Here Are the Most (and Least) Profitable Home Improvement Projects When You’re Trying to Sell

published Nov 8, 2021
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Most homeowners make one or two renovations before selling their property. Not all improvement projects, however, are created equal and interest buyers the same.

You have to be careful in choosing which areas of the house to work on, otherwise, you’ll only be breaking even, or worse, losing money. If you’re unsure which renovation project you should pursue, here are the best and worst home improvement projects for ROI, according to a report by Remodeling Magazine.

Credit: David Dines

The Best ROI Home Improvements

Garage Door Replacement: 93.8 percent ROI

A garage door replacement has the best home improvement ROI. Similar to manufactured stone veneer, it’s a quick and relatively inexpensive project to pursue — on average about $3,907 — but it has impact, as it upgrades your facade, and with it, your property value!

Minor Kitchen Remodel: 72.2 percent ROI

A minor kitchen improvement has one of the best home improvement ROIs, but there’s no need to gut the entire space. A smaller, inexpensive upgrade — such as replacing laminate countertops, improving lighting, or repainting the walls and ceiling — can add greater value to your home compared to a more expensive, time-consuming one.

Manufactured Stone Veneer: 92.1 percent ROI

No buyer likes arriving to a property, only to see the façade old and worn. Thankfully, manufactured stone veneer can greatly improve your property’s curb appeal with its rich texture and elegant aesthetic. Plus, it’s affordable, easy to handle, eco-friendly, and of course, has a high ROI.

The Worst ROI Home Improvements

Major Kitchen Remodel: 53.9 percent ROI

Be careful not to get carried away with the kitchen remodel. Like mentioned above, a minor kitchen remodel will get you a 72.2 percent return, but once you move up to major renovations, that number plummets to 57.4 percent for midrange homes and 53.9 percent for upscale ones. Upgrading the sink and fixing the cabinets will do. Remember, you’re creating a better kitchen, not the perfect kitchen.

Bathroom Addition: 52.8 percent ROI

With pandemic-related material shortages, the prices of construction supplies have risen. That means you’ll now be paying more for that bathroom you (or your buyer) probably don’t need. Sure, research shows that adding a bathroom makes homeowners happy, but in terms of ROI, your investment portfolio won’t be as thrilled.

Primary Suite Addition: 47.7 percent ROI

By now, you’ve likely noticed a pattern. Small projects, good. Big projects, not so good. The same applies to constructing a new, upscale primary suite. It’s tempting to build a nice inner sanctum at home, but the costs can spiral out of control fast, costing anywhere from $10,000 to more than $100,000.

So before embarking on a home renovation, ask yourself: “Am I remodeling for myself, or to increase my home’s value?” By knowing your goal, you can plan your budget and project accordingly. If it’s to increase the resale price, using ROI as a metric can help you pick the right upgrades to pursue, not to mention, keep you from getting carried away.