5 Home Improvement Projects Worth Spending Your Tax Refund On
When it comes to home improvement, there’s what you need to do, what you want to do, and the biggie – what you can afford. (Spoiler: if you can afford to do everything you want to your house – congratulations, this post isn’t for you.) But, if you’re like the rest of us who have to weigh the pros and cons of making improvements to our homes, read on!
When considering where to spend your hard-earned dollars (or tax refunds), how do you decide which remodeling project is worth it in the long run (read: resale value)? Maison Mass looked into it and we found five home improvement projects with real payback.
Remodeling magazine has been analyzing the costs homeowners can expect to recoup from 29 projects nationwide for the past 30 years. And, according to the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com), the home improvement projects that returned the biggest bang for the buck in 2017 nationally were:
Fiberglass Attic Insulation
The project calls for a pro remodeler to air-seal a 35×30 attic floor to address any air leakage from conditioned space to unconditioned space. Then the pro would add fiberglass loosefill insulation, placing it on top of existing insulation if present. Fiberglass loosefill would be applied until thickness equating with R-30 insulation value is reached.
Job cost: $1,343
Resale value: $1,446
Cost recouped: 107.7%
Entry Door Replacement
Remove existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and jambs and replace with new 20-gauge steel unit, including clear dual-pane half-glass panel, jambs, and aluminum threshold with composite stop. Door is factory finished with same color both sides. Exterior brick-mold and 2.5-inch interior colonial or ranch casings in poplar or equal prefinished to match door color. Replace existing lockset with new bored-lock in brass or antique-brass finish.
Job cost: $1,413
Resale value: $1,282
Cost recouped: 90.7%
Manufactured Stone Veneer
Remove a 300 square-foot continuous band of existing vinyl siding from the bottom third of the street-facing façade, beginning at the garage, continuing around the main entry, and ending at the corner of the side addition. Replace with adhered manufactured stone veneer, including 36 linear feet (LF) of sills, 40 LF of corners, and one address block. Installation includes two separate layers of water resistive barrier laid over bare sheathing, corrosion resistant lath and fasteners, and nominal ½-inch-thick mortar scratch coat and setting bed. Outline the archway using an 8×10-inch keystone and a soldier course of flats on either side.
Job cost: $7,851
Resale value: $7,019
Cost recouped: 89.4%
Upscale Garage Door Replacement
Remove and dispose of existing 16×7-foot garage door and tracks. Install new 4-section garage door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks; reuse existing motorized opener. New door is high tensile strength steel with two coats of factory-applied paint, and foam insulated to minimum R-12, with thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels. Windows in top panel are ½-inch insulated glass. Hardware includes galvanized steel hinges and ball-bearing urethane rollers. Lifetime warranty.
Job cost: $3,304
Resale value: $2,810
Cost recouped: 85.0%
Mid-range Kitchen Remodel
In a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops, leave cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts, including new hardware. Replace combination cooktop/oven range and slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. Replace laminate countertops; install mid-priced sink and faucet. Repaint trim, add wall covering, and remove and replace resilient flooring.
Job cost: $20,830
Resale value: $16,699
Cost recouped: 80.2%
Not what you expected? Well, they certainly aren’t all glamour projects where you’ll be sharing before and after pics on Pinterest. But, if you are interested in selling your home in the near future, or just concerned about maintaining the value of your investment, these would be great choices.
Interested in data specific to your region (or for your dream project)? Complete data from the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report (© 2017 Hanley Wood Media Inc.) can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com. You can view cost and value data on all the 29 projects Remodeling tracks for your specific location.
Do you have any home improvement plans for your tax refund? Let us know!
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