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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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4. Minor kitchen remodel
With a $17,928 mid-range project, 85.2 percent of the cost could be recouped, the survey shows. The project is based on a functional-but-dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops, leaving cabinet boxes in place but replacing fronts with new raised-panel wood doors and drawers, including new hardware, as well as replacing the wall oven and cook top with new energy-efficient models, replacing laminate countertops, installing a mid-priced sink and faucet, repainting trim, adding wall covering and removing and replacing resilient flooring.

Of the market areas studied, these 11 could offer 100 percent or more of costs recouped for the project.

11 cities that can expect to recoup costs:
Albany, NY New York
Albuquerque, N.M.Boise, Idaho
Los AngelesSacramento, Calif.
San FranciscoSeattle
New Orleans

5. Bathroom remodel
Homeowners across the country could expect an average 84.9 percent return on a $12,918 mid-range investment. The project includes updating an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom by replacing all fixtures with a 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with ceramic-tile surround, new single-level temperature and pressure-balanced shower control, standard white toilet, solid-surface vanity counter with integral double sink, recessed medicine cabinet with light, ceramic-tile floor and vinyl wallpaper.

Homes in these 11 market areas could recoup 100 percent or more of project costs.

11 cities that can expect to recoup costs:
Knoxville, Tenn. Albany, N.Y.
Albuquerque, N.M.Boise, Idaho
PhoenixLos Angeles
San FranciscoPortland, Ore.
New OrleansSeattle

It doesn't surprise Carey that the kitchen and bath are represented in the top five list. In fact, he considers the kitchen and master bath to be the two most important rooms in the home for improving value. Gregg Hicks, director of marketing for, agrees. "While there are other projects which can have the same effect, the results likely won't compare to these two types of remodels," he says.

6. Upscale window replacement -- vinyl
The national average return is 84.7 percent on a $13,149 project involving replacement of 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite vinyl windows with a simulated wood-grain interior finish, custom-color exterior finish and trim exterior to match existing.

-- Posted: April 4, 2007
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