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Five Unexpected Ways to Add Value to Your Home

By Jaymi Naciri

We all know that renovated kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. Slabs of granite and gleaming floors make us ooh and ahhh…but do they top the list of projects that provide the best return on investment (ROI)? Not according to Remodeling magazine. Their annual Cost vs. Value Report on remodeling provides some insight into average remodeling costs, and this year, the top of the list in terms of value-add renovations is: a new front door.

Not a new kitchen. A new front door. And it’s not surprising to experts who understand that flash is great, but foundation is greater.

“Basic maintenance, such as the roof and exterior painting, are frequently more important than an awesome kitchen,” said HGTV. “If the roof is leaking, buyers won’t get beyond that,” no matter “how awesome the kitchen is.”

Here are five unexpected ways to add value to your home:

1. The front door
“The top-ranking home improvement? A new front door, which on average adds 96.6 percent of the amount you spent to the value to your home,” said MSN. But “it has to be the right front door. Keep in mind that sometimes painting the existing front door provides the same payoff.”

2. The garage door
Another economical renovation that pays dividends is replacing the garage door. A $1,534 investment pays back $1,283, for an 83.7 percent return on investment.

3. Adding a deck
Most people wouldn’t think of spending $9,539 on a deck addition at the expense of other, more necessary renovations and updates when they are getting ready to sell. But for those who want to add a great amenity that also adds value and pays them back later on, a deck is a great way to go. The deck pays back $8,334 for an ROI of 87.4 percent.

4. New windows
No one wants to hear they need to replace their windows. It’s thought of as a pricey job that doesn’t have much tangible benefit, at least in terms of the “wow” appeal (like a renovated bathroom would have). But spending $10,926 on windows yields a 79.3 percent ROI, which translates to $8,662.

5. Attic bedroom
An addition to the house can cost huge dollars ($103,844 with a 67.5 percent return for a master bedroom, $155,365 with a 71.8 percent return on investment for a two-story addition). Which is why building up instead of out can be a great way to go if you need to add space. An attic bedroom is No. 3 on Remodeling’s list of smart renovations, with a cost of $49,438 and an ROI of 84.3 percent, or $41,656.

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