Top 7 Home Remodeling Projects for 2018


The home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot. And the home itself? Perfect isn’t the word you’d use.

Maybe this is a home you’ve lived in for years, one you’ve just bought or one you’re considering. Either way, you’re ready to start making it just right with some home remodeling projects.

While you know that gold faucets are over-improving, the rest is a bit fuzzy. Any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, but not all add as much home equity as you might expect. It’s why we’re here to help.

The “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS® has tons of data on how much improvements cost — and how much of those costs you can recoup.

Here are the best seven home remodeling projects with equity-building might:

#1 Upgraded Landscaping

This one might be a bit of a surprise. (Maybe you expected a major kitchen reno to top the list.)

But if your yard is one of your home’s imperfect parts, a little color and a touch of hardscaping can make a huge difference to your curb appeal, which is a great immediate equity-booster.

What does a basic landscaping upgrade include?

•Flowering shrubs

•A 15-foot-tall deciduous tree

•A flagstone walkway

•Two 6-by-2 stone planters

•Fresh mulch

The cost: $4,750

The return: 105% at $5,000

#2 New Roof

If you find yourself sprinting for the buckets when it starts to sprinkle, getting a new roof should be your No. 1 to-do. Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn’t cool.

The cost: $7,500

The return: 109% at $8,150

Considering it’s what’s between you and the elements, it’s a no-brainer.

Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:

•Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss.

•Gritty bits from the asphalt shingles are coming out the downspout.

•The sun’s shining through your attic.

•You notice stains on ceilings and walls.

•Your energy bill is sky high.

#3 Hardwood Floors

You flip on the TV to see that your fave home reno-ing duo is it at again, flipping a ranch that’s stuck in the ‘80s.

They make it to the living room, pull back the dingy carpet to reveal hardwood floors in great condition. They’re psyched — and for good reason.

Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing is a no-brainer. Neither will you regret adding new hardwood floors if you have none.

The cost to refinish: $2,500

The return: 100% at $2,500

The cost to buy new: $5,500

The return: 91% at $5,000

#4 Patio or Deck

If your home is your castle, your yard is your kingdom. After giving your yard a much-needed overhaul, you need a place to watch over you handiwork. How about that deck or patio you’ve been dreaming of?

The cost of a patio: $6,400

The return: 102% at $6525

The cost of a deck: $9,450

The return: 106% at $10,000

#5 New Garage Door

No surprise that a garage door replacement project made it onto this #winning list — a new garage door provides a big boost for your home’s curb appeal at a relatively modest cost.

The cost: $2,300 (for a two-door)

The return: 87% at $2,000

There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that’ll give your doors bankable personality.

#6 Insulation

Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it’s often out of mind — that is, until you’re forced to wear your parka indoors because it’s sooo darn cold.

The cost: $2,100

The return: 76% at $1,600 (plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs!)

#7 New Siding

In any color! And never paint again.

Those are two of the three benefits of vinyl siding. The third, of course, is your home’s value.

But if long-time homeowners look at you funny when you mention vinyl siding, just tell them that today’s vinyl is way better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties.

The cost: $13,350

The return: 75% at $10,000

Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 83%. Although it’s the pricier option — you’ll spend about $18,000 with a payback of about $15,000 — it has one thing vinyl still lacks — the perception of quality.

Quality matters. In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), “quality” was the one of the most important traits that home buyers focused on when house hunting.


Alexander’s Note: It’s important to understand a couple of big things. These numbers are just general figures to help plan for home improvements. National ones, that may not apply to where we live.

Making your home more livable shouldn’t have a dollar figure attached to it. Yes, that extra bathroom may not see every penny you spent added to your home value. But the value of not having to share a bathroom – is priceless.

Buyers will appreciate that privacy as well.

“Return” is a Flexible Term In Home Improvements

Never look at a home improvement project as a moneymaking venture. Just because you added a brand new $10,000 siding or a $70,000 kitchen doesn’t mean you can just add that amount to what you think your home is worth.

Homeowners can be confused that these “returns” are bottom line items. They aren’t. If you think a buyer is going to pay substantially more for your home because it has a new garage door, you might need to go back to basics.

A homebuyer is going to look at your home and see it has a garage door. So does the neighbor’s home. Unless your old garage door was hideous, broken or dragging down the value of your exterior… It’s replacement won’t be a substantial monetary increase.

Every home is different, and what may make money for one home may lose it in the next. If you have questions, ask your Realtor. The agents at Wissel Homes get these kinds of questions all the time.

Do you want to know if your planned home improvement project will make a difference – Call us.


The professionals at Wissel Homes know the Central Maryland market because it’s our home too. We live and breathe the local neighborhoods in Howard County, Carroll County, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and more. We understand what it takes to get the job done right. Contact us today to set up an appointment to list your home or to start the home buying process. Let our experience help move you into your dream home.