10 Best Return on Investment Home Improvements

Best Return On Investment Home Improvements

Article by:  Than Merrill - FortuneBuilders.com

  1. Minor Bathroom Remodel: Returns an average of 102%
  2. Landscaping: Returns an average of 100%
  3. Minor Kitchen Remodel: Returns an average of 98.5%
  4. Attic Bedroom Conversion: Returns an average of 93.5%
  5. Major Bathroom Remodel: Returns an average of 93.2%
  6. Major Kitchen Remodel: Returns an average of 91%
  7. Entry Door Replacement: Returns an average of 90.7%
  8. Deck/Patio/Porch Addition: Returns an average of 90.3%
  9. Basement Remodel: Returns an average of 90.1%
  10. Replace Windows: Returns an average of 89.6%


We should note a few things before diving into what home improvement projects have the best ROI (return on investment). The average cost of these upgrades truly depends on the size of your home and project scope. By knowing what the average return on the project is, you can budget your project accordingly to increase your return margin. Get creative! If you’re wanting to make more and not afraid to get your hands dirty or do some of the work yourself, you can research many inexpensive ways to do some of the remodel yourself – whether it’s demo, painting, changing out hardware, tiling, etc. We suggest googling “DIY” remodeling projects or finding some DIY renovators to follow on Instagram. Many of these “DIY” bloggers have detailed tutorials and wonderful cost-saving ideas for home project renovations. Truly the most inexpensive thing you can do inside your home to make a big impact is put on a fresh coat of paint!

Minor Bathroom Remodel

  • Average Cost: $10,500
  • Average Return: $10,700
  • ROI: 102.0%

There are essentially two types of rooms that sell houses: kitchens and bathrooms. As it turns out, however, the greatest home improvement ROI coincides with remodeling the bathrooms. Instead of initiating a little project in each room, it may be better to conduct a minor bathroom remodel. There’s no need to gut the whole room, but giving each bathroom an updated look could go a long way. Try replacing the shower head with a rain shower; it’s a feature most homebuyers will appreciate. Also, try replacing the vanity, as nobody wants to feel like they are using someone else’s old bathroom. At the same time, try updating the lighting to make things brighter.


  • Average Cost: $4,900
  • Average Return: $4,900
  • ROI: 100.0%

Few rehabbing dollars go farther than those spent on the outside of the house. If for nothing else, curb appeal helps sell homes. New landscaping could be just what the home needs to look fresh and appealing. The aesthetic appeal of both the front and backyard may actually be the first thing buyers see, so make a good first impression and update the landscaping. There’s no need to go overboard. The best landscaping designs are the simplest, but the “lines” need to be trimmed and clean. A good landscaping job should look nice, but also not suggest a great deal of work is to be done.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

  • Average Cost: $15,000
  • Average Return: $14,600
  • ROI: 98.5%

A minor kitchen remodel can boost home improvement ROI without demolishing an entire room. Instead, try minor upgrades that make a big difference. Start by replacing the existing appliances with better, newer ones. Next, instead of replacing the cabinets, try refinishing the existing ones. A fresh coat of paint or gloss could make old cabinets look new. That, combined with new hardware, can completely transform a kitchen.

Attic Bedroom Conversion

  • Average Cost: $39,200
  • Average Return: $36,700
  • ROI: 93.5%

Homes with the luxury of having a convertible attic should consider turning the space into an extra room. One of the single greatest ways to increase the value of a home is to increase the number of available rooms. Therefore, anyone who can add to their current room count should at least consider the possibility.

Major Bathroom Remodel

  • Average Cost: $26,000
  • Average Return:$24,300
  • ROI: 93.2%

Now is the time to take the previously discussed minor bathroom remodel a step further. Instead of simply replacing amenities and upgrading a few items, homeowners should consider boosting their home improvement ROI with a complete overhaul. Everything, from the shower pan and flooring to the lighting and plumbing, should be analyzed and criticized; if it’s not adding to the appeal of the bathroom, it’s taking away from it. Therefore, it may be a good idea to start with a clean slate. Upgrading the bathrooms completely, especially the master bath, can actually convince homebuyers they are making a good decision. 

Major Kitchen Remodel

  • Average Cost: $43,900
  • Average Return: $39,900
  • ROI: 91.0%

Not unlike the major bathroom remodel, a major kitchen remodel should require a complete overhaul; this is where everything will be taken out and redone. It is also a good idea to incorporate an open concept. If at all possible, try getting rid of a wall to open things up. Buyers like kitchen with a lot of space, to host and to cook. Quite honestly, one of the best things homeowners can do is remove an unnecessary wall that separates the kitchen from the rest of the house. 

Entry Door Replacement

  • Average Cost: $1,410
  • Average Return: $1,280
  • ROI: 90.7%

As the simplest item on the list, the entry door replacement is perhaps one of the most impactful. Not unlike the landscaping, an entry door will most likely be one of the first things buyers see. This is the owner’s chance to make a good first impression. Remember, most people will decide whether or not they want to buy a home in the first few minutes of looking at one. As a result, it’s in a homeowners best interest to put their best foot forward and increase curb appeal.

Deck/Patio/Porch Addition

  • Average Cost: $11,000
  • Average Return: $10,000
  • ROI: 90.3%

Provided there’s room, homeowners should consider the addition of a deck, patio or porch. The addition of an exterior structure like these can add a lot of perceived value to a home. At the very least, a deck could increase the usable living space in a given yard. At most, however, it could be a selling point a buyer was looking for all along.

Basement Remodel

  • Average Cost: $51,000
  • Average Return: $46,000
  • ROI: 90.1%

Not all homes are granted the luxury of having a basement, but the that have underground living quarters may want to remodel them. Doing so could very easily increase the usable living space of a home. Instead of retaining a dark and dingy basement (which could actually hurt the prospects of a sale), try turning the basement into its own selling point. 

Replace Windows

  • Average Cost: $9,700
  • Average Return: $8,700
  • ROI: 89.6%

Outside of a fresh coat of paint, a new entry door, and perhaps a garage door replacement, nothing can make the exterior of a home look better than a brand new set of windows. The clean lines of new windows can very easily make a home look better from both the inside and outside. Additionally, new windows should be a lot more energy efficient. Proper windows could save new homeowners a lot of money on energy bills, which is always appreciated.


If you plan to live in your home for five or more years, you should feel free to make upgrades that fit your preferences and lifestyle; however, if you want to turn a profit when you sell, try increasing your home improvement ROI. The best return on investment home improvements have developed a reputation for simultaneously improving demand and value. Therefore, homeowners can’t simply make any upgrades they want; they need to make the right upgrades. The highest ROI home improvements will prove more efficient and worthwhile than all others.

Every homebuyer’s taste will vary, but if you commit to any of these home improvements, you will more than likely make your money back during the sale.


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