The Best Home Remodeling Projects for Resale

Every year Remodeling Magazine conducts an extensive study of the return on investment of various remodeling projects.  They compare the cost of the project to the value it added when you sell your home.  I get questions about this all the time for homeowners.  It is easy to over-spend when remodeling, so keep in mind the projects that give you the biggest bang for your buck. 

I consistently see remodeled, updated homes selling at the top end of their neighborhood. If an updated home is priced right (3-5% higher than market value), it will sell quickly and very close to the list price.  Before you start remodeling, call me – even if you aren’t planning to move in the near future.  I’ve combined my thoughts with Remodeling’s findings to give you insight into the Hamilton County / northside Indy market.   The top projects for maximizing resale value are:

  1. Kitchen remodel – by far the biggest ROI.  Remodeling says a “minor” remodel produces an 89% ROI. This means changing light fixtures, updating appliances, adding trendy hardware, painting the room in a popular color, etc.  Doing a major kitchen renovation cuts the ROI to 65-69%.
  2. Front entry door replacement – Think about how important first impressions are!  An old weathered door sets a bad tone from the start.  Remodeling says you get a 77.6% ROI.  I agree.
  3. Roof and window replacements – The nuts and bolts are no fun to spend money on, but buyers look for these big ticket items to be done.  You will see a 71-73% ROI on these items.  A 20 year old roof and old drafty windows will be sure to get you lower offers as buyers factor in those expenses that they’ll have to take on within a few years of owning the home.
  4. Bathroom remodel – Yep, kitchens and baths are the best place to send your money.  Everyone looks for a clean, bright bathroom and will pay more for a house with “new” bathrooms.  Bathroom remodels can get you up 68% ROI.
  5. Backyard deck – Buyers want to have good outdoor space and wood decks are the most cost-effective way to create that. Note that ROI goes down with composite decks and stone patios. A good realtor will know how to stage it to look inviting and fun for entertaining! 

 I am always happy to meet with friends, clients, and future clients to advise on how to spend money wisely on your home, your biggest investment.

For the complete Cost vs Value report from Remodeling, go to

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