To Remodel or Not to Remodel: What’s Worth the Investment?

February 8, 2019

Figuring out if a remodeling project is worth the money can be tricky, especially if you’re wondering how it will impact the resale value of your home. Luckily, Remodeling magazine takes away the guesswork by producing a yearly Cost vs. Value report that details which projects will give you the biggest payoff.

Two trends the magazine recognized were a minor rise in the year-over-year percentage change for upscale projects and a majority of high-return projects being exterior replacement projects. Homeowners investing more in upscale projects suggest strong consumer confidence, as they are being more extravagant with their money. However, Marnie Schaar of Long & Foster’s Reston, Virginia, office remarked that unless the upscale remodel is for the owner’s enjoyment, spending that much money to sell a home might not be worth it.

The fad toward exterior projects is due to the real estate community valuing houses based on “curb appeal.” Tom Ruch, founder of Adventure Group of Long & Foster, mentioned that exterior projects are key since most buyers now do most of their home-shopping online. Homebuyers will want to see pictures of a nice-looking house, a nice green lawn and some landscaping to entice them to check out the rest of the house and set the stage for what they are willing to pay, he said.

Eve Thompson weighed in, saying that sellers often overvalue improvements, while buyers undervalue improvements. A remodeled home may be more appealing than the one two doors down; however, believing you’ll recoup a specific amount of money can be risky, she said.

See the top five remodeling projects that paid off the most in 2018:

  • Garage Door Replacement. Cost: $3,611; recouped: 97.5 percent
  • Manufactured Stone Veneer. Cost: $8,907; recouped: 94.9 percent
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel. Cost: $22,507; recouped: 80.5 percent
  • Deck Addition (Wood). Cost: $13,333; recouped: 75.6 percent
  • Siding Replacement. Cost: $16,036; recouped: 75.6 percent

Need to find a contractor or service professional to help with your next home remodeling project? Long & Foster’s Home Service Connections can help you find a qualified, trusted professional near you.

Read the full Cost vs. Value report here. You can also find data based on the region you live in, including the Middle Atlantic (PA, NJ, NY), the South Atlantic (MD, DE, VA, DC, W. VA, NC, SC, GA, FL), and other areas of the country.


  1. Jessica

    February 11, 2019


    Thought you may find this helpful as you move forward with updating your home!


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