Is Remodeling Worth It?


Have you ever wondered if that remodeling project you’re thinking about taking on is actually “worth it?”

That’s actually two questions…what is it worth to you and what is it worth to the market?

For some homeowners, a gourmet kitchen or spa bathroom is simply a must-have amenity – something they will spend money on for their own enjoyment regardless of whether or not they’ll be able to recoup the cost when they later sell their home. For others, the question of where to spend money on their home is primarily a function of cost versus value.

Real estate media firm Hanley Wood LLC has done a ton of research to help homeowners, remodeling professionals, and realtors better answer the question “is it worth it?” Their “Cost vs. Value” website ( utilizes the company’s significant research to compare the average cost versus the value at resale of 21 different remodeling projects. Further, the company offers national averages, regional breakdowns, and offers data going back to 2002.

One example of a relatively inexpensive but high return project is the replacement of a garage door. Another advantage of the site is that it gives a thorough description of each project, in this case: “Remove and dispose of existing 16×7-foot garage door and tracks. Install new four-section garage door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks; reuse existing motorized opener. New door is high- tensile strength steel with two coats of factory-applied paint, and foam insulated to minimum R-12, with thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels. Windows in top panel are 1⁄2-inch insulated glass. Hardware includes galvanized steel hinges and ball-bearing urethane rollers. Lifetime warranty.”

Installing an upscale garage door has a 2018 national average cost of $3,470 versus a national average value at resale of $3,411. This means that if you spend an average of $3,470 on a new high-end garage door, you can expect your home to sell for an average of $3,411 more as a result. It pays (sometimes literally!) to check regional data too. For example, that same project in Los Angeles would be estimated at a cost of $3,620 with a resale value of $5,271! That means you could expect to recoup approximately 145.6% of your investment. In Boston, the same project would be estimated at a cost of $3,651 with a resale value of $3,815. That’s still a net gain and higher than the national average, but pretty significantly less than what you’d expect in Los Angeles.

Of course, if you’ve always dreamed of having a chef’s kitchen or steam shower – or even a really nice garage door! – then the most important factor at the end of the day is going to be your enjoyment of the improvement. In that case, whatever the cost may be, the value is priceless!

Related Article: Sellers


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