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The Top 5 “Popular but Pricey” Home Renovations

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A recent housing industry survey revealed something unusual about renovation projects. The five most popular projects were also the five costliest. Whatever that means in terms of social science is beyond our scope here, but there’s indeed a lot to think about.

What are these pricey five projects and how do people finance them? The most common source of funds included personal loans, second mortgages, using savings and either borrowing against a life insurance policy or cashing one out altogether.

Here are the five projects, in no special order, along with their average cost:

A New Roof

Before you spring for a new roof, make sure it’s near the end of its life cycle. Maybe a patch or quick fix will do. Remember to check with the last company that worked on the roof because you might get a leak fixed for free if the warranty is still in effect. But if it’s time to replace an aging roof, you can’t avoid reality. Expect to spend up to $7,000 for a professional job done by a competent local roofer.

Cabinet Refacing Job

For around $6,000 you can get a totally new look for your kitchen without having to do a major remodeling job or having to replace the cabinets. A refacing of your current cabinets is a low-cost (relatively speaking) way to boost your home’s resale value and add some panache to your living quarters.

Kitchen Remodeling

The grand-daddy of home remodeling projects, the kitchen re-do can add a lot to your home’s value. Many people use a helpful rule related to cost: they spend approximately 10 percent of their home’s total value remodeling the kitchen. If you want to fully remodel your kitchen, you should expect the job to be complicated and to displace your life while it’s ongoing.

The cost for a complete job ranges (no pun intended) from around $10,000 to $30,000. The very good news, after you’ve lived on microwave dinners in the basement for a couple of months, is that your home’s resale value can soar after a kitchen remodeling job.

Deck Addition

Depending on the materials you use and how big you want the new deck to be, expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000. Many homeowners don’t realize that a deck addition will possibly add to their property tax burden. To find out whether it will and how much the amount might be, call your local assessor.

The big advantage of a deck addition is that it will boost the value of your home. The bonus for you is that you get a lot of extra living space without having to add an interior room, which can be a much more costly project.

Bathroom Remodeling

A bathroom remodel job will hit you up for between $4,000 and $9,000, but there’s good news. In terms of boosting the resale value of a home, a remodeled bathroom is the single most effective way to spend money on your current home.

Always vet contractors carefully and, if possible, use someone you know or who did an excellent job on a friend’s bathroom. In this business, experience counts for a lot.