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Which Improvements Add Value to Your Home?

What follows are "best estimates" for the most typically consistent remodeling projects we have seen across the country. Unless otherwise noted, the maximum time between remodeling and re-sale must be five years; otherwise the "value added" figures are void.

Project  Cost Value Added Comments
Kitchen Low: $15,000, High: $20,000-up 80 to 110% Cost includes new cabinets and countertops, appliances, flooring, and re-wiring structural changes, relocated plumbing, custom cabinetry, and top-of-the-line appliances raise the cost.
Bathroom Low: $7,500, High: $10,000 80 to 115% Cost includes new fixtures and fittings, tile floors and walls, structural changes, relocated plumbing, and high-end materials and fixtures raise the cost. Note: adding a second bath can yield more than 100% resale value.
Room Addition Low: $30,000, High: $30,000 50 to 110% Depends on type of room, a family room or new master suite, (don't forget to include cost of bath) will add much more value to a home than a private office or fourth flour bedroom.
Converting an Attic basement or Garage to living space Low: $10,000, High: $15,000-up 25 to 40% Cost assumes no structural changes and no new plumbing; value added depends on size of house (smaller house, more value) and type of space created (family room or bedroom, more value than a game room or exercise area).
Adding a deck Low: $5,000, High: $10,000-up 40 to 60% The warmer the climate, the more value added; size of deck, complexity of design, and added amenities (spa, trellis work) influence cost.
Repainted exterior Low: $1,200, High: $1,500-up up to 120% Assumes old exterior was worn and re-painting was done immediately prior to putting house on market; a new coat of paint probably adds the "best profit" to selling an older home.
In-ground swimming pool Low: $20,000, High: $30,000-up 0 to 25% Cost assumes an average-size pool (16'x32') in a rectangular shape; value added depends on desirability to future owner (banks usually do not include pools in mortgage appraisals.

Source: House Remodeling Magazine