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Home Improvement Guide 2007
Get ready
Before starting any home improvement project, research and planning is the key to successful results.
Home improvement costs: Here's the payback

Some homeowners sink money into improvements and remodeling because they love to see the fruits of their own labor while others do it simply to make their home the stuff of their dreams.

Then there are those with a profit motive. How can they put money into their home, enjoy the fruits of that expense and get their money back -- and maybe even more -- when they sell?

Simply put, some projects pay off  better than others and much of it depends on which part of the country you live in -- a result of many factors, including the cost of labor, the cost of materials, the general economy and that old standby, supply and demand.

An excellent source of data is the annual Cost vs. Value Report, from Remodeling magazine and Remodeling Online, comparing construction costs with resale value for 25 common remodeling projects in 60 U.S. markets.

Here is a summary of that report with the 25 midrange and upscale projects broken down into 10 geographic areas.

Home improvement costs
Range Project
National average
South Atlantic
Master suite addition
Bathroom remodel
Major kitchen remodel
Minor kitchen remodel
Family room addition
Bathroom remodel
Major kitchen remodel
Source: 2006 Hanley Wood, LLC. Reproduced by permission.
-- Posted: April 4, 2007
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