When it comes to any remodeling project, a homeowner wants to add value to their home. A recent survey of Realtors® found that realtors rated many exterior improvements as among the most valuable home investment projects as part of the “2011-12 Remodeling Cost versus Value Report.”

“This year’s ‘Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report’ shows the value of putting your home’s best façade forward, so to speak,” said National Association of Realtors® (NAR) president Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami. “Inexpensive exterior replacement projects are not only crucial to a home’s regular upkeep, but are also expected to recoup close to 70 percent of costs.

Specific exterior projects such as siding, window and door replacements are part of regular home maintenance, so many homeowners are already undertaking them. These projects also do not require expensive materials and they have the added bonus of instantly adding curb appeal.”

According to the report, seven of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally in terms of value recouped are exterior replacement projects. Three door replacements were among the top exterior replacement projects. The steel entry door replacement is the least expensive project in the report, costing little more than $1,200 on average and expected to recoup 73 percent of costs.

One window replacement project — upscale vinyl — rounded out the last exterior replacement project in the top 10, expected to recoup 69.1 percent of costs.

The “2011-12 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report” compares construction costs with resale values for 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 80 markets across the country. Data are grouped in nine U.S. regions, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Overall, Realtors® estimated that homeowners would recoup an average of 57.7 percent of their investment in 35 different improvement projects, down from an average of 60 percent last year. Due to a weak economy, high unemployment in the construction industry and the increasing cost of materials, the price of remodeling projects has risen, leaving many homeowners hesitant to tackle projects or encouraging them to scale back on their plans.

Improvement projects that are expected to return the least are a sunroom addition and a home office remodel, both estimated to recoup less than 46 percent of costs.


  1. These reports don’t do much to help window replacement sales!
    If a potential customer looks at them, they focus on two things: 1) How expensive the average “midrange” window replacement is, and 2) The highest percentage return (often a deck addition or a kitchen upgrade).

  2. It’s nice to hear about recouping your investment on resell but let’s not forget about the added comfort and energy savings a high quality window project can bring while more people are staying in their homes.

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