MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


Best and worst home improvements for 2020

Which projects bring the best return for your money
Posted at 10:26 AM, Jan 15, 2020

Thinking of a home improvement project in 2020? Maybe you would like a new kitchen or bathroom, or you decided it's time to build that sunroom you've always wanted.

Then you may want to know which projects will give you the best return on your investment when it comes to resale time a few years down the road.

It used to be that a kitchen upgrade was the best investment you could make. But a new kitchen is getting more and more expensive (an upscale kitchen with granite and high end appliances now costs more than $50,000).

And thanks to Chip and Joanna, the Property Brothers and other HGTV stars, other upgrades now top the investment list.

Projects with the best return

Remodeling Magazine says the projects with the best return on your dollar for 2020 are:

  • Manufactured stone veneer in front of your house: a 97% percent return (real stone is better, but does not return as much of your money due to the high cost).
  • A new garage door: you'll get 94% of your money back at resale.
  • A modest kitchen remodel: you can get back 78% of your money if you don't go overboard.

Other upgrades bringing top dollars at resale time:

  • A wood deck.
  • A new front door. Bonus points for the trendy Craftsman style.
  • Wood siding replacement.
  • Window replacement.
  • Midrange bathroom remodel.
  • New roof.

But from the "doesn't that stink" file, the worst home improvements for your dollar: an upscale kitchen or master suite in a small, older house.

You may only get back 50% of your $50,000 to $100,000 investment, which will have you saying "doesn't that stink?"

The problem: You have over-improved your house based on the neighborhood. Look at what other people on your street are doing before you invest in improvements you can never recoup.

In the end, all home improvement projects are good projects if they make you happy.

Just know that some do much better at resale time, so you don't waste your money.


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