As the year enters the home stretch, it's a good opportunity to look at mid-range home improvement projects from last year and which ones brought in a good return on homeowners' investments. It's been a rough year for many a homeowner, but it hasn't stopped some owners from performing small-scale room additions, modifications, and other improvements. Overall, it seems it was a better year for home improvement and remodeling than in putting your home on the market. People took small steps.
According to Remodeling Magazine, some of the more rewarding mid-range home improvements 2009-2010 included putting in an attic bedroom, installing a backup generator, remodeling the basement, replacing roofing, and installing a new entry door. We'll see how 2010-2011 turns out in a few months and whether these projects kept performing.
Looking at Last Year's Numbers
Remodeling Magazine evaluated the return on costs for tasks to: "convert unfinished attic space to a 15-by-15-foot bedroom and a 5-by-7-foot bathroom with shower. Include a 15-foot shed dormer, four new windows, and closet space under the eaves. Insulate and finish ceiling and walls. Carpet floor. Extend existing HVAC to new space; provide electrical wiring and lighting to code. Retain existing stairs, but add rail and baluster around stairwell.
The attic conversion cost $49,346, added $40,992 in resale value, for a net return of 83.1%.
The basement remodeling included tasks to: "Finish the lower level of a house to create a 20-by-30-foot entertaining area with wet bar and a 5-by-8-foot full bathroom; construct 24 linear feet of finished partition to enclose mechanical area. Walls and ceilings are painted drywall throughout; exterior walls are insulated; painted trim throughout. Include five six-panel factory-painted hardboard doors with passage locksets. Electrical wiring to code."
The basement remodeling cost $62,067, added $46,825 in resale value, for a net return of 75.4%.
Smaller Projects and ROI
According to the magazine, installing a backup power generator cost $14,304, added $8,428 in resale value, for a net return of 58.9%.
Entry door replacements varied by choice in material. For a new fiberglass door, installation costs totaled $3,490, increasing resale value by $2,275, for a net return of 65.2%. Consumers recouped more from installing less expensive steel entry doors, spending $1,172, increasing value by $1,470, for a net return of 128.9%.
I'm looking forward to see how we all did in 2010. Keep your fingers crossed.