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Is Remodeling Worth the Investment?

Before you start

Not all renovations recover cost or enhance property value to the same extent. Keep in mind, remodeling always costs more and takes longer than expected. Take time to plan your project before you start swinging the hammer. Don’t go overboard, you want the renovations to compliment the property and make sure it still fits the neighborhood. You will get the highest return from a medium-end remodel that appeal to the largest amount of people. And remember, not all rooms are created equal – focus on the highest value rooms first (kitchen, bath and primary bedroom/bath). Always add 15% to your budget as a fudge-factor.

Renovations that add value


Approximate Cost

Return on Investment (ROI) estimate

Kitchen remodel – complete

$40k – $80k


Kitchen remodel – minor


80% - 90%

Bathroom addition

$50k – $90k


Finished basement

$10k - $60k


New windows

$10k - $80k

70% - 90%


$20k - $60k

50% - 75%

New front door

$1K - $3k

75% - 100%

New garage doors

$2k - $4k


Paint job

$4k - $8k

70% - 100%


$3k - $8k

70% - 100%

Refinish hardwood floors

$3k - $8k

80% - 100%

Air sealing, insulation, furnace, AC upgrades

$6k - $25k

20% - 40% resale, but can be 100% if you plan to stay

New roof

$6k - $20k

70% - 100%


$15k - $65k

Calculate based on actual utility bill offset and life expectancy of system

Other costs to consider

· Demolition and haul-off costs

· Required permits

· Inspections

· French drains

· Water sealing

· Home warranty

· Costs of hiring contractors

· Electrical and plumbing upgrades

· Foundation repair

· Mold mitigation

· Radon mitigation

Of course, these are just estimates. The complexity of the room, preparation of the site, and the range of materials (from nails to paint to countertops) influence the costs to renovate. The resale value and percentage of costs recouped will be different for each project.


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