The Most Cost-Effective Home Renovations for 2014 May Surprise You

Years ago, kitchen and bath remodels added the most value, but things have changed

Mar 30, 2014 at 10:31AM

Home Renovation WonderlanePhoto credit: Wonderlane/Flickr.

If you're a homeowner considering doing some remodeling, you'll want to know whether your planned improvements will add value to your home. Whether or not you plan to sell in the near future, taking on a project that you feel confident will pay you back in more than just comfort and enjoyment may influence the timing or scope of the work.

The home renovation market is beginning to pick up again, and is expected to increase in the first half of the year by 10% over that of the first two quarters of 2013, according to a report from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies .

Providing additional perspective on remodeling activity, the annual Cost Versus Value Report from Remodeling provides some pertinent facts about the national home renovation market, including which changes are gaining in popularity – and adding value.

Here are some of the top home transformations that are the most likely to pay you back in 2014, and give you the best return on investment.

Replace your front door

Cathedral Front Door Hakan Svensson

Photo credit: Hakan Svensson.

It sounds too good to be true, but it is: Replacing your front door – preferably with one made with 20-gauge steel – will pay for itself by returning 96.6% of the cost back into the value of the house. This particular alteration returned only 85.6% of the project cost last year, and, at an average cost of just $1,162, shows how much little things really do matter.

Add a deck
This one is interesting, because the composition of the deck makes a huge difference. Building a wood deck will return 87.4% of its value, while decks constructed of a composite decking material will return only 74.3%, despite the latter's more maintenance-free profile. There's something to be said for tradition, it seems.

Create an attic bedroom
This home modification now returns 84.3% of the money spent, up from 72.9% last year. Adding a bedroom in this manner not only makes use of available space, but may be gaining in popularity as more family members, particularly young adults , tend to live under the same roof these days.

Invest in a backup generator

G

As the report notes, increasingly damaging storms are making backup power generators a very popular household item. This home improvement project gained the most in the bang-for-your-buck category, currently returning 67.5% of value – up 28% from 2013.

Some remodeling jobs are pricier than others, of course, and costs may vary quite a bit from one area to another – factors that could affect the return on investment on your particular project. Doing your research ahead of any home renovations, no matter how minor, is generally the best way to get the most value out of your remodeling dollar.

Your renovations may be cost effective, but these stocks will pay you
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers