Hanley Wood Releases REMODELING Magazine’s 2015 Annual Cost vs. Value Report

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Results Echo Mixed Messages Delivered Throughout Housing Market for 2014

For 2015, the simpler and lower-cost the project, the bigger its cost-value ratio. Three of the four projects that cost less than $5,000 are ranked in the top five for cost recouped. Craig Webb, Editor-in-Chief REMODELING Magazine

REMODELING Magazine announced today the release of its 28th annual Cost vs. Value Report comparing construction costs with resale value for 36 of the most popular home improvement projects in 102 U.S. markets. The entire report, including interactive infographics, is available at http://www.costvsvalue.com and at http://www.remodelingmag.com.

The 2015 report, which compares changes in home improvement project costs with members of National Association of Realtors’ perceptions of what those projects contribute to a home’s price at resale, reflects the mixed messages that were delivered by the housing market throughout 2014.

While the cost of doing projects rose across the board last year by an average of 4.22%, the modest gains in price and tepid increases in the volume of home sales left Realtors concluding that only about half the 36 projects would benefit a home’s value at resale. As a result, this year’s report saw cost-value ratios rise for only five projects. The midrange roofing replacement led the way, rising 5.9%. The other four gainers were the midrange garage door replacement, up 5.6%; the 20-gauge steel replacement entry door, up 5.4%; vinyl siding replacement, up 3.2%; and the sole upscale project: a fiberglass replacement entry door, rising 1.7%. Another 30 projects declined and there was one new project.

“Our Cost vs. Value Reports in recent years indicated big-ticket projects such as attic bedrooms and basement remodels were enjoying ever-bigger payoffs,” said Craig Webb, Editor-in-Chief, REMODELING and ProSales. “For 2015, however, the simpler and lower-cost the project, the bigger its cost-value ratio – three of the four projects that cost less than $5,000 are ranked in the top five for cost recouped, and the other two are in the $5,000 - $25,000 price range.”

In 2015, the top recouping projects are:

Under $5,000: Steel Entry Door Replacement (101.8%); Mid-range Garage Door Replacement (88.4%); Upscale Garage Door Replacement (82.5%); Steel Entry Door Replacement (72.0%)

$5,000 - $25,000: Manufactured Stone Veneer (92.2%); Fiber-cement Siding Replacement (84.3%); Vinyl Siding Replacement (80.7%)

$25,000 - $100,000: Attic Bedroom (77.2%); Basement Remodel (72.8%); Major Kitchen Remodel (67.8%); Garage Addition (64.8%)

$100,000 +: Two-Story Addition (64.1%); Master Suite Addition (61.7%); Major Kitchen Remodel (59.0%) Master Suite Addition (53.7%)

Other highlights:

  • Within the 102 markets surveyed in the 2015 report, 269 of the 3,672 total projects – that’s 7.3% -- had payoffs topping 100%.
  • The biggest drop was the same project that had the biggest gain in last year’s report: installing a backup power generator. Its cost-value ratio sank 11.3% after having jumped 28% in the 2014 report. Weather may have played a role in that decline; in the absence of a weather event like Superstorm Sandy, realtors had perhaps begun to see the generator’s value in a new light.
  • All told, 26 of the 36 projects could claim a cost-value ratio topping 100% in at least one market. More often than not, that market was San Francisco, where the average payback for all projects was 100.3%. Honolulu was the second-best bang-for-the-buck market at 94.6%. Then came San Jose, Calif. At 87.1%; Riverside, Calif., 84.1%, Sarasota, Fla., 80.7%, Austin, Texas, 78.6%; and New Orleans 77.6%.
  • The one project added this year -- manufactured stone veneer -- joined Cost vs. Value with a splash, ranking second among all projects with a cost-value return of 92.2%. The only project that beat it was for a replacement steel entry door, which delivered a cost recouped of 101.8%.
  • This year’s report includes ten new cities that were brought in to help ensure the overall Cost vs. Value Report includes the top markets nationwide. Those ten new markets are: Augusta, GA.; Chapel Hill, N.C., Daytona Beach, Fla.; Winter Haven, Fla.; McAllen, Texas; Ogden, Utah; Spokane Wash.; Santa Rosa, Calif.; Bakersfield, Calif.; and Stockton, Calif.

Visit http://www.costvsvalue.com to download side-by-side national, regional, and city data tables.

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood is the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries. Utilizing the largest editorial- and analytics-driven construction market database, the company produces powerful market data and insights; award-winning publications, newsletters and websites; high-profile executive events; and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit hanleywood.com.

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