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5 Home Renovation Projects With Good Return on Investment

Putting in a steel front door
Projected return on investment:

Moore says this inexpensive fix (estimated cost: $1,137) can improve your home's energy efficiency while making a good first impression on house hunters.

"The doorway is very important because it's the first thing buyers go through to enter the home," she says. "If your home's front door is in bad shape and paint won't fix it, it makes sense to install a new one."

Installing fiber-cement siding
Projected return on investment:

"Fiber-cement siding is a very popular product on new-construction homes because it's very low maintenance, it doesn't need painting for quite some time and it insulates a home well," Moore says.

And while Remodeling predicts you'll spend $13,083 installing 1,250 square feet of prepainted fiber-cement siding and trim, Moore says the job will add to your home's curb appeal -- especially if you live in a cold-weather locale.

"Siding is one of the first things to go in [cold climates] because of the weather," she says.

Adding a wooden deck
Projected return on investment:

Moore says she's noticed house hunters favoring decks ever since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks increased many Americans' interest in entertaining at home.

"Decks are just a great way to enjoy your home," she says.

Remodeling calculates that installing a 16-by-20-foot wooden deck with posts, railings and a built-in bench and planter will set you back $9,327.

Garage-door replacement
Projected return on investment:

Moore says this upgrade can really boost curb appeal -- again, particularly in cold climates -- even though Remodeling estimates the job costs only $1,496.

"Water and snow and things bouncing up from the driveway can easily rot garage doors," she says.

Minor kitchen remodel
Projected return on investment:

Study authors defined this job as repainting trim and replacing the kitchen stove, oven, wallpaper, flooring and cabinet/drawer doors and handles (but not the cabinet/drawer interiors).

Remodeling estimates all of that costs $18,527, but Moore says the price is worth it if your kitchen needs work.

"If the rest of the house is really nice but the kitchen is a disaster, you're going to get much less for house than you deserve," she says.
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