Remodels That Offer the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Will your home improvement bring a great return on investment? Or will it be just for your enjoyment? The 2014 Remodeling Report can help you decide for 2015.


When you are ready to sink money into home improvements, it pays to know what will provide the best return on investment when you decide to sell your home. In many cases, home improvements are meant for the homeowner themselves, and can provide you with many hours of enjoyment and comfort. But if you have an eye toward selling your home anytime over the next few years, these remodels might be able to drive up the asking price.

Home remodeler illustration

Best Remodels for Return on Investment

Remodeling Magazine issues an annual report on home improvements, including the expected return on investment. The 2014 Cost vs. Value Report found that all home improvements surveyed — 35 of them — are offering a higher return on investment than they did in 2013, a good indication of a recovering economy. Among all the possible home improvement projects that might offer a great return on investment, there are a few that stand out from the crowd.

  1. Backup Power Generator. Perhaps driven by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters throughout the nation, backup power generators are in high demand. Not only are they great for use when the power goes out, they also offer a nice return on investment of 67.5 percent.
  2. Entry Door Replacement. The biggest bang for your buck at over 96 percent ROI, entry doors have long been a common way to spruce up a home for resale value. Doors that are energy-efficient, strong and attractive are all great for curb appeal as well as peace of mind. With a return on investment like that, feel free to get the nicest door you can afford!
  3. Garage Door Replacement. While we’re talking about curb appeal, don’t forget the look of your garage as a nice selling point. Garage doors come in all kinds of styles these days, and energy-efficient options can save you more money than ever on utility bills. The return on investment of a garage door hit over 83  percent in 2014.
  4. Attic Bedroom. As more people learned to stay put during the Great Recession, they turned to making the most of their existing space. That’s when many discovered the attic as a possible bedroom area. In 2014, that trend took an upward swing, and now returns about 84 percent on investment.
  5. Deck Addition. Speaking of making the most out of the space you have, many homeowners are choosing to create an outdoor oasis with a new wooden deck. These additions can be simple or they can offer sky-is-the-limit perks; those who choose to keep it straightforward can expect a ROI of 87 percent.

Remodels That Might Make You Think Twice

What if you want to tackle a remodel that has nothing to do with those listed above? Remember that ultimately, a remodel can be for your personal enjoyment of the property, and that can take center stage even if the return on investment leaves something to be desired. Here are a few options for remodels that might not bring back much to your pocket at sale time, but can still make you quite happy in the meantime.

  1. Home Office Remodel. As more businesses recognize the value of telecommuting, many people are turning to their home offices to get work done. A nicer office can give you a plush, comfortable area to complete all your responsibilities. Make sure this one is about exactly what you want in a home remodel, not what might be suitable for sale — at a ROI of 48 percent, you are creating a home office that is definitely for you, not for anyone else who might come along later.
  2. Sunroom Addition. A push toward more efficient homes over the last several years has affected the demand for things like skylights and sunrooms. A nice sunroom addition is still recouping more of the investment than it was in years past, but the ROI remains at a disappointing 51 percent. If you want a sunroom to enjoy, go for it — but don’t expect it to add value to your home if you choose to sell the place anytime soon.
  3. Master Suite Addition. Those who chose to stay in their homes when the economy took a downturn might want to make their castle more appealing, and that can mean adding more luxuries to the most personal room in the house — the master bedroom. But adding on a whole new bedroom to achieve that goal might hit your pocketbook harder than you think, with a return on investment of only 56 percent for an upscale project.

Whether you choose to spruce up your house before calling a realtor or have plans to stay at home for the next decade or more, a good home improvement project is one that makes you happy with the space. Keep that in mind when you are choosing where to put your time and money in 2015.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.