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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.

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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  1. aplus kitchen

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

  2. 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.

  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. Kirk Enterprises, Inc.

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

  5. 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.