Report reveals most financially valuable home projects

by Chase Conner

In this year’s Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling Magazine, “curb appeal” projects led the way with increases in value. The report measured the average payback for 21 common professional remodeling projects in 149 major U.S. markets. While only two-thirds of the projects boosted home values, the cost of all the projects have increased.

The report found that the highest-cost projects this year often had the lowest year-over year value. Besides minor kitchen remodels, the curb appeal projects, or work done on home exteriors. generate higher returns than interior renovations.

For 2018, the three projects with the highest increase in value compared to last year include garage door replacement (up 18.6 percent), wood deck additions (up 17.7 percent) and manufactured stone veneer installations (up 15.7 percent).

The report was calculated before fall hurricanes and fires increased demand in building materials, in return elevating the prices from coast to coast.

In Boston, the home renovations or remodeling projects that provided to be the most beneficial for return on investment were: attic installation of fiberglass, with 93 percent of the cost recouped, and garage door replacement, with 85 percent of the cost recouped. The projects that were least worthwhile financially were installation of backup power generators, backyard patios and bathroom additions — for both mid-range and upscale homes.

The report continues to reveal tremendous variations in cost to value, finding a huge value gap for replacement jobs, 76.1 percent of which pay for themselves, and remodeling jobs, 56 percent of which eventually recoup their initial cost.

“We think this is for several reasons,”said Craig Webb, editor in chief of Remodeling Magazine and manager of the report. “First, the seven replacement jobs on the list — basically, all the exterior projects except the deck and patio jobs — all are cheaper than the remodeling jobs. And it makes sense that most prospective buyers won’t sign a contract without first demanding that broken stuff get fixed.”