A new roof is one of the few projects on the list that aren’t optional. When you need one, you need one. This hypothetical project involves disposing of the old roof and installing 30 squares of fiberglass asphalt shingles, plus trim. This expensive, but necessary, home improvement can be paid for with a home equity line of credit.
6 of 9
No. 4: Wood deck addition
Average cost: $10,707
Average resale value: $7,652
Cost recouped: 71.5 percent
Adding a 16-by-20-foot wood deck gives you a better return than a composite deck. The boards are arranged in a simple linear pattern and a three-step stairway leads to the yard, with railings all around.
If you live in suburbia, the garage door might be the most prominent feature of the house, as seen from the curb. This project replaces the garage door with a single-layer steel door and reuses the opener.
9 of 9
No. 1: Manufactured stone veneer
Average cost: $7,851
Average resale value: $7,019
Cost recouped: 89.4 percent
Of the exterior remodeling projects on this list, adding manufactured stone veneer gives the best return on the money you spend. It entails replacing the bottom third of the street-facing façade with faux stone siding and outlining the front door attractively. Like a new front door, this improves curb appeal. Use a home equity line of credit to finance the project.