Bathrooms and kitchens are the most popular remodeling projects, according to the National Association of Home Builders, but they're not where you'll get the most value when you sell your home.
It's all about curb appeal
When it comes to cost versus value, a survey of members of the National Association of Realtors finds that less-expensive fixes without the "wow factor" often recoup the most at resale.
Most common remodeling projects
|Project||Bang for the buck|
|Project Bathroom||Bang for buck Medium|
|Project Kitchen||Bang for buck Medium|
|Project Replace windows and doors||Bang for buck Medium for windows, high for front door|
|Project Remodel whole house||Bang for buck Not available|
|Project Room addition||Bang for buck Medium|
The top home improvement for resale is a new entryway door of steel, followed by deck additions, new siding and new garage doors.
Cost versus value
According to the survey, remodeling a bathroom costs an average of $51,374, with 63.6 percent of that being recouped at resale. A major kitchen overhaul costs an average of $109,935 and delivers the same percentage in resale value as a bathroom.
Steel entrance doors, however, cost about $1,162 and deliver 96.6 percent of that when you sell your home. A wood deck addition costs an average of $9,539 and recovers 87.4 percent of that on resale. For siding (fiber-cement) the cost is $13,378, with 87 percent recouped. A garage door costing $2,791 will deliver 82.9 percent.
Where your dollar goes furthest
The national average of remodeling cost recouped from resales is 66.1 percent, but in some areas of the country, the value of remodeling is far higher, according to the NAR.
Honolulu tops the metro areas, with a remodeling cost versus value upon resale of 110.8 percent. It's followed by San Francisco at 109.4 percent, San Jose, California, at just under 100 percent and San Diego at 89.8 percent. Bridgeport, Connecticut, is fifth on the list, at 85.9 percent.
Remodeling expected to slow this year
Home improvement spending has been growing by double-digit percentages, but may slow later this year, hampered by rising home prices and sluggish sales, according to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
"Home improvement spending has already recovered a significant share of its losses from the (housing market) downturn," says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program. "As spending moves into the next phase, we expect to see recent double-digit growth trail off to its longer-term average in the mid-single-digit range."
Thinking of remodeling? Check out six worst home fixes for the money.
Keep up with your wealth and mortgages and follow me on Twitter @JudyMartel.
Get real-time rate quotes with Bankrate's Mortgage app.