Ranking the Most-Beneficial Home Improvement Projects

Homeowners preparing to sell, as well as those planning to stay put for the long haul, undertake home improvement projects, either to boost the property’s resale value or to increase their at-home quality of life. In order to help either type of homeowner make smarter choices, analysts at Fixr examine data from the annual Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report to determine home improvement projects with the greatest return on investment.

“Considering the ROI of remodeling projects is essential to understanding the value they can add to the home upon resale,” Fixr Content Specialist and Subject Matter Expert Carol J. Alexander said. “If you plan to sell your home, focus on upgrades that give you the highest return for your money.”

For instance, the 2024 report found a garage door replacement brings the highest ROI this year, with 193.9% of its costs recouped at the sale. That particular project’s ROI is 91.2% higher than it was in 2023, Alexander says, citing the past two reports.

Due to ever-changing trends and labor, material costs, and other fluctuating factors—and because the amount recouped from a project hinges on the state of the real estate market at the time of resale—analysts for Journal of Light Construction (JLC) keep track and issue annual reports. Such reports allow homeowners to make wise, timely, data-backed choices when embarking on a home remodeling project, Alexander says.

The market has seen a number of significant changes just since last year.

In fact, of the 23 projects analyzed for 2024, only one (replacing fiber cement siding) stayed approximately the same. Five (vinyl siding replacement, vinyl window replacement, HVAC conversion/electrification, asphalt shingle roof replacement, and metal roof replacement) saw declining returns on investment compared to previous years.

Projects related to front-of-house aesthetics, also known as “curb appeal” (like entry door replacement, manufactured stone veneer, front door color, siding color, siding material, and the aforementioned garage-door replacement) consistently give property owners the biggest return on investment and, according to real estate agents, rank among the top 10 most important features when selling a home.

Those curb appeal projects showed a significant growth in percentage return on investment in 2024 (up 91.2%, 87.2%, and 50.9%, respectively) from the previous year.

“Curb appeal projects often outperform indoor projects in ROI because they directly impact a potential buyer’s first impression of a home,” said Real Estate Investor at House Buyers Paige Robinson. She says that initial visual appeal influences a person’s perception of the property’s value so much that they are willing to pay more, adding that “because curb appeal projects typically have a lower price tag, they yield a higher ROI.”

The leading indoor project for increasing home value is the minor mid-range kitchen remodel, which boasts a 96.10% ROI.

One interior project that was popular with a huge ROI last year, converting a home from a fossil-fuel-burning furnace to an electric heat pump, dipped in ROI by 66% in 2024. HVAC pros say rising prices of HVAC equipment and installation, and increased electricity costs have driven the price of this project up by more than $1,000 compared to last year.

While costlier projects tend to add higher value to a property, they do not necessarily bring the greatest return on resale. A bathroom remodel, for example, is a pricey project that brings a lower ROI than other jobs.

To dig deeper into the data on home improvement returns on investment, see the 2024 report from JLC’s remodeling.hw.net or a summary and analysis of the data on Fixr.com.

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Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is an independent journalist who has written for DS News and MReport since 2020. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years, has penned thousands of articles on housing and real estate, politics, entertainment, and human interest for the likes of Texas Monthly, Salon.com, and Dallas Morning News. She has won two Mayborn School of Journalism nonfiction writing prizes, a Society of Features Journalism award, and numerous awards issued by Independent Free Papers of America for her work at Dallas Advocate magazines. Reach her on Instagram @chughesbabb.
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