Where to Focus Your Renovation Budget when Planning to Sell Your House

When you’re getting ready to list your house, it can be challenging to know where to spend money on improvements that will attract more buyers. The 2021 Cost vs. Value Report provides valuable insights, revealing the average cost of 22 common remodeling projects and their retained value when selling. Using this data, we share the renovation projects that are most likely to increase the value of your home and provide the best return on investment (ROI). 

Biggest Return on Investment

Based on the national average, the top six upgrades with the most significant ROI include: 

1. Garage door replacement: 93.8%  

2. Manufactured stone veneer: 92.1%  

3. Minor kitchen remodel (mid-range): 72.2%  

4. Siding replacement (fiber cement): 69.4%  

5. Window replacement (vinyl): 68.6%  

6. Siding replacement (vinyl): 68.3%  

Lowest Job Cost 

Comparing renovation projects with the most significant return and lowest up-front investment, garage door replacement is most promising at $3,907. Vinyl siding replacements come in as the fifth least expensive renovation project ($16,576), making it among the top choices for ROI and a more economical renovation option. 

Replacing an entry door with a steel door ($2,082) was the least expensive renovation project, and with an ROI of 65%, it’s not a bad investment to consider. 

Manufactured stone veneer also made it into the top five for ROI and low-cost jobs ($10,386). With an ROI of 92.1%, it’s certainly worth the investment. 

Key Trends 

The report indicates exterior replacements (doors, windows and siding) outperform larger remodeling projects. These renovation choices might be influenced by the pandemic, as families may be less likely to have contactors inside their homes, and warmer weather keeps people outdoors. 

However, another reason for the popularity of exterior renovations could simply be the age of houses across the country, which average 37 years old and might require significant exterior repair. 

No matter the trends behind these renovations, exterior projects boost curb appeal, which is a significant factor when selling a home. 

The 34th annual Cost vs. Value Report was compiled with data from 150 U.S. markets. Homeowners and soon-to-be sellers can use the interactive report to determine what projects will provide the best ROI based on region, city and zip code.