The Wall Street Journal commented on November 20th that Wednesday’s report on housing starts suggests a steady trend for construction. But new houses aren’t the only support to economic growth as remodeling spending has also climbed back, thanks to the usual upkeep and maintenance, as well as the decision of some homeowners to upgrade or expand their current residences rather than move.
Some families are remodeling for several reasons. They like their neighborhood. They might find that compared to remodeling, selling and moving to another house is expensive. It might be cheaper to remodel and keep the existing house.
Other families choose remodeling to improve the resale value of the house. There are several projects that can improve the resale according to Marine Cole, at The Fiscal Times.
- Installing a steel entry door. Replacing your front door has been a long-time favorite for those who want to boost their home’s value. This is the only project to return more than 90 percent of cost (it returns 96.6 percent.).
- Adding a wooden deck. Building a wooden deck onto your home adds living space as well as an area to host outside. This project returns on average 87.4 percent of the initial cost, though the ratio is more than 100 percent in some 25 U.S. cities, Remodeling magazine said.
- Changing your garage door. If you replace your garage door, whether with a midrange or upscale version, it can usually be done at a low initial cost. It has a strong positive effect on curb appeal, returning close to 84 percent of your investment.
- Remodeling your attic bedroom. With a national average remodeling cost of $49,438, this project has a cost-to-value ratio of 84.3 percent. Unlike building an addition on your home, remodeling the attic bedroom is an inexpensive way to add living space, says Remodeling magazine.
- Kitchens and bathrooms also increase the resale value; kitchens more than bathrooms.
The WSJ also points out that remodeling is good for employment, saying that every $100,000 spent add almost one full time job over the course of a year. Americans will spend $155 to $160 billion on remodeling in 2014 and possibly more in 2015. That’s a lot of jobs!