Each year, Remodeling Magazine produces their home improvement Cost vs Value Report, and their website includes reports going back to 2002. Remodeling Magazine “compares average cost for 30 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets.”
The Cost vs Value Report provides an overview of U.S. national trends, and also breaks the data into nine regions.
Some of the more interesting highlights:
- The average cost and average return at resale for the 27 projects in this year’s report resulted in an average of 64.4% of a project’s investment dollars getting recouped if the home is sold within a year. That’s up from 62% in the 2015 report and the second-highest return in the past eight years.
- The average project cost 4.7% more this year.
- This year’s highest return came from the attic insulation project – $116.90 return for every $100 invested, making attic insulation the only project out of the 27 that averaged out nationally with greater than a 100% return. On a market-by-market basis, installing insulation more than paid for itself in 59 of the 100 markets. The return in the South Atlantic region was a whopping 130.9%
- Manufactured stone veneer again came in second with a 92.9% return
- Midscale garage door replacement had a 91.5% return
- A steel entry door replacement showed a 91.1% return
- An upscale garage door replacement came in at a 90.1% return
- The top 4 projects showing the greatest increase in return from last year are:
- Fiberglass entry door had a 82.3%, up 21.2% from 2015
- A second-story addition, the most costly improvement, only has a 69.3% return on cost but that is 8.1% higher than last year.
- Master suite, up 6.5%, but still only recouping 57.2% – 64.1% of cost.
- Major kitchen remodels have increased their return by 4.2% for a 61.5% (upscale) to 64.9% (midrange) return.
- The five projects with the worst returns all scored cost-value ratios between 56.2% and 57.7%. From the bottom up, they are:
- midrange bathroom addition
- upscale bathroom addition
- upscale master suite
- upscale bathroom remodel
- composite deck addition.
- Almost every category of home improvement showed a higher rate of costs recouped in the South Atlantic region vs the national average. The exceptions were:
- Major kitchen remodels in the midrange
- Second story additions
- Upscale master bedroom remodels
- Perhaps not surprisingly given that the South Atlantic region faces more hurricanes than most of the other regions, these three home improvements had the highest increase of return over the national average:
- Backup Power Generators
- Steel Entry Door Replacement, at a 98% return in the South Atlantic region
- Garage Door Replacement (midrange)
© 2016 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com
Although the costs used in the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report are based on itemized estimates (see Methodology), the designs and material specifications are “typical” and not based on actual projects. When comparing the data in this report to actual remodeling costs in a particular geographic area, small differences in the size or scope of a project, or in the quality of finishes and accessories the homeowner chooses, can dramatically affect the price. Although the distinction that the Cost vs. Value Report makes between “midrange” and “upscale” projects provides a range of pricing, it cannot account for extreme variations in pricing that many markets—or neighborhoods within markets—may experience from time to time.