Pandemic projects paid off. Check out the 3 most valuable home renovations

When buying a house in the digital age, the first impression is usually a photo. Even in a seller’s market, homeowners need to make sure their home looks perfect.

The National Association of Realtors has released its 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, which details the exterior projects that have given homeowners additional appeal.

The survey results measured how satisfied consumers were with the projects, the cost of the projects and the resale value.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry estimated the dollar value each project would add to the home when resold. Comparing this dollar value to the estimated cost of each project provided by NARI members, a percentage of the project cost recovered was calculated.

Here are the three exterior remodeling projects that got the most bang for the buck:


A new roof can be an expensive project, but it pays off. According to the report, this project had 100% value regained.

Remodelers estimated the average cost to repair a roof at $12,000. During the pandemic, real estate agents reported a 15% increase in demand for this project.

When asked why they chose a new roof on their home, the top two reasons among homeowners were that the current roof was worn out and a new roof would improve livability.

After completing the project, 63% said they had a great sense of accomplishment.

garage doors

Tying roofs to number one for resale value was adding new garage doors.

Remodelers estimated the cost of this project to be approximately $2,000, and 100% of that value was recovered.

Of the homeowners surveyed about their renovations, 23% said they added a new garage door because they planned to sell their home in the next two years. Among real estate agents, 13% recommend adding a new garage door before selling.

New siding

Sellers know that homebuyers judge a book by its cover when they see their listings, so new siding has become a popular pandemic project.

Survey results showed that 63% of homeowners would have taken on this project even if they had not been home during the pandemic.

In estimating cost versus resale value, remodelers and realtors were asked to base the analysis on a 2,495 square foot home — the average size according to US Census data. They were told to assume the home was a post 1981 home with no hidden problems.

The remodeling impact report breaks down the cost effectiveness based on the materials used. It was estimated that vinyl siding brought in 82% of the $18,300 cost, while fiber cement siding brought in 86% of their estimated $18,600 cost.

Other Projects

Exterior projects that still brought in more than 50% of spending were windows and doors.

A major reason for modernizing windows was to improve energy efficiency. Homeowners who chose vinyl windows were able to recoup 67% of their estimated $30,000 cost.

Homeowners who chose wood windows recovered 63% of the estimated $48,000.

Adding a new front door was the number one priority for homeowners looking to modernize. Almost a third of homeowners who added a new front door cited “time for a change” as the reason.

The cost recovery for a steel door proved slightly better than a fiberglass door at 63% of the $3,150 cost. Fiberglass doors generated 60% of the resale value of the $3,500 project cost.

Although not as cost effective as larger projects, new windows and doors have brought homeowners greater happiness. Both projects were in the top three for “joy scores,” meaning homeowners were either happy or satisfied with their project. Out of 10 points, windows scored 9.6 and doors 9.5.

Across the board, the painting – both indoors and outdoors – scored the highest on the Joy Score scale.

To see which home furnishing projects had the best resale value, click here.

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