Home Articles

Cost vs Value 2024: Curb Appeal Projects Bring Highest ROIs

Written by Carol J Alexander , Edited by Adam Graham

Published on May 23, 2024


Cost vs Value 2024: Curb Appeal Projects Bring Highest ROIs

We have visualized data from this year’s Remodeling Cost vs. Value report to illustrate the home remodeling projects with the highest return on investment.

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

Read about our editorial process here. Want to use our cost data? Click here.

Typically, homeowners undertake home improvement projects to enhance comfort or boost the resale value of their homes. Comparing the cost of a project against the value it adds to the property aids a homeowner in making smart choices that align with their long-term financial goals. 

Return on investment (ROI) is a metric used to evaluate a project's profitability. It's calculated by dividing the project's profit by its total cost. Homeowners can determine the project's ROI by quantifying the added value that a remodeling project contributes to a home and dividing it by the total expenses incurred to complete the project. 

Considering the ROI of remodeling projects is essential to understanding the value they can add to the home upon resale. If you plan to sell your home, focus on upgrades that give you the highest return for your money. For instance, according to the Remodeling 2024 Cost vs. Value Report, a garage door replacement brings the highest ROI in 2024, with 193.9% of its costs recouped at the sale. That's up 91.2% over last year's report. 

Many changes have occurred since last year's report. When homeowners stay abreast of current trends and cost data, they can make wise choices when embarking on a home remodeling project. Let's dive in and discover what's new for 2024.

Of the 23 projects analyzed for this year's Cost vs. Value report, only one stayed relatively the same. The cost to replace fiber cement siding fluctuated by a mere 0.1% lower than in 2023. Five other projects also bring a negative ROI–vinyl siding replacement, vinyl window replacement, HVAC conversion/electrification, asphalt shingle roof replacement, and metal roof replacement. This doesn’t come as much of a shock, however. They are expensive projects which makes it more difficult to recuperate the costs. However, 17 of the 23 projects showed an improved ROI for 2024. Here are the highlights.

Curb Appeal Projects Top ROI in 2024

All the projects that experienced over 20% growth from the previous year, and the four with the highest ROI, are front-of-house, exterior projects. Garage door replacement, entry door replacement, and manufactured stone veneer were some of the top projects in 2023 as well, but they had a significant percentage growth in 2024 (+91.2%, +87.2%, and +50.9%, respectively). In light of this data, it's no surprise that front door color, siding color, and siding material are among the top 10 most important curb appeal features, according to realtors. 

"Curb appeal projects often outperform indoor projects in ROI because they directly impact a potential buyer's first impression of a home," says Paige Robinson, real estate expert and owner of House Buyers. Robinson emphasizes that initial visual appeal influences a person's perception of the property's value so much that they are willing to pay more. And, because curb appeal projects typically have a lower price tag, they yield a higher ROI. 

Other exterior projects with the highest gains include grand entrance (+47%), wood deck addition (+32.7%), and composite deck addition (+ 28.4%).

HVAC Electrification Sees Biggest Drop in ROI This Year 

In 2023, converting a home from a fossil-fuel-burning furnace to an electric heat pump (HVAC conversion/electrification) returned the highest ROI (103%) of any other home improvement project. However, this year, it dropped to 66%, the most significant decrease among projects.

This drop could be due to the rising prices of HVAC equipment and installation, which have driven the cost of this project up by over $1,000 compared to last year. According to Kevin Goude, owner of First Choice Heating & Air in South Carolina, manufacturing HVAC units has become more expensive. "There are several reasons for this," he says. "Steel, aluminum, copper, and plastics, used for components such as coils, compressors, and casing, are about 30% more expensive to buy now." 

Goude says another factor is the nationwide increased cost of electricity. He explains that while high-end, energy-efficient HVAC models reduce energy consumption, the operating cost increases due to higher electricity costs, leading to a lower ROI. 

Kitchen Remodel Has the Highest ROI for Interior Projects

A minor midrange kitchen remodel boasts a 96.10% ROI, positioning it as the leading indoor project for increasing home value. This is substantially higher compared to last year, representing the highest growth among indoor projects at 10% and the highest result in history for this project. 

Besides the few years that Remodeling included attic projects in its report, a minor midrange kitchen remodel has consistently ranked highest among indoor projects.

"Because the kitchen is the most important room on the radar of home buyers, a cost-effective upgrade will net you the biggest return when you list your home for sale," says Brian Mollo, CEO of Trusted House Buyers, and licensed Realtor. "An updated kitchen is something on almost every homebuyer's 'must have' list, so meeting this cost-effectively is important."

Understanding the True Cost vs. Value of Home Remodeling Projects

The cost of home remodeling projects largely depends on factors such as location, trends, and labor and material costs. Then, the amount recouped from a project hinges on the state of the real estate market at the time of resale. Due to these ever-changing factors, the Cost vs. Value report reveals fluctuating ROIs each year.

Another consideration is that a more expensive project doesn't necessarily bring the greatest return on resale. For instance, in this year's report, affordable projects like garage and entry door replacements have the highest ROIs. On the other hand, a bathroom remodel is a costly project that brings a lower ROI than other jobs. However, higher-costing projects will tend to add a higher value to your property, just don’t expect to recoup a large majority of the money when it comes to selling. 

© 2024 Zonda Media, a Delaware Corporation. Complete data from the Remodeling 2024 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

Written by

Carol J Alexander Content Specialist and Subject Matter Expert

Carol J Alexander is a home remodeling industry expert for Fixr.com. For more than 15 years as a journalist and content marketer, her in-depth research, interviewing skills, and technical insight have ensured she provides the most accurate and current information on a given topic. Before joining the Fixr team, her personal clients included leaders in the building materials market like Behr Paint Company, CertainTeed, and Chicago Faucet, and national publications like This Old House and Real Homes.