Remodeling Your Home? Start With the Kitchen and the Roof.

If you’re planning interior and exterior renovations in advance of putting your home on the market, upgrading the kitchen and the roof may be the smartest calls, according to results of a new survey.  And even if you intend to stay put, the right home remodeling jobs can increase your satisfaction and quality of life.newkitchen_sm

In its 2015 Remodeling Impact Report, the National Association of Realtors used poll results from and its own members to determine the home renovations that appeal most to buyers and add the most value. The report offers perspectives on 20 common interior and exterior remodeling jobs and assigns each with a JoyScore from 1 to 10, representing the owners’ level of satisfaction with the results.

Kitchen upgrades and complete kitchen renovations topped the list of remodeling jobs that appeal most to buyers and are likely to deliver the most value upon resale. Nearly 60 percent of real estate professionals surveyed suggested that their clients upgrade the kitchen before attempting to sell, compared with 17 percent who recommended total kitchen overhauls.

NAR estimates that the average kitchen upgrade costs $30,000 and would recoup 67 percent of its value at time of resale. Kitchen upgrades earn a JoyScore of 9.4, with 82 percent of owners reporting a greater desire to be at home after completing the job.

Complete kitchen renovations are of course more expensive, with the average project costing $60,000 and also recovering 67 percent of the job’s value. Full kitchen overhauls receive a JoyScore of 9.8, with 90 percent of owners saying that the remodel makes them want to stay home more.

Turning to the home’s exterior, a new roof was the renovation projected to appeal most to buyers and add the most value. New roofing is a sound financial investment, with the average $7,600 job recouping 105 percent of its value. Nearly half of real estate professionals surveyed recommended that their clients replace the roof before attempting to sell their home, with the job earning a JoyScore of 9.6.

Even if you’re not planning to sell your home in the near future, NAR says that you can still reap substantial benefits by undertaking a remodel. Nearly two-thirds of onwers reported increased enjoyment with their home after a renovation, and three-quarters said they felt a sense of major accomplishment when the job was done.

“Realtors know that remodeling projects aren’t just done to get more money for a home once it’s time to sell — a home is your sanctuary, the place you raise your family and where you make lifelong memories, which is why the report can also help consumers decide which projects could enhance their current quality of life and happiness,” NAR President Tom Salomone said in a blog post accompanying the report.

(Photo: Flickr/Chriss Knisley)