6 Home Improvement Projects with the Biggest Returns

6 Home Improvement Projects with the Biggest Returns

If you've been saving money for months or recently decided to use a home equity loan to pay for a home remodeling project, you might be concerned whether the job you have in mind is worth the expense. It's okay to accept a lower return on investment for a particular project that expresses your personality or desired lifestyle. But, if you plan on selling your home soon, consider projects that help recoup most of your investment.

According to the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, the top six home improvement projects with the greatest return are:

1. Garage Door Replacement

Now is the time to replace that slow-opening, dated, or damaged garage door. Exchange your traditional 16x7 foot garage door for a new four-section steel version with windows and expect to recoup the highest percentage of any of the home remodeling jobs identified in the report.

  • Job Cost = $3,611
  • Resale Value = $3,520
  • Cost Recouped = 97.5%

2. Manufactured Stone Veneer

Give your home a natural stone facelift with manufactured stone veneer. Experienced DIYers can usually tackle this project over a long weekend. These figures are based on replacing 300 square feet of existing vinyl siding with the new material.

  • Job Cost = $8,907
  • Resale Value = $8,449
  • Cost Recouped = 94.9%

3. Mid-range Minor Kitchen Remodel

There's no need to gut your kitchen to give it an updated look. While this is one of the higher cost remodeling jobs on the list, it assumes you already have a functional 200 square foot kitchen that doesn't need major repairs. Swap out your old refrigerator and dishwasher for new energy-efficient versions. Install a new sink, cooktop/oven range, and flooring. Finish with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, trim, and ceiling.

  • Job Cost = $22,507
  • Resale Value = $18,123
  • Cost Recouped = 80.5%
4. Wood Deck Addition

Extend your home living space outdoors with the addition of a 16x20 wooden deck. The job cost assumes a complete railing system, built-in bench, and planter

  • Job Cost = $13,333
  • Resale Value = $10,083
  • Cost Recouped = 75.6%
5. Siding Replacement

If a stone veneer doesn't match your home's style, you can replace exterior siding to make your home look new again. Figures are based on replacing 1,250 square feet of existing siding.

  • Job Cost = $16,036
  • Resale Value = $12,119
  • Cost Recouped = 75.6%

6. Steel Entry Door Replacement

A steel entry door offers homeowners several benefits. Available in a wide range of colors and designs, these durable, budget-friendly doors are energy-efficient and need little maintenance.

  • Job Cost = $1,826
  • Resale Value = $1,368
  • Cost Recouped = 74.9%


According to a 2018 Zillow Paint Color Analysis, homes sell for $6,271 more than expected when doors are painted black or charcoal.

Did you notice that five of the top six home improvement projects was related to curb appeal? While what's inside your home counts, it appears the home exterior is where you should invest your money for the greatest return.

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