Love Where You Live: Home Improvement Projects

Posted June 23, 2018 in Real Estate Trends

Shana O’Brien 2018, Clark County WA real estate agent

It stands to reason that making improvements to your home will probably improve the value. But according to the 2018 Cost vs Value survey conducted by Remodeling, it may not improve the value by quite as much as you would expect. In other words, if you spend $1,000 (for example), it probably won’t improve the value by $1,000 or more. Statistically speaking, it will probably only improve the value by a fraction of that amount.

According to their data specifically for the Pacific Northwest, here are the TOP FIVE home improvement projects when it comes to recouping the cost of the improvement in the value of the home. Interestingly, the projects with the greatest return on investment relate to the curb appeal of the home, which we discussed last month.

  1. Stone Veneer. Removing a section of street-facing vinyl siding and replacing with adhered manufactured stone veneer was the top value-add project on the list. The cost to replace about 300 linear feet is approximately $8,500 and the resale value-added is close to $11,000. That’s over 125% return on investment.
  2. Garage Door Replacement of existing paneled door with an upscale carriage style garage door costs about $3,600, including disposal of the old door. The added value to the home is approximately $4,400 for a return of 121% on the investment.
  3. Entry Door Replacement with an upscale door is approximately $2,000 and will improve the home’s value by about $1,900 for a return on investment of just over 95%.
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel, for a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen costs approximately $24,000. This includes leaving cabinet boxes in place but replacing doors and drawer fronts, including new hardware; upgrade the range and refrigerator with new energy-efficient models ; new countertops, sink and faucet; paint walls and trim; and replace flooring. The updated kitchen brings a value of about $23,000 to the sale of the home, for a 93% return on investment.
  5. Adding a Wood Deck. The addition of a 16-by-20-foot deck including stairs and rails costs approximately $13,000 and adds about $11,000 in value to the home. That’s a return on investment of 89%. And a summer of enjoyment.

With those projects in mind, what can you do to your home this summer to bring you joy and help you love where you live?

Does this mean that you shouldn’t remodel your bathroom, even though it’s the one thing you really want to improve? Absolutely not! An upscale bathroom remodel will see a return of 62%. If you plan on living in your current home for many years to come, that’s years of enjoyment you’ll get from the project, and that’s hard to put a dollar value on. But if you’re planning a move in the next three to five years, it might not be the best use of your home improvement resources.

If you’d like to see examples of these projects, visit me on and check out the Home Improvement photo album.

Shana O’Brien
Realty One Group Cascadia
Realtor & Home Stager, WA and OR licensed • Author •