The majority of the top-value creating home improvement projects this year focus on the exterior of the home, but overall, return on investments are significantly lower due to rising material costs. Housing market research and analytics firm Zonda Media released its 2021 Cost vs. Value report and found that 11 out of the 12 top investments on the home were for exteriors, but return on investments dropped from the decade-high of 71.2% in 2014 to 60% in 2021. Top improvements included garage door replacement, minor kitchen remodels, back deck additions, and window replacement.
“Exterior façade facelifts improve the curb appeal and make a great first impression as buyers approach the home,” he said. “That translates to real dollars at the closing table, which is why we see such tangible returns on those investments.”
The majority of projects offering the greatest returns in resale value were related to curb appeal. Garage door replacement showed a 94% return on investment. Manufactured stone veneer came in second with a 92% return, and a minor kitchen remodel offered a 72% return on investment. Adding a back deck, highly popular with homeowners in the past year, gives a 66% return on investment for wood and a 63% return for composite.
Other projects with high returns include vinyl window and siding replacement as well as upgrading to a steel front door.