look, energy savings and comfort) in addition to resale value.
- Consider exterior remodeling projects which recover at least 75% of their cost.
- Wood deck addition will have an average cost of $10,601, and recover 81.8%.
- Installing vinyl siding averages $10,256 and recovers 80.7%.
- Window (wood) replacement windows average $11,512 and return 77.7% of their cost.
- High end wood window windows cost an average of $17,580 and recover 76.5%.
- Window (vinyl) replacement has a lower cost of $10,537 with similar cost-value of 77.2%.
- High end vinyl replacement windows cost $13,608 and return 79.2% on resale.
- Replacement siding (fiber cement) costs $13,177 with expected returns of 86/7%.
- Foam back vinyl replacement siding will cost $12,528 and return 80.4%.
- Try to pick interior remodeling projects with similar returns of at least 75% of their cost.
- Major kitchen remodels cost $56,611 and return 76.0%.
- … and minor kitchen remodels cost $21,246 and you can expect to recover 79.5%.
Research Your Remodeling Project FIRST!
- Research your projects including available cost-value data for where you live (cost-remodeling data available for 9 regions).
- Review all costs, documenting project details with costs for labor and materials. Add 10 to 20% contingency to come up with total project budget.
- If you're over budget, it's time to prioritize and drop items from your project.
- To save money, identify items you can complete yourself. Be realistic as my handyman business often has to finish projects started by homeowners. The most practical do-it-yourself tasks are buying materials and demo work which does require skills and patience. A friend remodeled his kitchen and removed cabinets and wall/floor tile, leaving new install to the pros.
- When you don’t have the time, tools or skills, call for help. A handyman can handle smaller projects while you'll want a remodeler or specialty contractor for larger projects.