The Most Profitable Remodeling Projects

Remodeling Projects That Pay You

Remodeling can be expensive, but a reputable remodeling company or realtor can go a long way in helping you maximize your return on investment.

Different types of projects retain different levels of value at resale; some significantly more than others. Below is some interesting information about which remodeling projects get you the most bang for your buck.

These numbers are taken from the national averages in 2015:

Midrange Projects with the Most Cost Recouped

  1. Entry Door Replacement (steel) – 101.8%
  2. Manufactured Stone Veneer – 92.2%
  3. Garage Door Replacement – 88.4%
  4. Siding Replacement (vinyl) – 80.7%
  5. Deck Addition (wood) – 80.5%

Midrange Projects with the Least Cost Recouped

  1. Sunroom Addition – 48.5%
  2. Home Office Remodel – 48.7%
  3. Bathroom Addition – 57.8%
  4. Backup Power Generator – 59.9%
  5. Master Suite Addition — 61.7%

As you can see, some projects retain almost twice as much value as others.

Source: iStock

Upscale Projects with the Most Cost Recouped

  1. Siding-Replacement (fiber-cement) – 84.3%
  2. Garage Door Replacement – 82.5%
  3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl) – 77.6%
  4. Window Replacement (vinyl) – 74.9%
  5. Window Replacement (wood) 71.9%

Upscale Projects with the Least Cost Recouped

  1. Master Suite Addition – 53.7%
  2. Garage Addition – 54.7%
  3. Bathroom Addition – 58.6%
  4. Deck Addition (composite) – 58.9%
  5. Major Kitchen Remodel – 59%


Most values are down from their 2014 measurements, while costs have gone up. There has been a steady decline in cost-value ratio, from over 80 percent in the early 2000s, down to about 60 percent in 2015.

Final note: The infographic compares Chicago to the national averages. As you can see, the cost recouped for Chicago significantly outperformed the nationwide values.

Best Markets

The best market for remodeling projects right now is San Francisco, which recouped and average value of 100.3% for all projects. Honolulu was the second-best market at 94.6%. Third was San Jose, Calif., at 87.1%; Riverside, Calif., 84.1%; Sarasota, Fla., 80.7%; Austin, Texas, 78.6%; and New Orleans 77.6%.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Best Projects

Replacement projects (like doors, windows, and siding) generated a higher return on investment than larger remodeling projects, which has been true since 2003. The highest performing job type in 2015 was siding, which was one of only five project types that actually increased in value.

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling were on the other end of the spectrum, declining as much as 6.6% from last year. In general, higher priced projects rank on the lower end of the cost-recouped chart.

As you can see, a number of cities in the Cost vs. Value Report show a cost-recouped average that is above 100% for some remodeling projects. This indicates that, on average, those projects are worth more in resale value than the owner spent to construct them.

This might seem impossible, especially to homeowners in areas where the property values are lower than they were several years ago, but it is definitely the exception to the rule. When it does happen, it is usually because of a hot real estate market or to specific projects that are in high demand from buyers. If a remodeling project helps a house meet buyers’ expectations—for example, adding a second bathroom in an area where every other home already has two—the homeowner can expect a good return on their investment.


Smaller remodeling projects recoup more resale value than upscale projects. Choose a reputable remodeling company that will help you maximize your return on investment.

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