Comparing Popular Home Upgrades in 2015 versus 2014

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home value remodeling

Getting a high value on the return of your remodel is every homeowner’s brass ring. But, what do the numbers look like when it comes to selected upgrades?


The average cost for 36 popular home improvement projects increased by more than 4% last year, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report. But not all of these projects were worth the extra time and money. If you’re considering upgrading your home in 2015, take a look at how these home improvement projects stack up in terms of return on investment:

#1 Entry Door Replacement (steel)

Upgrading to a steel entry door costs between $500 and $1,230 and recoups 101.8% of its value. Homeowners who invested in steel doors in 2014 will see an even higher return on their investment this year. And, they’ll get the added benefit of a better-reinforced door as well.

Steel doors offer the option of matching front and back colors and an antique or traditional brass finish with a lock-set. They also provide lasting durability and protection.

#2 Manufactured Stone Veneer

Homeowners looking to spruce up or install manufactured stone veneer will recover 92.2% of their investment in 2015. Installing this veneer around the foundation creates a refined look and increases curb appeal. It also increases the functionality of the home by helping it withstand moisture.

manufactured stone veneer

#3 Garage Door Replacement

Replacing a garage door will yield the third highest return on investment. Homeowners can look forward to recouping about 88.4% percent if they sell their home in 2015 — about 0.7% more than recovered in 2014. The latest garage doors offer home automation technology and increase safety without compromising aesthetic value or function.

#4 New Vinyl Siding

Homeowners looking to replace siding with vinyl will enjoy a decent return on investment. The expected resale value in 2015 is about 80.7%, as compared to 78.2% in 2014. Brand new vinyl siding ensures the home stands up to high winds — and it provides greater durability and moisture resistance than other siding materials. Homeowners can choose from more than 800 colors.

#5 Adding on a Deck

Decking tiles bright parasol

“Copacabana” ipe deck tiles from BuildDirect

Building a deck offers short and long-term dividends. Not only do homeowners get to enjoy the deck, but the average resale value is about 80.5%. (Compared to 87.4% in 2014, this represents a 6.9% loss for homeowners who didn’t sell their home last year.)

The cost to build a deck averages around $8,300. There are many types of decking material available, including composite, PVC and wood. These options vary in price and maintenance, depending on homeowner preference.

Projects that topped the list in 2014 included:

Attic Bedroom (#3 last year)

Homeowners who added an attic bedroom recouped about 84.3% in 2014. Adding an attic bedroom is easier when your attic is a decent size. Otherwise, it involves popping your roof and extending the structure, which can be a messy and involved process. If you’ve got the space to do it, you’ve got the freedom to redesign your attic as in whichever way you wish.

Minor Kitchen Remodel (#5 last year)

Homeowners who remodeled their kitchen recovered about 82.7% on their investment in 2014. Depending on your budget, you might consider refacing or refinishing cabinets, replacing countertops, installing tile flooring and making small improvements to the hardware around your kitchen. By doing small projects, you can reinvigorate your kitchen without gutting it.

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Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis is based in Denver, Colorado as an editor for HomeAdvisor. As a deeply engrossed fan of the written word in its many forms, she’s always looking to tell home improvement stories in a new light that both engages and entertains. She's a frequent and very welcome content contributor here on the BuildDirect Blog.