Not all home improvement projects are created equal, especially when it comes to getting money back on your investment. While you’ll very rarely see a 100% return on your money, there are some projects that get you close to it.
Remodeling magazine compiles a report each year that tells you which home improvements will get you the best return on your investment. Go here for more information about all the projects in the report. This information is especially valuable because it’s specific to Portland.
1. Garage Door Replacement
An upscale garage door replacement comes in at a whopping 130.7%!
For this improvement, install a new, four-section garage door on brand-new heavy-duty steel tracks. You can reuse the motorized opener you already have. The door should be high-tensile strength steel and have two coats of factory paint. It should also have foam insulation with thermal seals and come with a lifetime warranty.
2. Manufactured Stone Veneer
This improvement gives you 128.5% back on your investment.
Just remove a continuous band of existing siding from the bottom third of your home’s street-facing façade, beginning at the garage and continuing around the main entryway. Replace the siding with manufactured stone veneer. Include sills, corners, and an address block with two separate layers of a water-resistant barrier underneath the veneer.
3. Siding Replacement
Here’s another project to freshen up the exterior of your house. You’ll get an 98.5% return if you replace all of your existing siding with new siding. Don’t forget to include factory trim at all openings and corners.
4. Universal Design Bathroom
A bathroom with universal accessibility features will get you 98.2% back.
First, you’ll widen the doorway so the room can be accessible by a wheelchair. Then, you’ll install a wider door but use standard knobs. You may need to reinforce bathroom walls to support new grab bars and new, lower towel hooks. Place outlets and electrical switches at wheelchair heights.
You’ll also need to replace the existing tub and shower with a walk-in, no-threshold shower, which should include a fold-down seat and adjustable shower head. Replace the toilet with a comfort-height toilet. You’ll also need a vanity and sink that can be accessible while sitting.
5. Deck Addition (Wood)
This is a really useful and fun addition to your home that also just so happens to add a lot of value. A wood deck addition can get you back 94.1% of the money you spend on the project.
Add a 16×20-foot deck with pressure-treated joists and boards. Include a built-in bench and planter out of the same material. You’ll also want to include stairs and a complete railing system made out of the same pressure-treated wood.
6. Entry Door Replacement
A new entry door will get you back 91.9% of what you spend. Remove your existing door and jambs and replace with a 20-gauge steel door that includes new jams and an aluminum threshold. The door should be factory finished with the same color on both sides. Replace the existing lockset, as well.
7. Window Replacement (Vinyl)
New windows can make your home look brand new, and they offer a solid return on your investment—86.6%.
Your new vinyl windows should be insulated, low-e windows, which are energy-efficient with a coating that affects how heat passes in and out of the home. They should have a simulated wood-grain finish on the inside, and you can leave the existing interior trim. Trim the exterior to match the rest of the home.
8. Minor Kitchen Remodel
A minor kitchen remodel actually gets you a higher return on your money (86.1%) than a major, very expensive kitchen remodel does. You’d be surprised what a difference a minor kitchen remodel can make for a dated kitchen; in fact, a full remodel might not even be necessary.
A minor remodel should include a few important upgrades. Leave the existing cabinet boxes but replace the fronts with new, shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts. Don’t forget the new hardware! Replace the cooktop, oven range, and fridge with energy-efficient models. Replace countertops with laminate (there are a lot of really beautiful options these days). Add a new mid-priced sink and faucet. Then you can repaint the trim and walls, and you’re done!