Posted in: Homeowner tips, Selling a home

Three inexpensive home improvement projects with 90% ROI

easy home improvements

Looking for a home improvement project that will recoup a high value at resale? What about one that won’t need a small loan to accomplish? The Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report ( evaluated projects across the Minneapolis metro area in order to come up with the projects that have the most bang for your buck.

Three of the projects they outlined cost less than $1,700 but have returns on investment of more than 90 percent. Here are the short project descriptions and cost breakouts.

1. Attic insulation with fiberglass

Whether you use your attic as a storage space or are thinking of repurposing it as a living area, it’s critical that the area is insulated. By sealing off your attic with fiberglass insulation, you’ll spend an average of $1,268 and you’ll recoup $1,482 upon resale. That’s right, you should theoretically make money by insulating your attic. Additionally, you should see a drop in your heating and cooling bills once your attic is insulated. When it comes to your return on investment, attic insulation is the no. 1 home improvement project you can take on.

To insulate your attic for the price broken out by the Cost vs. Value Report, you’ll hire a professional contractor to air-seal an attic sized at approximately 35 x 30 feet. The contractor will add fiberglass loose fill until it reaches a thickness value of R-30 (the R-scale measures the performance and efficacy of insulation).

2. Garage door replacement

Whether your garage door has had an unfortunate run-in with your mini-van or it’s simply dingy after too many Midwestern winters, the time has likely come for it to be replaced. With a cost of just $1,652 on average and a 91 percent return on investment, you won’t lose much money on this project whether you sell this spring or in a few years.

The Cost vs. Value Report breaks out a project with a four-section, 16x7 foot garage door on new galvanized steel tracks. The cost doesn’t include an insulated door but the door is painted, with galvanized steel hinges and nylon rollers. The door also comes with a 10-year warranty, which you should save to show the buyers if you’re planning to sell before the warranty is up.

3. Entry door replacement

There’s a reason front doors are often used on homeowner magazines, movie posters and book covers — they’re eye-catching and draw in attention. This is especially true when it comes to buying a new home. Most staging and home seller tips recommend that sellers purchase a new front door or paint their current front door so it’s bright and inviting. Whether a buyer is looking online or driving by in person, a bright front door will capture their interest.

The Cost vs. Value Report verifies that this isn’t just a great trick for drawing buyer attention, it can also pay off at closing. Across the Minneapolis metro area, this project should cost $1,335 and will recoup $1,217 — a return on investment of 91 percent!

To complete this project, remove and replace your current door (and its jambs) and replace it with a new gauge-steel, factory-finished door. The door should come finished with the same color on both sides. The project cost also includes new jambs, an aluminum threshold, casings and a lockset.

Ready to sell?

If you’re beyond the point of fixing your home up and are ready to put it on the market, reach out today to get in touch with an Edina Realty REALTOR® who specializes in your area. The spring market is looking hot and buyers are fighting over low inventory in some price points. See how much your home could sell for.

© 2016 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

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