|Home remodeling: Pick renovations
that pay off
Bathrooms have changed
the most during the past century. Your grandparents may remember
when they were outside. Your parents probably made do with just
one. Today, homes that have more than one sell faster and fetch
a higher price. A midrange bath remodel (less than $10,000) placed
third in the 2004 survey with a ROI of 90.1 percent. Popular renovations
include skylights, couples walk-in showers, glass block windows
and vaulted ceilings. Raised Jacuzzi tubs, ceramic tile floors and
ceiling fans have become standard features in affordably priced
Bathroom additions ranked high in the survey as well. A midrange addition
(approximately $20,000) returned 86.4 percent; an upscale addition
($40,000-plus) fetched an 80.1-percent return. But finding space to
add a bathroom can prove tricky; for best results, consider a contractor.
"You can't lose by adding a bath," says Johnson. "If you're remodeling,
his and her dressing rooms, even his and her bathrooms, are big. Then
the husband can shave and the wife can fix her hair without the shower
steam. If money's tight, just replacing the water fixtures helps."
- Family rooms came into
vogue after many American homes were built; hence, you may face
sacrificing other spaces (rooms, closets) to create one. To enlarge
the space, try lowering the floor, opening the ceiling or expanding
out with box-bay windows. According to the survey, adding a family
room can be a wise (80.6 percent ROI) but costly ($50,000-plus)
- Bedrooms are always
listed first in real estate descriptions for good reason: we spend
nearly half our lives there. If you can put one in your attic,
you're likely to recoup 82.7 percent of the estimated $35,000
cost of installation. Consider stacking your bathrooms to cut
costs. Properly placed dormers and roof windows can help offset
the add-on appearance.
- Master suites have
become more the rule than the exception in most hot real estate
markets. If you are converting a bedroom into a master suite,
try to locate the closet as a buffer between bedroom and bath,
and enhance the suite effect with recessed lighting, sconces and
built-in adjustable reading lights. A midrange master suite ($70,000-plus)
will return 80.1 percent; an upscale master ($135,000-plus) a
bit less, at 77.6 percent..
- Decks expand
your living space, and you rarely lose by making your home larger,
be it exterior or interior renovations. A $7,000 deck addition
placed fourth in ROI at 86.7 percent.
- Unused/renewed spaces
might not top the list of money-smart remodeling projects, but
a basement makeover ($47,000-plus) can still command a 76.1-percent
return. A sunroom addition ($30,000-plus), which made the survey
for the first time, might fetch a 70.8-percent return.
- Windows quickly
and inexpensively add to a home's volume, and volume is the buzzword
in real estate these days. So it's no surprise that your return
on new glass is excellent, whether you're contemplating a midrange
window replacement (less than $10,000) at 84.5 percent or an upscale
replacement ($15,000-plus) at 83.7 percent.