15 Home Improvements That Add Value and Offer a Great Return on Investment

Morgan Rousseau
Written by Morgan Rousseau
Updated January 17, 2022
a woman in overalls painting a white wall with green paint and smiling
Photo: VAKSMANV / Adobe Stock


  • Home improvements that increase value can improve quality of life and offer a high return on investment (ROI).

  • Completing several home improvement projects helps if you decide to put your home on the market.

  • Replacing a garage door has a 93% ROI, making it one of the best home upgrades.

  • Other high ROI projects include remodeling your kitchen, installing a stone veneer, and replacing your windows.

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Sometimes home remodels aren’t just eye candy—although we love a good before-and-after. If you dream of selling one day, some remodeling projects also offer a fantastic return on investment (ROI.) Some of the best home upgrades are the ones that make your life a little (or a lot) more comfortable while also increasing your home’s resale value. From rebuilding kitchens to adding smart appliances, and beyond, here are 15 of the most lucrative home improvements that add value to your house. 

1. Garage Door Replacement

A triple garage with white doors
Photo: LesPalenik / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 94%

Replacing a garage door costs around $750 to $1,600, but the ROI here is well worth it. Count on recouping 94% of your initial investment, according to Remodeling magazine. ROI isn’t the only reason to replace a garage door, as modern doors offer increased durability, a longer lifespan, and superior protection against severe weather events. In other words, hiring a local garage door company will make your home look better, feel safer, and increase the resale value down the line. A home improvement that adds value, curb appeal, and convenience? That’s what we call a win-win-win.

2. Installing a Manufactured Stone Veneer

Front door with stone siding
Photo: cstewart / E+ / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 92%

Installing stone siding costs $87,500 to $125,000 for a 2,500-square-foot home. However, going with a stone veneer instead of natural stone not only saves on these installation costs, but it yields an ROI of 92%. Real stone sets you back $30 to $40 per square foot, but a stone veneer costs just $11 per square foot and is easier to install than real stone, saving on labor and making it one of the best home upgrades for your buck. These manufactured veneers are fairly durable, aesthetically pleasing, and won’t place undue strain on your home’s structural stability. Contact your local masonry technician to go over your options.

3. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Dad, mom and little daughter in the kitchen
Photo: teksomolika / Adobe Stock

Average return on investment: 72%

Another home improvement that increases value is a small kitchen remodel. The average cost of remodeling a kitchen is $25,000 to $40,000, but the ROI remains static for both major and minor kitchen upgrades, at around 72%. In other words, minor kitchen remodels save money while offering a decent return on investment. Keep your kitchen remodel costs under $10,000 by doing most of the work yourself and by shopping for budget-friendly materials and appliances. Here’s one way to stay under $15,000: reface your cabinets instead of fully replacing them.

4. Siding Replacement

Beautiful front door to suburban home
Photo: PC Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 69%

Replacing your home’s exterior siding costs $5,400 to $15,500 depending on the materials used, but you’ll get around 69% of that money back upon resale. Save on your upfront costs by choosing inexpensive materials, such as aluminum, wood, and vinyl. Hire a local power washing service to give your siding a thorough cleaning before replacing the tiles. You never know—getting rid of all of that dirt, mold, and detritus might be all your exterior needs to look new again. If that doesn’t work, contact a local siding contractor to go over replacement options. 

5. Window Replacement

A kitchen surrounded by windows
Photo: ollikainen / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 68%

Window replacement costs anywhere from $200 to $1,300 per window, depending on the type of window chosen and any related materials and perks. For that price, however, you’ll get a 68% return on investment, improved energy efficiency, and some added visual pizazz on both the interior and exterior of your home. When it comes to the best ROI, go with vinyl or wood windows. These materials won’t break the bank and still offer plenty of bang for your home improvement buck. Contact a local window replacement installer to go over window types, labor costs, and related factors. 

“Windows may not be something that buyers immediately think about, but the impact windows make is pretty big, both in terms of your home’s energy efficiency and overall aesthetic,” says Mallory Micetich, home care expert at Angi. “Window projects can take days or maybe around a week but are a great way to increase your value.”

6. Install or Upgrade a Deck

Friends enjoying lunch
Photo: JohnnyGreig / E+ / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 66%

Building a deck costs between $4,000 and $11,000, depending on the type of build, where it’s placed, and the materials used. A professionally built deck features a 66% return on investment. Choose wood or composite materials to maximize your ROI and ask your local deck contractor about built-in seating and overhead features, such as a pergola—these all add huge value for the cost. In addition to the ROI, an outdoor deck is great for, you know, spending quality time with friends and family. You know, the whole reason we build homes in the first place.

7. Replace Entry Doors

Covered porch and front door
Photo: hikesterson / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 65%

Installing an entry door costs around $500 to $1,500, with a return on investment of 65%. To maximize this ROI, go with a door that is both aesthetically pleasing and exceptionally durable. Safety is, after all, the name of the game. Steel doors are a good fit here, offering a great ROI, enhanced durability, and improved insulation over doors manufactured with traditional materials. Your monthly energy bills will thank you, especially if you live somewhere with particularly harsh winters. There are all kinds of door designs out there, so contact your local door installer for more information. 

“For the highest return on your investment, choose durable, aesthetically pleasing doors,” adds Micetich.

8. Replace Asphalt Roof Shingles

Roof shingles with garret house on top
Photo: Ratchat / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 61%

Replacing your asphalt shingles costs anywhere from $8,000 to $22,000, depending on the size of the roof and how long it takes for a pro to complete the installation. While expensive, asphalt is the most affordable roofing material and boasts an impressive 61% return on investment. Asphalt shingles are also laid right over the old layer, saving you money on materials removal. In addition to the ROI, asphalt shingles are lightweight, relatively easy to install, and come in different colors, thicknesses, and properties. Contact a local roofer to get started. 

9. Remodel a Bathroom

interior of modern apartment bathroom
Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 60%

Nobody likes an old, stuffy bathroom, so completing a full remodel is a great way to up the resale value of your home. Remodeling a bathroom costs $6,200 to $15,200, with a national average of $10,800, and comes with a favorable 60% return on investment. You don’t have to tackle the whole thing at once. Start small with minor upgrades to spread your budget out, such as installing light fixtures and refacing the cabinets. When ready, go for the big guns and replace the toilet, sink, bathtub, and wall tiles. There are also plenty of bathroom remodeling projects for luxury-minded homeowners, like installing a chandelier over the tub. Reach out to a local bathroom remodeler to discuss your options. 

10. Replace a Metal Roof

a house with metal roof
Photo: Jon Lovette / Stone / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 56%

Asphalt shingles are not the only roofing game in town. Replacing or installing a metal roof costs between $5,000 to $14,000, but the 56% return on investment makes that steep upfront cost easier to swallow. Metal roofs boast an extraordinarily long lifespan (up to 70 years in some cases!), offer superior energy efficiency, and are made with a minimum of 25% recycled materials. The durability and ease of maintenance make metal roofs extremely attractive to prospective buyers. 

11. Refinish Hardwood Floors

Armchair and tree in house entryway
Photo: Mint Images / Mint Images RF / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 55%

Hardwood floors are gorgeous, but they scuff and damage easily. Refinishing your hardwood floors costs anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500, but refinishing offers some distinct advantages over replacing the flooring. It costs three times more to replace hardwood floor over refinishing, which cuts into that ROI. On the subject of return on investment, expect to see an ROI of at least 55%, though this figure fluctuates according to the demand for hardwood flooring. A local hardwood flooring company expertly refinishes floors so they look brand spanking new, which is great for property value. According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Survey from the National Association of Realtors, 27% of realtors suggest hardwood floor refinishing before putting a home on the market.

12. Add a Primary Suite

A spacious and bright bedroom interior
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 55%

Adding a primary bedroom costs between $35,000 to $84,000, depending on size, location, and high-end perks like a full bathroom or French doors. No matter your bedroom budget, expect a return on investment of 55% when adding one of these suites. This is an extremely complicated project, however, often requiring a dedicated architect, a roofer, an electrician, a plumber, a structural engineer, a general contractor, and a team of related professionals. In other words, adding a primary bedroom is pretty much the opposite of a DIY-friendly project. 

13. Update the Living Room

An Interior of modern living room
Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 53%

Believe it or not, simply livening up your living room increases your home’s resale value, with a return on investment of around 53%. Completing many projects simultaneously, such as adding an accent wall, replacing the wallpaper, and repainting the ceilings have a cumulative effect on this ROI. Even tiny projects like adding slipcovers, updating the lighting, and decluttering the space have an impact when dealing with prospective buyers. 

14. Finish Your Basement

A basement with a entertaining room
Photo: PC Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 52%

Finishing a basement costs around $18,000 for a 400- to 1,500-square-foot space, but you’ll recoup more than half of that down the line. In addition to boasting a 52% ROI, with some suggesting an even higher ROI, finishing a basement is a great way to add more living space to your home, making plenty of room for a bedroom, a gaming area, or just about anything else you imagine. Of course, this is a labor-intensive and costly project, requiring a contractor skilled in a variety of trades, including drywall, insulation, electrical work, painting, and more. Save money by going with low-cost materials, as basement-level humidity is bad for some high-end materials anyways. 

15. Make Landscaping Improvements

A modern home exterior
Photo: jhorrocks / E+ / Getty Images

Average return on investment: 50%

Making even minor upgrades to your lawn and landscaping design reaps rewards of up to a 50% return on investment. Repair any dead parts of your lawn, plant trees and other flora, pave stone driveways, and trim the shrubs. Just like with livening up your living space, the effect here is cumulative. The more you spruce up your exterior, the higher the ROI. However, pay attention to your neighborhood—not all of these projects pay off. Installing a pool, for instance, is a risky proposition, as not all prospective buyers even want a pool.

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