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Investing in Your Home: 7 Improvements That Add the Most Value

Investing in your Home

By Chris Martin

When you take a hard look at your house, you can probably think of several ways it can be updated, improved, or remodeled. Potential projects may include everything from replacing gutters and repainting the exterior to putting on a new roof or adding a new master bedroom. But which home improvement projects will get you the best bang for your buck?

Here are seven “home upgrades” that offer the best return on your investment, according to a Cost vs. Value Report for 2011-2012 compiled by Remodeling Magazine.

1. New siding. Replace your existing siding with factory-primed and -painted fiber-cement siding. Use either fiber-cement board or cellular PVC to replace all 4/4 and 5/4 trim. Approximate return on investment: 78%

2. New front door. Replace your existing entry door with a 20-gauge factory-finished single-color steel product. The door should have half-glass panels of clear dual-pane glass, and the existing lockset should be removed in favor of an antique-brass or full brass finished bored-lock. Installation should include door jambs, aluminum threshold with composite stop, 2 1/2-inch interior color-matched poplar ranch or colonial casings, and exterior brick mold. Approximate return on investment: 73%

3. New attic bedroom. Convert your attic space into another bedroom and shower-equipped bathroom. Include new windows, shed dormer, under-eaves closet space, rail and baluster on stairs, and a carpeted floor. Walls and ceilings should be insulated and finished, electrical wiring should be brought up to code, appropriate plumbing should be installed, and air conditioning should be rewired to accommodate the room’s occupant. Approximate return on investment: 72.5%

4. Remodel kitchen. Swap out your old cook top and oven with new energy-efficient counterparts. Replace your cabinet fronts with raised-panel wood drawers and doors, and replace laminate countertops with a mid-priced alternative surface. Put in a new sink and faucet, add wall covering, repaint trim, and replace flooring. Approximate return on investment: 72.1%

5. New garage door. Remove and get rid of your old garage door and install new tracks and hinges made of galvanized steel. Choose either a single-layer uninsulated embossed steel door with two baked-on coats of paint on nylon rollers; or a high-tensile strength foam-insulated steel door with pinch-resistant panels, thermal seals, and two factory-applied coats of paint on ball-bearing urethane rollers. Approximate return on investment: 71.9% and 71.1%, respectively

6. New wood deck. Start with pressure-treated joists, which are supported by four-by-four posts that are anchored to concrete piers. Put in deck boards that are pressure treated, and construct a bench and built-in planter. Build three stairs with pressure-treated balusters, railings, and wood posts. Approximate return on investment: 70.1%

7. New basement entertainment area. Convert your basement into an entertainment area featuring a full bathroom and complete bar area. Bring all plumbing and electrical wiring to code, drywall and paint all walls and ceilings, and paint all trim. Approximate return on investment: 66.8%

Image credit: southgatechamber.com

Chris Martin is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites and is also a ghostwriter for several blogs focusing on business phones, finances, and start-up businesses. In addition, he is an accomplished voice actor and an experienced sportscaster. Martin has also worked as a radio DJ, a traffic reporter, and a public address announcer for sporting events.Contact Chris at Media Shower – www.mediashower.com


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