People take on home remodeling projects to improve the quality of their lives. They’re also good investments in the property. Replacing drafty windows and leaky faucets makes home life better and saves money over time. Fixing up old decks and updating kitchens and bathrooms increases our enjoyment of these areas as it adds to the value of the home.
It’s not easy to put a price on quality-of-life improvements, but some remodeling projects earn a higher return on investment (ROI) than others. How much of a return varies and depends on the specific home improvement project.
As we do every year, here is a breakdown of the home improvement projects that offer the highest return on investment. This information is specific to Portland and is made possible thanks to Remodeling magazine who shares this region-specific data every year.
Top 7 Remodeling Trends for 2021
2021 is a great time for home improvement projects. Use this information to help you decide where to put your money to the best use. Here are the top seven trends for this year.
1. Garage Door Replacement
Garage door replacement tops the list again in 2021. While it’s rare to get a 100% return on investment for remodeling projects, 95.2% is pretty close. The garage door is something people take for granted. That is until it won’t open… and it’s raining. Wood doors rot, paint peels, and dings in metal doors are embarrassing. Replacement is an affordable and fast way to invest in your property and a new garage door improves both the look and the security of the garage.
Installing a new door won’t require the installation of a new opener. Choose a four-section garage door made with high-tensile strength steel installed on new heavy-duty steel tracks. Two coats of factory paint add protection for years to come, but make sure to purchase a door that’s backed by a lifetime warranty.
2. Manufactured Stone Veneer
A manufactured stone veneer greatly improves the look of a house. Adding the beauty of natural stone is also a cost-effective home remodeling project that offers a 93.5% return on investment. A manufactured stone veneer, also called faux stone, replicates natural stone and is available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and color gradations.
Manufactured stone veneers are not limited to the foundation. They are used from the ground up and that includes window sills and chimneys. The colors last for years and each stone is unique. This creates long-lasting beauty and adds a water-resistant barrier to protect the home which is another reason the return on investment is so high.
3. Minor Kitchen Remodel
People spend a lot of time in their kitchens and a good portion of that time is spent thinking “What if…” What if those cabinets looked better and my appliances actually matched and were made in this decade? A minor kitchen remodel moved up three spots since our 2020 remodeling trends report, although it did drop a bit on its return on investment. That said, at 78.8% it’s worth taking note because that’s almost 20% higher than a major kitchen overhaul which sits at 60.5% for 2021.
A minor kitchen remodel isn’t the big stuff but it’s noticeable and includes things such as upgrading panels and drawer fronts on cabinets and replacing old countertops. Modern appliances are highly energy-efficient which saves money on utility bills and really changes the look and feel of the room. A little do-it-yourself painting on walls and trim and it will look like a major project has been completed but at a lower cost and higher ROI.
4. Window Replacement
Window replacements save money on heating bills, no doubt. Better seals on windows keep cool air in as well, so those summer electric bills won’t get out of control. Wood window replacements generate a 76.8% ROI which just squeaks by vinyl window replacements at 76.5%. Either way, replacing outdated wood or vinyl windows with double-hung, insulated, low-E windows improves the look and efficiency of the home.
5. Siding Replacement (Fiber Cement)
Another home remodeling project that also conserves energy while adding to curb appeal is siding replacement. Fiber cement replacement edges out vinyl with a 74.9% ROI to vinyl’s 73.2%. For best results and the biggest wow factor, replace all of the existing siding with brand new vinyl or fiber cement. That includes all the trim too.
6. Deck Addition
Decks make a big difference in how homeowners use and enjoy their yards, but they don’t last forever. Wood rots, hardware rusts, and steps get creaky. As a home improvement project, however, the good news is they offer a relatively high return on investment. For a deck made with composite lumber, it’s a 74.1% ROI and for wood it’s 73.1%. With a one percent difference between the two, it’s more important to pick the one you think looks best.
A new deck featuring built-ins such as benches and planters adds even more value. Just make sure to use the same materials as the deck. The same goes for stairs and railings, match the materials and it will look great.
7. Grand Entrance Fiberglass
You might think you’re about to enter the wrong home once you’ve installed a new entry door. They dramatically change the look of your house and also offer a 73.3% return on the money you spend on them. To get that new look, replace the existing door with a fiberglass door. Fiberglass is durable and emulates classic materials such as wood. Choose a paintable fiberglass door option and add a color that complements your new vinyl siding.
I hope this list helps you plan your next home improvement projects. They make a big difference when it’s time to put your home on the market and they improve the quality of life as you enjoy your home. If you do decide to undertake any of these projects, give us a call, we’d love to hear how it goes.