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Home Renovations to Invest in and Avoid in 2015

Conventional wisdom tells us that any home renovation is a positive thing: money in is money out. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some remodeling projects are a better investment than others, and the projects that yield the best return on investment can change from year to year. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, these five replacement projects will make the greatest percentage impact on the value of your home this year — accounting for cost-to-value ratio, the key to making smart home improvements with resale in mind:

1. Roofing Replacement

Roof replacement gives you the biggest bang for your buck in 2015, rising 5.9% over 2014 values at an average cost of $7,740. Roof replacement includes removing the existing roof and installing new shingles with underlayment, flashing, galvanized drip edges and trim.

2. Garage Door Replacement

A well-chosen garage door can make a powerful statement and add a beautiful accent to your home. Garage doors come in four basic types: swing-up, roll-up, swing-out or side-sliding. Thecost to install a new garage door will vary depending on style and material, but average around $1,150. This cost generally includes the new door, galvanized steel tracks, rollers or hinges, and removal and disposal of the existing door and tracks.

3. Steel Entry Door Replacement

You can add elegance and security to your home by replacing your old entry door with a steel door. Not only is this the least expensive of 2015’s cost-to-value projects at an average of $923, but it also has the highest resale rating. This project includes the new door unit, jambs and threshold with composite stop. This also presents a great opportunity to choose a new lockset if you can’t reuse your existing one.

4. Vinyl Siding Replacement

While vinyl siding replacement is among the more expensive home renovations, it’s also the very definition of curb appeal. New siding and trim can transform the look and vitality of your home, increase resale value, and improve weatherproofing and energy efficiency. You can expect siding installation to cost between $5,600 and $8,000, depending on your location.

5. Fiberglass Entry Door Replacement

Fiberglass and steel offer superior strength and durability compared to their wooden counterparts. The cost-to-value ratio of replacing an entry door with a fiberglass door boasts an increase of 72% over 2014. The replacement process involves removing the existing door and jambs and mounting the new door unit and jambs along with exterior trim.

Projects to Avoid in 2015

2014 was the year of the major renovation; ironically, many of those projects are now at the top of the opt-out list for 2015. Opt-out projects for 2015 include:

Installing a Back-Up Generator: Last year’s biggest cost-to-value hero dropped like a stone in 2015. This one was hot after Hurricane Sandy but soon lost momentum.

Adding a Second Story: This big ticket renovation slowed in terms of investment by the end of 2014 — the result of an 11% drop in its cost-to-value ratio.

Home Office Remodel: The lowest reported return on your investment (reportedly 47.5%) is in converting a room into a home office. Potential buyers will be grateful not to have to pull out shelves or commercial grade carpeting when making your home their own.

Sunroom Addition: A potential buyer might see your sunroom as a heat siphon, maintenance nightmare or privacy concern. Like a backyard pool, a sunroom is a true matter of preference — and as an investment, it doesn’t even reach 50% on the cost-to-value rating.


All of these projects are worthy given the right home and the right conditions. Always make sure you’re using licensed, bonded and insured contractors for any projects you don’t want to take on yourself. Hiring a pro with a proven track record will more than pay off in the long run.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine

Andrea Davis is the editor for HomeAdvisor, which helps homeowners find home improvement professionals in their area at no charge to ensure the best service in the shortest amount of time.

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