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When sprucing up your home, here are the remodeling projects that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Photo: Getty Images

Each year, following the release of Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report, we see a slew of headlines telling us "It Doesn't Pay to Remodel Your Home."

But despite the naysayers, a home-renovation project can still be profitable -- even in this current market. As any savvy DIYer will notice, the costs of the projects are inflated to cover the expense of hiring professionals. Those who take on DIY home improvement projects can plug in their own costs, note the value stated in the report and calculate a custom cost vs. value return percentage.

For instance, if a DIYer completes a major kitchen remodel for $30,000 and the return is an expected $40,126, that's a big 133% return (approx.) on expenditures.

Seen in those terms, yes, it pays to remodel your home.

Photo: Getty Images

You can make well-informed home improvement choices by calculating how much a certain improvement will increase the value of you house when (or if) you sell. And for DIYers, the payback percentage is even greater. According to the 2010 Remodeling Cost vs. Value survey, outside improvements bring the most return on resale. For instance, if you replace your front entry door with a steel model for $1,218, your home's value should increase $1,243 (or 102% of the investment, according to national averages).

The survey's values are calculated from data provided by more than 3,000 appraisers, sales agents and brokers. In all, the survey covers 35 popular remodeling projects in nine regions of the country. Those areas are further broken down into 80 major cities.


Here are some exterior improvements that should pay back fairly well:

garage doorsWant to get the most bang for your buck? Install new garage doors. Photo: Getty Images

Project: Garage Door Replacement
Cost: $1,291
Return: $1,083
Recoup Value: 83.9%

Project: Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
Cost: $13,382
Return: $10,707
Recoup Value: 80%

Project: Deck Addition (wood)
Cost: $10,973
Return: $7,986
Recoup Value: 72.8%

Project: Window Replacement (wood)
Cost: $12,027
Return: $8,707
Recoup Value: 72.4%

Certain indoor projects bring better paybacks than others. On the low side are home office remodels (45.8% return), sunroom additions (48.6% return) and backup generators (48.5% return). Indoor projects with the greatest return include:

kitchen, vent hoodConsidering a modern vent hood replacement? Save your money. It'll give you the lowest return on investment. Photo: Getty Images

Project: Minor Kitchen Remodel
Cost: $21,695
Value: $15,790
Recoup Value: 72.8%

Project: Basement Remodel
Cost: $64,519
Value: $45,186
Recoup Value: 70%

Project: Major Kitchen Remodel
Cost: $58,367
Value: $40,126
Recoup Value: 68.7%

To research costs for professionally done projects, expected recoup value, and trends in your area, click on your region below.

New England
Middle Atlantic

South Atlantic
East South Central
West South Central

East North Central
West North Central


To compare projects and regions, go to the Cost vs. Value Report.

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  • Brad Turner

    If you want a safe shelter, then remodeling will do good for your family. Just like in where green remodeling is encouraged.

  • Charla

    I like the looks Http:// of some of the kitchen remodels in this article.

  • 2 Comments / 1 Pages

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