Home Improvement ROI: Which Improvements Add the Most Value?

Maybe you’re about to sell your home and want to get it ready to be put on the market. Or perhaps you just want to maximize the value of your home without spending a fortune in home improvements. Either way, you’ll want to know which home remodeling projects will get you the most bang for your buck.

Image: tic.howstuffworks.com

Here is a list of the 20 home improvement projects with the largest return on investment. All of the prices are estimates compiled by Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2011-2012.

Home improvementCostResale value%ROI
Replacing 1,250 square feet of existing siding with fiber-cement siding$13,461$10,49378
Replacing existing entry door with 20-gauge steel door and dual-pane, clear, half-glass panel$1,238$90373
Replacing 10 standard-sized windows with insulated vinyl windows and matching trim$14,284$10,36872.6
Converting attic apace into a 15′x15′ bedroom with bathroom, windows, closet space, and flooring$50,148$36,34672.5
Replacing/updating cabinet fronts, flooring, wall oven, cooktop, sink, faucet, wall covering in kitchen$19,588$14,12072.1
Replacing existing garage door and tracks with single-layer, uninsulated door and galvanized steel tracks$1,512$1,08771.9
Replacing existing garage door and tracks with high-tensile strength steel door and galvanized steel tracks$2,994$2,12971.1
Adding 16′x20′ wood deck with stairs, railing, posts, joists, and concrete piers$10,350$7,25970.1
Replacing 1,250 square feet of existing siding with foam-backed vinyl siding$14,274$9,93769.6
Replacing 1,250 square feet of existing siding with vinyl siding$11,319$7,69268
Replacing 10 standard-sized windows with insulated wood windows and matching trim$12,229$8,25867.5
Convert basement space into 20′x30′ entertainment area with bathroom, wet bar, and partition$63,378$42,33866.8
Replacing/updating all cabinets, counter, lighting, flooring, and appliances in kitchen and adding island$57,494$37,78565.7
Adding 16′x20′ composite deck with stairs, railing, bench, planter, posts, joists, and concrete piers$15,579$9,78062.8
Adding a 24′x16′ 2nd-floor bedroom w/full bathroom and a 1st-floor family room (plus new HVAC system)$165,796$103,39162.4
Replacing/updating tub, shower controls, toilet, counter, cabinet, sink, and tiling in 5′x7′ bathroom$16,552$10,29362.2
Removing standard front door, reframing, and installing for larger grand entry with dual sidelights$7,488$4,55460.8
Adding 16′x25′ family room with hardwood floor, windows, recessed ceiling lights, and skylights$83,118$50,00460.2
Adding 24′x16′ master bedroom suite with walk-in closet, whirlpool tub, separate shower, and 2 sinks$106,196$62,87459.2
Replacing 30 squares of existing roofing with fiberglass asphalt shingles with underlayment$21,204$12,25757.8

Costs can vary by region, so be sure to see how they compare against bids by contractors where you live.