Remodeling your home can be a great way to increase its value and ensure you get good returns when it comes time to sell. But before you go tearing out your floors or adding another bedroom, take note: Not all projects are created equal. In fact, according to recent data from Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value report, there's a pretty big discrepancy between which projects deliver high returns and those that don't.
Want to make sure your remodels are worth the effort? Here are some top options:
1. Get a new garage door. It seems simple, but replacing your garage door is the most value-adding project you can take on. On average, it delivers returns of more than 98 percent upon resale.
2. Focus on curb appeal. Upgrades to exterior areas saw serious growth over the last year. Wood deck additions increased over 18 percent in value, while stone veneer installation value was up almost 14 percent.
3. Replace your entry door. Don't bother sprucing up old doors. Replacing them with steel models can deliver a whopping 91 percent ROI. And at an average cost of $1,471, they're one of the most affordable updates for your home.
4. Upgrade your kitchen. Minor kitchen remodels continue to be a top value-adding project. This year, the average small remodel adds about $17,193 to your home's value and recoups more than 81 percent of your costs.
You might want to rule out projects like backyard patios, master suite additions and major kitchen remodels — they're notorious for low returns. If you're looking to boost your home's value and increase its marketability, focus your efforts on projects that improve aesthetics and add ease and convenience instead.