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Home Improvement Guide 2007
First things first
Before launching into any home improvement project you should carefully consider your motivations and goals.
First things first
Top 10 remodeling projects for resale
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2. Replace siding -- vinyl
For this mid-range project, which entails replacing 1,250 square feet of existing siding with new vinyl siding and trim, 87.2 percent of a $9,134 job can be recouped. Residents of nine cities could expect to fully recoup costs or more.

In Knoxville, a whopping 159.3% of the $7,562 project cost could be recouped.

9 cities that can expect to recoup costs:
ChicagoKnoxville, Tenn.
Albany, N.Y.New York
Providence, R.I.Los Angeles
Richmond, Va.

Still, not everyone is a vinyl siding advocate. "It is flimsy and even though it is easy to maintain, it eventually pits, stains, and fades," Carey says, adding that those conditions can't be repaired. Dean Bennett, president of a design and construction firm based in Castle Rock, Colo., says vinyl siding is frowned upon in his area. "It's rarely seen, and it looks a bit out of place in most areas," he says. "So it would likely not return such a high percent of investment." In fact, Remodeling magazine's snapshot of the Colorado Springs market found that just 49.6 percent of a $10,450 vinyl siding project would be recouped at resale.

3. Mid-range window replacement (wood)
New wood windows, nationally, will return 85.3 percent of an $11,040 project. The project includes replacement of 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated wood replacement windows, exterior clad in vinyl or aluminum, as well as wrapping existing exterior trim as required to match without disturbing existing interior trim.

In these nine market areas, 100 percent or more of costs could be recouped.

9 cities that can expect to recoup costs:
Grand Rapids, Mich. Knoxville, Tenn.
Albany, N.Y.Burlington, Vt.
Providence, R.I.Los Angeles
San FranciscoMiami
Tampa, Fla.

There's a triple attraction with this type of window replacement, Carey says. "Wood windows covered with vinyl give you strength, energy efficiency and low maintenance."

-- Posted: April 4, 2007
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