How to get the most return on your home improvement projects

Remodeling projects are expensive and often take more time than you expect.  Learn which home remodeling project will get you the most bang for your buck.


Interesting, but what about more basic improvements; ex. upgrading 25 year old furnace to new high efficiency unit, or single pane + storm windows to new energy star units?

Susan L. - I agree with John S. furnace and window upgrades are of interest as winter approaches. Thanks!

Karen, A garage would not add as much value as you would expect. It doesn't attribute to additional square footage and really is only for storing a car. It does help with whether or not a potential buyer would even come to your house. Very often buyers screen out houses based on garage. BJ, Energy efficiency is great but depending on where you put it determines any resale value. For example, windows and siding add value, replacing the roof or air conditioner is just upkeep and really doesn't offer much in value. Sandra, This question is dependent on the market and the neighborhood. What do the Comps look like in the area? If you are the only person with a finished basement, your the only one whether it is dark or not. However, if your basement is subpar for the comps, you are going to want to update it to keep up with comps and not lose value in the price of your home.

Where would a new garage fit into this line-up?

I'm selling a home in a medium income neighborhood. Would I get a return on making the basement look nice with new sheetrock and paint, and new tile floor. Would a shower added to a 1/2 bath in the basement help. Now there is dark paneling in the basement and broken-up tile. Thanks you.

The return is apparently in resale value. Where do energy efficiency items fit, particularly in older homes?

What added value of a 15ft x 6ft porch to front of home valued about 425 thousand?

Don't forget home elevators. They raise the resale value of a home by 10%

This advice column could be made much more useful. The big disconnect between the advice here and the readers seems to be the advice neglects the decrease in resale value by not updating features that are substandard. It pretty obvious that adding a pool does not address a deficiency, but the basement with dark paneling and cracked tile sounds like something the new home owner would have to address and so will drop the offer accordingly. So, saying you get 80% or something with a "kitchen cabinet improvement" misses the point of how bad the old stuff was.

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Jennifer Wiley

Jennifer Wiley is a videographer at Angie's List, where she shoots and edits videos for Angie's List TV partners across the United States. She enjoys getting out in the field and interacting with members and service providers.

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