The Rise Of Home Renovations

in Financial Planning by

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.

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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Andrea Davis
Andrea Davis is an editor at HomeAdvisor (, 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.
Andrea Davis

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  1. SA Home Improvement

    You have explained the home renovations project in detail. This blog gives more detail and tips about basement remodeling. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Kirk Enterprises, Inc.

    Home renovation is the most effective and affordable way to add value to our home.

  3. Jamarcus Dantley

    My wife and I have been looking to do some home renovations. Oddly enough, my wife really wants to replace the entry door first, like you pointed out. I didn’t know that could put so much more value on our home. Maybe it’s about time we did it!

    • Sean Hogan

      This is the first thing people notice, the front door. It’s expensive but will add value to your house and an envy to your friends.

  4. Heather Jackson

    Wow, I am baffled at the return value of installing a steel entry door. Do you know why this increases the value of a home so much? Personally, my favorite home renovation, as mentioned at the end of the list, is basement remodeling. Turning a cold concrete floor with two by four studs for walls into a cool and comfortable hangout place for your children can do wonders for the sentimental and popularity value of your home.

  5. aplus kitchen

    Wow great way to presentation trend. thanks for this entry.

  6. Gus Chiggins

    Learning the individual costs for a home renovation is incredibly helpful. I think it would be a good idea to start with the windows, so everything else will be well-lit. I have been thinking about a renovation lately. I will have to show my wife these tips so we can both learn more.

  7. Ted Smith

    Thank you for the list of the top home projects. I am actually surprised that a basement remodel isn’t at the top of the list. In my opinion, that would be the most often done project where I am from. Maybe it is just the area though. Later this year I am planning on remodeling my basement.

  8. Chase Wilson

    Excellent article! I am surprised that a remodel is a better investment than an addition. I am all for it though, I think people have more space than they need in general. I want to remodel my basement, but I have no idea how because I have never done something like that before. Do you think it would be good to hire someone, or do you think that I should just try on my own first?

  9. Zach Thalman

    That is interesting that the front door is such a huge deal. I think that you should always have a sturdy door. My parents had to replace their front door and I think now it looks a lot better than before. They were even able to paint it black which I think added more curb appeal. I think that renovations to the house before selling it can greatly increase the sale value.

  10. Julie Myers

    I had no idea that so many people were doing home renovations! These all seem like really great things to do to improve a home. I especially like the idea of adding on a wood deck and improving the kitchen a little bit. Doing a full kitchen renovation can get expensive, but by just doing a few things to make it look better, I think that is a perfect option. Since remodeling is so affordable right now, I think it is time for me to start looking into it more seriously!

  11. [email protected]

    The demand for automatic garage door openers are increasing nowadays, perhaps because many homeowners give importance and priorities to the safety, security, and privacy of the family.

  12. Rhys Rawson

    I’ve definitely seen a lot of home renovations happening in my neighborhood this summer. I’m not surprised door and garage door replacement are the most popular renovations. I’m actually thinking about replacing my entry door after seeing my neighbor’s new steel one!

  13. Drew Harrison

    It is really interesting to see graphs behind the data. Sometimes raw data can be rough for most people to understand. I know I’m a visual learner for sure! Thanks for the info and great post Andrea!

  14. Johnson McGee

    That’s interesting to learn that stone veneers are such high-value improvements. I love stone veneers, they look great on virtually any house. I am actually going to be doing a marble veneer on my home. I feel that it will increase the resale value. Do you think that a stone veneer would make my house more marketable?

  15. Delores Lyon

    Thanks for sharing these different home renovations and their respective resale values. I had no idea that replacing the entry door could yield so much profit for the homeowner– 101.8% is a number I could definitely get behind! In fact, after seeing the entry door and stone veneer percent values, I might have the entryway and living room remodeled to give me an awesome return once the house is sold.

  16. MakinResidential

    The Entry Door Replacement is a completely agreeable point as majority people spent their earning on their entry because to show the beautiful entrance. Thanks for sharing the valuable and individuals for home renovation or remodel projects.

  17. James Bay

    I think it is great that more and more people are starting to renovate, instead of building a new home. I have been thinking about replacing my door for a steel door. It seems like a lot of people are doing that! Thank you for the help.

  18. Alex Lane

    This is some very interesting information. I didn’t realize how common basement remodeling was. My wife and I just had ours finished out and love it. We questioned why we hadn’t done it sooner, it’s such a great living space. We may have to keep the deck addition in mind for the next project!

  19. Steve Holt

    Thanks for the information! I’m surprised by a few of these trending home improvement projects. It’s pretty incredible that there are significantly more entry door replacements compared to a garage door replacement. I’ve always thought that there’s more of a need to replace a garage door than to replace a front door. It would be interesting to see what remodeling projects are trending next year.

  20. Steven Harrison

    My wife and I have been trying to decide how much we will remodel and how much we will replace. We had developed a Column A and Column B of things we needed to take care of. After reading this, it’s clear that the best approach is to go with priority, and replace everything that’s broken before we do anything else.

  21. Craftbuilt Kitchens

    This is valuable information for those planning to sell their homes. Knowing which home improvement gives the best ROI allow home owners to prioritise budgets for spaces and details that truly matter. Thanks!

  22. Raylin Sutter

    I have probably had all of the renovations that you list being popular done in my home over the past year or two. We have really worked on remodeling everything and making our 1970’s home a bit more modern. Right now, we are in the middle of working on our attic bedroom and can’t wait to use it as a guest apartment.

  23. Jason Strong

    My mom and dad are wanting to do some renovations around our home and have begun to plan. This is the first time that they have done something like this, so they aren’t sure how to go about doing this. This article has some great points that I think can help them figure this out.

  24. Nick Tedesco

    I suppose it may still be a controversial subject, but I look forward to a time when adding a solar panel system to a home’s rooftop will be added to a home renovation list like this one. Solar panel systems add value two ways: they save homeowners thousands on their electricity bills and add thousands to the overall value of a home.

  25. Zach Potter

    My wife and I this next year are hoping to have a big remodel of our home and even get done on the roof and extend our house a bit and even are going to need to rent a crane. We have big plans for our home and we thank you for the article and discussion boards that have been so helpful with us making up our minds and getting what we want and our thoughts all out on paper.

  26. Logan Murphy

    I’m really surprised to see that the entry door replacement is on top of the list for home renovations. I guess it makes sense due to the fact that it can be relatively inexpensive and also easy to replace. Come to think of it, my wife and I actually replaced our door this year too! Thanks for the great article.

  27. Dean

    Interesting article. I didn’t realize that entry door replacements were currently trending as much as they are. This is certainly something to consider moving forward. There seems to still be good money in garage door replacements. Especially with so many homeowners spending the extra money to get custom doors created. This certainly pads the pocket books. Thanks for the share!

  28. Ella Ross

    It is amazing how many people are doing renovations this year! I am probably going to jump on this bandwagon and get some renovations done for my own home. I really like the idea of getting a minor kitchen remodel done, as well as redoing our basement. Our basement has been in bad shape for a while now, so it would be really nice to make it actually useful. Then we would probably have a lot more space in our home, since we don’t really even use it right now!

  29. leeshin

    home renovations is growing trend of today, all these home projects found be worthy and im fortune to see such a nice blog.

  30. Ethan

    Planning this project is need a serious plan, many people just do renovation without a good plan, your research also give us more option to do and which one doesn’t need. Nice

  31. Travis Thompson

    It’s important to remember that remodeling your basement is not the only project that increases the value of the home. The more you do upgrades to your house, the more you will be able to resell it! And while i can’t back it up with any figures, it seems to me that the value of a home increases by a higher percentage with each home improvement project.

  32. Hannah

    These are really interesting figures. It’s a great reference for seeing which renovations have the best return, as well as trends to expect among DIY-ers this year.

  33. Zach Potter

    Interesting article here on the rise of home remodeling. It is also interesting to see the information on what exactly people are choosing to work on. It also seems as though the information is fairly accurate as we are actually working on our entry door and then deck afterwards this next coming summer! Thanks for the informational article.

  34. Jake White

    I am considering a job in home construction projects, and I am glad that I read this article. These stats for 2015 were awesome, and it seems like entry door replacement could be a great place for me to specialize. Thanks for sharing this information with me!

  35. Robert Starling

    As a person who works in the waste removal business I have to admit that whatever is shown on the graph table with the 2015 home improvement trends matches with what we are mostly asked to remove after a renovation of a house. That actually made me gain trust in the rest of the information from the post. The idea for attic bedroom is just what I did with the previous year. It turned out that I now use this room for people who need shelter for a night or for guests which are somehow used to living in a room on the attic.

  36. leeshin

    home renovation is trending method… thank you for explaining the reason with statistical note

  37. Victoria Runda

    Thanks for sharing this information on which home renovation projects actually provide the best resale value for the homeowner’s work. Nobody wants to put in tons of work and money into their home without seeing a return on that investment. I’m just a bit surprised that replacing the entry door has such a huge impact. It makes sense that it would, it just isn’t something that I had ever really thought about before.

  38. SJB Construction Inc

    I am curious to see the publications for 2016! Yes 2015 was a great year. Nice article

  39. Sam Fisher

    Like the comment above me, I to am curious to see how the trends are set for this year. With a lot of renovations over the 70% return rate, it makes you wonder which ones to do? For me, I would do ones that focus on the outside of the home first. These would include replacing the siding, front door replacement, and the garage door.

  40. DDR Kitchen Remodeling

    Simply states the value of home remodeling, isn’t it? Home owners can do something simple as replacing entry door, garage door etc and boost home value by significant margin. Kinda says importance of home remodeling contractors too.

  41. Gaithersburg Maryland door replacement

    This article about home renovations project is well-explained in details. It provides more information and tips about home remodeling. Thanks for sharing.

  42. daniel

    Thanks for the information about home renovation .really helpful.

  43. Cal Driver

    Great post. I’m a very left-brained person, and my wife is very artistic and creative. She’s been trying to coax me into renovating our home, but there’s no appeal in it for me. After reading this, though, it’s clear that there are benefits beyond just creative expression. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Meagan

    This is a very interesting list. It’s really good information to know to what likes to be done on a house. And I like how you talk about what the better return on investment is. Sometimes, the bigger projects just need to wait.

  45. Tina

    This is an outstanding piece! Happy to see brilliant post with important details.

  46. James Bergman

    I appreciate your replace rather than remodel tip. Quite frankly I’m surprised that there is such a difference in returns between the two. However, it is my opinion that a remodel shouldn’t be about getting a better return on your house. I think it should be about livability. I would rather live in a house with a remodeled kitchen, and finished basement, so these remodels are worth the cost to me.

  47. Stephen DaSilva

    As a man who works in the waste removal business I have to admit that whatever is shown on the graph table with the 2015 home improvement trends matches with what we are mostly asked to remove after a renovation of a house. That actually made me gain trust in the rest of the information from the post.

  48. Aaron Campbell

    Definitely last year was a time for big renovations and all our rubbish collectors would claim that for sure. Our collecting teams were mostly removing waste after different home renovations during the end of the spring and all the summer. Even I did some renovating of the garage and the basement. The information in this post is good to know and I’m surely recommending it to my colleagues in the company to read. We can even make some statistics on our work during the past year according to the graph table above.

  49. Jimmy Saunders

    This is a great article with very accurate statistics, good job and keep it up!

    We are paving experts and specialise in Block Paving and Indian Sandstone, providing a full and comprehensive quality paving in Dartford, Swanley, Bexley & Greenwich, covering all aspects of paving and landscape gardening.

  50. Joe Marshall

    This post about home renovation and improvements projects is very well detailed and provides us with much more information and tips about home remodelling. Thank you for this great article!

  51. David Boswell

    Our team of roofing experts will carry out a detailed survey of your roof and come back to you with a range of suitable options within your price range from repair, renovation and where necessary a completely new roof installation with a great guarantee.

  52. Skip Hire

    Thank you for this great article and sharing tips about home remodelling.

  53. Bruce

    Well, your ideas for home renovation are simple but very noteworthy, unlike lots of general ideas out here! I will try them out soon in my next renovation project.They’ll save me lots of time & effort!

  54. Gary

    I found it very interesting that entryway doors was number one! It really does make sense though. For not a lot of money you can really improve the look of your home with a new entryway door.


  55. Lora

    Certainly Good and Fresh Read. Appreciate the effort.

  56. mark hanery

    A very awesome post. We are really grateful for your post. thanks to you

  57. jhon clark

    A very awesome post. We are really grateful for your post

  58. Jasper Taubman

    This is very educational content and written well for a change. It’s nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post!

  59. Jammy Hope

    A very useful article to read.Thanks a lot for sharing this.Fine work.Keep it Up.

  60. Granny Flats

    A very interesting post. We are so lucky to find your blog. Especially this one, it contains a lot of useful and important things. Thank you for having the time to share this on the internet. We’re so grateful to you! Keep on blogging and more power!

  61. Emma Clemantine

    Great Knowledge! This is really a useful knowledge that I need to keep in my mind for remolding my hope interior. Thanks a lot for such a great points. These are so useful and innovative.

  62. James The Auckland Renovator

    I liked the point about the front door! Very good idea, something that doesn’t come to mind straight away.


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