According to the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (,

the average return on investment figures for the most expensive door and window replacement projects have increased overall since 2018. At the same time, steel door and vinyl window replacements saw cost versus value decreases for the first times since 2016, on a national basis. The site compares average costs for 22 remodeling projects, along with the value those projects retain at the point of resale for related properties across 136 U.S. markets. The cost versus value for adding a new steel entry door decreased by 16.4 percent.

The decreased return among steel entry doors looks to be more about costs than the amount those products recoup at resale, with expenses for those projects increasing year over year from $1,471 to $1,826. Meanwhile, the value of those projects at time of sale remained relatively flat, going from $1,344 to $1,368. The good news is—those figures vary on a regional basis. The cost recouped for steel entry door replacement in the East South Central region, for instance, went up by 16.8 percent, while the West North Central region saw an increase of 11.4 percent. Steel door replacement consists of removing an existing 3-0 by 6-8 entry door and jambs, and replacing with a new, 20-gauge steel unit. The project includes a clear, dual-pane, half-glass panel, jambs and an aluminum threshold with composite stop. Doors are factory finished with the same color on both sides. Exterior brick-mold and 2-1/2-inch interior colonial trim or ranch casings in poplar or equivalent are prefinished to match door color. Existing door locksets are also replaced.

The news is better for homeowners selecting more expensive fiberglass doors, for what the project labels “grand entryways.” That segment saw an average of 4.3 percent increase on recouped costs, improving across all regions besides the South Atlantic. The biggest improvements arrived across New England, where there’s a 16.4 increase in costs recouped for those projects. The Middle Atlantic region saw a 0.9 percent increase for fiberglass.

Fiberglass door replacement consists of removing an existing 3-0 by 6-8 entry door and cutting and reframing the opening for a 36-inch door with two 12-inch sidelites, while moving a double-gang electrical box with two switches. The projects include color finishing, threshold, lockset, and decorative half-glass with sidelights to match the door. PVC-wrapped exterior trim in the same color are used to match existing trim, while wider, hardwood interior colonial or ranch casings are stained to match the door.

Vinyl window replacement saw a 0.9 percent decrease in cost recouped since 2018, nationally, however, the segment did see a 7.5 percent increase in the West North Central region and a 6 percent increase in New England. The project calls for replacing 10 existing 3-foot by 5-foot, double-hung window units with new vinyl windows outfitted with insulating, low-E glass with simulated-divided-lites and a custom color exterior finish. Exterior trim is also specified to match existing, while interior trims remain intact.

Wood replacement windows saw a 1.3 percent increase in recouped costs since 2018, reflecting improvements across several regions. New England saw an 8.5 percent increase, while the East South Central region rose by 6 percent. Projects utilizing wood windows consist of replacing 10 existing 3-foot by 5-foot, double-hung units, with windows featuring insulating, low-E glass and simulated-divided-lites. The interior finish is of stained hardwood and the exterior finish is of custom color aluminum cladding. Interior trims are undisturbed.

Overall, the East South Central and the West North Central proved to be the two regions with the highest increase in recouped costs in 2019 across all project types.

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