Best remodeling projects for the money

by lcmremodel

Choosing what remodeling project to do can be tricky. What project do you tackle? How much should you spend? What will the remodel do for your home’s value?

For answers, we went to professional house flipper Todd Kullmann with Home 360 for some help.

“Let’s say you spend $10,000 and renovate. You may not get $10,000 back, necessarily,” said Kullmann.

Whether it’s a small project or a major remodel, Kullmann said first do your research. What are similar houses on the block selling for? Use that for scale to target a budget.

Next, don’t overdo it. Sinking too much money into a project isn’t likely to be recouped on resale.

Also, don’t DIY over your head. Do-it-yourself projects can save you a lot of money and increase value, but if a project is too much, pay a professional to do it quickly and correctly.

“Most kitchens are dated because of cupboards, counter tops and flooring,” said Kullmann.

Each of these can be upgraded with a few hundred dollars or several thousand. Again, the budget should be proportional to the value of other homes in the area.

According to the Remodeling “2015 Cost vs. Value Report,” the money you put into a remodel is rarely recouped.

The top five projects for value on resale in the Minneapolis market include:

1. Wood window replacement, averaging 105.8% return on investment

2. Entry door replacement (steel), 104.6%

3. Stone veneer accent, 86.8%

4. Attic bedroom remodel, 75.9%

5. Minor kitchen remodel, 74.9%

The big two—kitchen flip and full bathroom remodel—have returns of 68% and 65% respectively at resale, according to the report.

“Kitchens sell houses all day long,” said Paul St. Andrew, a RE/MAX realtor with 26 years in the industry. “If the kitchen is 30 or 40 years old and shows it, it’s time to get a new one and you will see a return on that in tangible and intangible ways.”

He said fresh paint on the walls or the front door, updates fixtures and tidy yards can do more than you’d think.

“Get your hands dirty and pull the weeds. That’s the cheapest one,” said St. Andrew.

According to Remodeling’s report, the project with the least return on investment in the Minneapolis market is a home office remodel, which will get you 45% of your money back on average.