2015 Trend: The Rise of Home Renovations
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The Rise Of Home Renovations

According a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2015 could be a record year for home renovations. Strong job growth, more home sales, higher disposable income, continued low interest rates, and a more competitive home buying environment all contribute to a rise in renovation spending.

2015 Top Home Projects

If you plan to sell your home this year, there are some potential upgrades and renovations that will help your home stand out among the others. Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report lists some major renovations with a high resale value.

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Here are some highlights from the report — improvements that ranked 70% or higher in resale value for homeowners:

Entry Door Replacement (101.8%) — topped the list of home improvements in 2015. The cost to replace or install a steel entry door averages between $500 and $1,230, depending on the type of door and how labor-intensive it is to remove your old door.

Manufactured Stone Veneer (92.2%) — has the potential to come from natural or fake stones, which are broken down, cut into the same thickness and weighted to be used for different purposes around the exterior and interior of the home. Popular uses include siding, fireplace mantels, foundations, bathtub surroundings and so on.

Garage Door Replacement (88.4%) — is another investment that will pay back down the road. The cost to replace a garage door ranges between $500 and $2,500, depending on the size, materials and location of your home.

Vinyl Siding Replacement (80.7%) — is inexpensive and it lasts for a long time. It comes in various styles, colors and designs to match your neighborhood and budget.

Wood Deck Addition (80.5%) — is natural and adds to the landscape of your backyard. The cost to build a deck averages between $4,000 and $10,000, depending on the materials used, square footage and professional labor.

Minor Kitchen Remodel (79.3%) — doesn’t require gutting the entire kitchen to get a brand new look. The average cost of a kitchen remodel is around $19,500, but you can spend less by doing small improvement projects.

Wood Window Replacement (78.8%) — entails replacing your window with an efficient, double-paned window and wood frame for a natural look.

Attic Bedroom (77.2%) — upgrades your attic into another finished space. Your options include turning it into a bedroom, home office, finished storage space — anything you can imagine and have the budget to do.

Basement Remodel (72.8%) — pays back during resale. If you decide to go a step further though, remodeling the basement is a significant investment that adds a room to your home and attracts buyers.

2015 Home Improvement Trends

Image courtesy of Remodeling Magazine

According to Remodeling Magazine, the cost of remodeling and replacement projects has risen compared to last year. However, values failed to rise with costs, which led to a decrease in many of their percentages (save for entry door replacement). This resulted in a 62% decline in the overall cost vs. value ratio for home improvement projects in 2015.

Specifically, the following projects declined in value:

● Garage door replacement: – 0.5%
● Wood window replacement: -0.6%
● Attic bedroom: -8.4%
● Minor kitchen remodel: -4.0%
● Basement remodel: -6.2%
● Wood deck addition: -7.9%

Project Rankings


For those unfamiliar with the cost vs. value report, Remodeling Magazine ranks projects and their percentages by their construction cost. The magazine added manufactured stone veneer to the report this year, which ranked second in high-value improvements. Entry steel door replacement was the only project that had a ratio above 100% this year because its construction cost yielded a high return on investment.

Remodeling Magazine also determines project ranks based on the number of cities surveyed. In 2015, they surveyed 102 markets and found 269 projects that yielded high return on investment for homeowners. Here are the four most popular projects:

● Garage door replacement
● Manufactured stone veneer
● Wood window replacement
● Kitchen remodels

It’s also important to note that replacement projects have had higher return on investment yields than remodeling project since 2003:

Image courtesy of Remodeling Magazine

Remodeling Magazine’s trend report further shows that door, window and siding projects widened their gap by 3.8 points this year as they continued to decline in value on the chart.

What does this mean for home improvement in 2015?

If you’re going to remodel your home in the coming year, focus on replacement projects rather than remodeling projects. They seem to yield a higher return on investment, according to the cost vs. value ratio. Moreover, they’re more affordable and seem to have as much of an impact on your home’s value as a remodeling endeavor. Homeowners targeted by the Harvard study, in particular, should focus on making home improvements that they can afford rather than extending themselves too far.

Related Post: It’s Almost Always Better To Build Than Buy

If you need help making key home improvement decisions, you can always consult with professionals who have experience in whichever home improvement project you’re considering. It’s better to get some opinions from a professional rather than jump into a potential DIY disaster.

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The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Andrea Davis is an editor at HomeAdvisor (www.homeadvisor.com), a leading website and mobile app source providing homeowners with free tools and resources for their home projects. HomeAdvisor also connects homeowners to a network of more than 80,000 pre-screened, customer-reviewed service professionals and now makes the process simple from start to finish with Mhelpdesk. Homeowners can make smart project decisions at home or on-the-go using desktop tools such as Cost Guide and Pro Reviews, along with mobile apps including HomeAdvisor Mobile and DesignMine.
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