’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report for Salt Lake City

People are often surprised to learn that home improvement projects are not equal when it comes to how much of a return you can expect to get on your investment. It’s nearly always less than 100% of the amount you spend on the improvement, though there are a few exceptions.

That said, certain home improvement projects will net you much more than others. I’m here to break down which ones will give you the best return on your investment. And this data is specific to Salt Lake City, thanks to the folks at Remodeling magazine, who share this region-specific data.

If you’re doing home improvement projects this year, you can’t afford to miss this information when making decisions about what to do and how much to spend.

Key Remodeling Trends for 2020

The report shows a predictable increase in costs for all of the projects. However, this year, there’s also a drop in the perceived value of the improvements. There’s a slight downturn in return for nearly all of the projects across the board.

This is likely because of jittery consumers, who are beginning to feel a bit concerned about the economy. The good news that although remodeling activity is growing at a slower rate than in the past few years, it is still continuing to grow.

1. Garage Door Replacement

A perennial favorite on this list is a garage door replacement for your home. This improvement will get you 108.6% of what you spent on it. This one’s a no-brainer! In fact, this is the only project on the list that’s worth more than 100%.

You’ll want to install a new, four-section garage door on brand-new, heavy-duty steel tracks. You can use your existing motorized opener. The door should be high-tensile strength steel and have two coats of factory paint. You should also ensure that it has foam insulation with thermal seals and a lifetime warranty.

2. Manufactured Stone Veneer

Adding manufactured stone veneer to the exterior if your home is a smart move. You can expect 88.1% back on what you spend on the project.

Just take a band of siding from the bottom third of your house’s street-facing façade. You’ll begin at the garage and go around the main entry. Replace that siding with manufactured stone veneer. Include new sills, corners, and an address block with two separate layers of water-resistant barrier underneath the veneer to protect your home.

3. Siding Replacement

A siding replacement can be an excellent choice. It will make your home look entirely different and will net you 84.9% of what you spend.

Replace all existing siding with new fiber-cement siding. Don’t forget to include factory trim at all openings and corners.

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel

A minor kitchen remodel will yield a 74.7% return on what you spend. You may be surprised to know that a minor kitchen remodel actually gets you a better return on your money than a major, expensive kitchen overhaul (which is 44.1%)—a huge drop from last year. A minor remodel can make a dated kitchen look entirely different, and honestly, a complete remodel might not even be necessary.

A minor remodel should include a few key upgrades. You can leave the existing cabinet boxes, but you should replace the fronts with new, shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts. Don’t forget the new hardware! Replace the cooktop, oven range, and fridge with energy-efficient models, probably stainless steel. Replace countertops with laminate (there are a lot of really beautiful options these days that mimic real stone). Add a new mid-priced sink and faucet. Then you can repaint the trim and walls, and you’re done!

5. Entry Door

An entry door replacement can make the front of your home look completely different. This home improvement project gets you back 71.3% of what you pay for it, so it’s well worth doing.

Remove the existing entry door and jambs and replace it with a new, 20-gauge steel door. It should have a clear, dual-pane half-glass panel, as well as new jambs, an aluminum threshold, and a composite doorstop. The door should be factory finished with the same color on both sides. Exterior brick-mold and interior colonial or ranch casings should be prefinished to match the door color. Don’t forget a new lockset to make sure everything looks shiny and new.

6. Roofing Replacement

A new roof will net you 70% of what you pay to have the project done.

For this job, you’ll remove the existing roof to the bare wood sheathing underneath. Install 30 squares of 235-lb minimum fiberglass asphalt shingles. You’ll also want a 30-lb felt underlayment, a galvanized drip edge, and mill-finished aluminum flashing. This job also includes two average-size skylights and a custom cap treatment.

I hope this helps you decide what home improvement projects you’d like to tackle next, whether you’re planning to sell or are staying put. If you have any other questions about the value of home improvement projects on homes here in the Salt Lake area, please give me a call.

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