A 2019 study by Remodeling.com shows that, on average, renovations only return 57 cents for every dollar spent. So which home improvement projects will increase the value in your home, and which projects should you avoid?

Before digging into return on investment (ROI), it’s important to note that costs can vary greatly by region based on the cost of labor and materials, as well as the level of service offered by individual remodelers.

Now for some of the home improvements that can really pay off.

Projects to increase your home value

  1. New garage door

According to the 2019 Cost vs. Value report, this curb-appeal enhancer will get you back almost every dollar you spent on it when you sell your house. HomeAdvisor quotes garage door installation and replacement projects to come in between $734 and $1,461.

  1. Minor kitchen remodel

Don’t think gutting and major remodeling projects. The keyword is minor — meaning appliance replacements (to more energy-efficient models) or new countertops, flooring, or sinks. Most homeowners spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so making it a comfortable and modern looking space can really add value to your home.

  1. Adding a deck

Entertainment space is an attractive home feature, especially if it’s outside. Avoid adding a sunroom. Instead, look at installing a new wooden deck. The average job cost is about $10,950 and has a resale value of $9,065. It’s a project where you can recoup almost 83% of your investment.

  1. Siding replacement

For the average home, replacing 1,250 square feet of old siding will cost you just over $16,000 and you’ll get back roughly three-quarters of that investment upon resale. This upgrade includes the factory trim at the openings and corners, making it well worth the investment if you currently have outdated or worn-out siding.

  1. Updating vinyl windows

New windows are just for aesthetic purposes. They can also help keep your energy costs down, and energy-efficient homes are highly sought after. Average vinyl window jobs are costing just under $16,000, and they have a resale value of just under $12,000 — meaning you can recoup almost 75% of your investment.

Energy-efficient upgrades

Don’t just focus on increasing the value of your home. Instead, find ways to decrease ongoing bills and spending. 

To get a better understanding of your home’s energy usage, get a quick energy assessment to determine how much energy your home consumes and which upgrades make the most sense for you. The Department of Energy website is a great resource to find general information, as well as assessors in your area. You can also see if your utility provider offers energy audits. 

Here are some common energy upgrades that The Department of Energy recommends.

  • Sealing leaks around the house with caulk, spray foam, and weather stripping can save you about 5% to 30% per year.
  • Installing more ENERGY STAR products, storm windows and doors can help reduce air infiltration by 20%. Storm windows alone can reduce heat loss by 25% to 50%.
  • Tuning up or upgrading heating and cooling systems with appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings can cut your energy usage from 20% to 50%.

Make the most of every square inch in every part of the home both inside and out. Invest in home improvement projects and energy-efficient upgrades that will yield the highest ROI, and you’re certain to drive up your home equity.