Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One Chance to Make a Good First Impression - Improve your Curb Appeal

The Top Five Remodeling Projects that return the greatest value versus the cost.

This info came from survey input from Realtors in 80 different cities who ranked the remodeling projects that brought the greatest cost recovered at resale.

1.  Entry Door Replacement

Based on removing a 3 foot door and replacing with a new 20 gauge steel unit with side lights, jambs, threshold - professionally installed and fnished.

Cost recouped - 102.1%

2.  Garage Door Replacement

Removing a 16x7 door and installing a new 4 section door reusing the existing garage door opener

Beware - it is easy to buy a more expensive product than is necessary.  Consider how a potential buyer might use the garage.

Cost recouped - 83.9%

3.  Siding Replacement

Replacing 1,250 sf of existing siding with cement siding, primed and painted.

Be sure you get cement siding. Ask the contractor how much overlap there will be. A 3" overlap gives a wood look rather than the max of 6" - which will also waste material and cost more money.

Cost recouped - 80%

4.  Kitchen Remodel

Replacing a functional, but dated 200sf kitchen with 30' of cabinetry and countertops - leaving cabinet boxes and replacing fronts with raised panel wood and hardware.

Too often, homeowners overimprove their kitchen - it's not cost effective unless they are staying in the home a long time. 

Keep your wiring and plumbing. Consider painting your cabinets if that is an option. Many homeowners opt for laminate flooring - but this can be a negative to many buyers - consider a tile. Also consider a laminate countertop as an alternative - todays selections can mimic marble, granite or other natural stones.

Cost recouped - $72.8%

5.  Deck Addition

Adding a 16x20 deck with 4x4 post anchored to concrete piers.

A new wood deck can be stunning, but if not done professionally - could turn into a drawback. Be sure a new deck is not too small or too large.

Have the footings poured by a professional and make sure permits are in place.  Be sure railings are correct height and vertical slats aren't too far apart.

Cost recouped - 72.8%

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