Posted in: Selling a home, Homeowner tips

Top home improvement projects to tackle this winter

winter home improvement projects

The 2017 winter seems to be trying to set a record for gloomy and doomy, but there’s also no better time to finalize some interior home improvement projects you’ve been delaying.

With help from the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report (, we checked out the top remodeling projects for return on investment (ROI) in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. Below are insights you can use to determine which home fix is right for you.

Key insights

  • Replacing a front door with a steel door replacement can recoup you almost your entire job cost, while also appealing to more buyers
  • A minor kitchen remodel is a cost-effective choice for homeowners who know their kitchen is outdated, but don’t want to pay for a from-scratch remodel
  • Replacing your garage door will make for a chilly day, but the ease of use of a new door will be most appreciated in the winter time

Replacing your front door

Are you feeling a draft come in? Is your aging front door sticking every time you open it for guests who wait out in the cold? Whatever your reason for replacing your front door, you won’t regret doing it.

According to the local report of homeownership projects, homeowners who replace their door with a steel version will recoup 92.4 percent of the project’s cost, which stands at about $1,500 including the cost of labor.

The project includes:

  • A factory-finished, colored steel door with half glass panel
  • Jambs, aluminum threshold and composite stop
  • Exterior brick mold and interior casings that match the door color
  • A new door lock

Minor kitchen remodel

A kitchen remodel may seem like a lofty goal in the winter, when life’s purest joys come from warm comfort food. But a minor kitchen remodel is a great way to add buyer appeal to your house without breaking the bank.

In the report, a minor kitchen remodel runs about $23,000 and the homeowner can recoup up to 81 percent of that cost upon resale.

The minor kitchen remodel includes:

  • Keeping original cabinets, but replacing their fronts with new shaker-style wood panels, drawer fronts and new hardware (30 feet of linear cabinetry)
  • Replacing cooktop, oven range and refrigerator with energy-efficient models
  • Replacing laminate countertops
  • Adding mid-priced sink and faucet
  • Replacing the trim, adding wall covering, removing and replacing flooring

If this price seems a bit steep to you, remember that report includes contractor’s fees for each project. To save money, consider tackling projects you can handle yourself, like painting cabinet fronts rather than replacing them. You can also save a great deal of money by replacing the floors yourself with an easy-install wood laminate.

New garage door

The only thing worse than replacing your garage door in the middle of the winter? Not having a working garage door during the winter. Save yourself the daily hassle by replacing your aging (or discolored) garage door with a new model that will add plenty of curb appeal to your home.

According to the Cost Vs. Value report, a new garage door runs about $2,000, including the cost of labor. At resale, homeowners will recoup nearly 76 percent of that cost – and online buyers may be drawn to a home that appears to have this upgrade.

The project includes:

  • Removing and disposing of your existing door and tracks
  • Installing a four-section garage door, 16x7 feet, on new steel tracks
  • Re-using the existing garage door motor
  • Steel hinges and ball-bearing urethane rollers as hardware

Home Depot’s pricing shows that new motors run around $100-300; you may also want to hire an expert to install the new opener.

Need a real estate expert?

Whether you’re trying to sell this spring or just curious what your home is worth before or after your upgrades, we can help. Reach out now to get connected with an expert you can trust.

Plus, be sure to follow #SellerInsights on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for more home seller tips.

© 2017 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

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