These 15 Home Renovations Have the Highest Return on Investment

It’s sad but true: not every home renovation offers a great return on investment. In fact, most upgrades that you make around the house wind up costing hundreds or even thousands more than they’re worth. If you love the result, then those overpriced changes can be worth it. But if you have any intention of selling your house in the future, then you’ll want to choose renovations that make sense, cost-wise.

The home renovation industry has positively exploded thanks to the popularity of HGTV, Houzz, and other media that glamorizes home improvement. In 2015, Americans spent $326 billion making home upgrades. But is it really a good idea to rip out all the interior walls and add subway tiles and reclaimed wood to every surface?

Remodeling.net recently conducted a research study comparing the cost of renovations compared to what you can expect to recoup on the investment. The results may surprise you.

1. Garage door installation

Two wooden car garage

Two wooden car garage | Marcin Leszczuk/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $3,470
  • Resale value: $3,411
  • Cost recouped: 98.3%

The garage door might not be the first renovation you think to do when you’re channeling your inner Joanna Gaines, but it turns out that this particular replacement has one of the highest returns you can get. You’ll get back almost exactly as much as you spend. And if you get your new door for a discount? You might even make money on the project.

Next: Manufactured stone veneer

2. Manufactured stone veneer

Stone home exterior

Stone home exterior | hikesterson/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $8,221
  • Resale value: $7,986
  • Cost recouped: 97.1%

Curb appeal is worth a lot of money to buyers. Some might not even stop to check out your open house if they don’t like how it looks from the outside. Putting in a stone exterior is a difficult and pricey upgrade, but adding a manufactured stone veneer costs much less and helps increase the value of your home.

Next: Entry door replacement

3. Entry door replacement

Front door

Front door | dpproductions/ iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $1,471
  • Resale value: $1,344
  • Cost recouped: 91.3%

First impressions matter – that’s why a solid, attractive steel entry door is worth the cost. You can get an expensive-looking door installed for cheap and then recoup almost all the money you spent buying it.

Next: Wood deck addition

4. Wood deck addition

Wooden deck

Wooden deck | volgariver/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $10,950
  • Resale value: $9,065
  • Cost recouped: 82.8%

Homebuyers are almost always looking for space to entertain and that includes outdoor areas. A deck isn’t cheap, but it will increase the value of your home enough to almost cover that cost.

Next: Minor kitchen remodel

5. Minor kitchen remodel

Kitchen

Kitchen | Beisea/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $21,198
  • Resale value: $17,193
  • Cost recouped: 81.1%

When it comes to kitchen remodels, the sky’s the limit as far as costs are concerned. But rather than gutting your existing kitchen down to the studs and starting from scratch, you can do a minor kitchen remodel – which may include upgrades such as new flooring, new appliances, and refurbishing the cabinets – and get back most of the money you put in.

Next: Siding replacement

6. Siding replacement

House exterior

House exterior | alabn/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $15,072
  • Resale value: $11,554
  • Cost recouped: 76.7%

Siding isn’t the obvious thing people think of when it’s time to remodel, but it makes a big impact on the overall value of your home. Replacing the siding is a renovation that’s well worth the money.

Next: Vinyl window replacement

7. Vinyl window replacement

windows

Windows | Joe_Potato/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $15,955
  • Resale value: $11,855
  • Cost recouped: 74.3%

New windows don’t just look better – they also have unexpected benefits like keeping your energy costs down. Potential buyers want replacement windows and are willing to pay top dollar for them.

Next: Universal design bathroom

8. Universal design bathroom

Accessible bathroom

Accessible bathroom | BenDC/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $16,393
  • Resale value: $11,581
  • Cost recouped: 70.6%

As people age, they start to look for bathroom features such as walk-in showers, support bars, wheelchair accessibility, and other key elements that will prolong their time spent at home in safety and comfort. Having these items in your home means getting most of your money back.

Next: Bathroom remodel

9. Bathroom remodel

Light bathroom with two sinks and big mirror

Bathroom | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $19,134
  • Resale value: $13,422
  • Cost recouped: 70.1%

This proves the old adage that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. A bathroom remodel isn’t a quick or cheap weekend project, but you’ll get back almost as much as you put in, especially if you stick to neutral color palettes and upscale fixtures.

Next: Replacement roof

10. Replacement roof

Roof

Roof | Lex20/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $20,939
  • Resale value: $14,320
  • Cost recouped: 68.4%

No one wants to pay to replace a roof – they’d much rather it was already done, and recently. This unglamorous yet essential upgrade is worth the money you spend when you can add, “new roof!” to your listing.

Next: Create a grand entrance

11. Create a grand entrance

Front door of house with lights at night

Grant front entry | Siri Stafford/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $8,591
  • Resale value: $5,809
  • Cost recouped: 67.6%

You know that plain old front door you have? Taking it to the next level by replacing it with a grand entry door complete with glass side panels. It makes your house look more welcoming and appeals to a broad range of sellers.

Next: Bathroom addition

12. Bathroom addition

Bathroom

Bathroom KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $44,717
  • Resale value: $26,769
  • Cost recouped: 59.9%

Can you ever have too many bathrooms? Probably. Adding a bathroom where none existed before can be tricky, but you’ll see a lot of that money returned to you. Consider putting in a powder room if a full bath isn’t an option.

Next: Major kitchen remodel

13. Major kitchen remodel

Kitchen

Kitchen | hikesterson/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $63,829
  • Resale value: $37,637
  • Cost recouped: 59%

Sometimes a full gut job on the kitchen is necessary. It won’t get you back as much money as a minor remodel, but you will get back a significant amount when it’s time to sell. Plus, it’ll look beautiful in the meantime.

Next: Master suite addition

14. Master suite addition

Minimalist bedroom and bathroom

Master bedroom | iStock.com/ArchiViz

  • Average job cost: $123,420
  • Resale value: $69,807
  • Cost recouped: 56.6%

These days buyers are pickier than ever and most are interested in a full master suite, not just another cramped bedroom. Adding a suite including a spacious bedroom, walk-in closets, and a full bathroom can cost well into the six figures. But once you have it, people will be willing to pay top dollar for your house.

Next: Backyard patio

15. Backyard patio

Outdoor kitchen and patio

Outdoor kitchen patio | ozgurcoskun/iStock/Getty Images

  • Average job cost: $54,130
  • Resale value: $25,769
  • Cost recouped: 47.6%

Backyard upgrades are crucial and homeowners should never neglect those spaces when they’re renovating a house. A well-appointed and clearly defined patio with a firepit, outdoor kitchen, flagstone pavers, and sliding glass access doors will get a nice return on the investment.