Which Home Improvements Pay Off the Best?

Which Home Improvements Pay Off the Best?


As time passes, a great looking home can start to show its age, making improvements a necessity. Once you decide to upgrade, the biggest question many people have is Which home improvements pay off the most? Interior vs. Exterior Upgrades

When it comes to home improvements, it’s easy to look at interior upgrades as the way to get the greatest return on your investment. Most people think bathroom and kitchen remodels deliver the biggest returns; however, important studies like Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs Value report shows that, while kitchen and bath remodels do deliver great returns, exterior upgrades can offer the highest rewards. For example, on the West Coast, a major kitchen remodel of $75,000 can yield a return close to 64%, while exterior upgrades for fiber cement siding are 78%, and wood or vinyl replacement windows can deliver returns from 72% to almost 75% respectively.* Other studies have shown that entry doors can return 100% or more.** Custom Exteriors has been providing Bay Area homeowners with valuable exterior home improvements for over 24 years. In looking at their products and installations, you can see that each yields impressive returns.

  • Entry (Front) Doors

The entry door to your home is one of the first things people see. An improvement here pays off in many ways. Brands such as Therma-Tru that can reap returns equal to or sometimes greater than the money you spent. Think of the front door as the first impression to guests and potential buyers. The look can influence a buyer’s split-second decision as to whether or not they want to buy the house. As such, ensuring your entry door is top-notch and looking good will serve your best interest. Whether you are trying to sell, impress your neighbors, or you simply want to enjoy the beauty a door provides, you can take satisfaction in knowing it’s a smart investment.

  • Siding

Improving the home’s siding can really enhance the entire look of the house, while old siding can age it and cause other issues. Fiber-cement siding, like James Hardie, is an excellent replacement option to consider. Fiber-cement siding is made of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers. On average, you can recoup around 78% of the investment you make when you use a quality product that is installed correctly. Fiber-cement siding doesn’t crack, dent, split or warp, and it won’t easily fade. It’s a durable improvement, able to hold up against elements such as fire, rotting, and termites. All of these qualities make it easy to understand why it delivers such a great return on the investment.

  • Windows

After having considered the entry door and siding improvements, the next big thing are the windows. Window improvements can really make the exterior of the home look fresh and new, with the potential for significant returns, too. In the Bay Area, window replacements may return more than 70% of the original expense. Getting the right replacement windows not only provides excellent returns but can also save you a lot of money on energy bills. In cold weather, old windows allow your warm air to escape out of the house. This requires more heating of the home, which means higher energy bills. A high-quality replacement window prevents the heat from escaping, keeping you much more comfortable and lowering your energy bill. When the weather is hot, old or cheap windows trap heat in the home making it hotter inside and making your AC work overtime. Replacement windows, like Anlin and Marvin, use a low e-glass and frames that serve to reflect heat rather than absorb it. Argon gas can also be added inside the glass pane to drastically reduce the amount of cold and heat that is transferred via the window.

If you’re getting ready to make home improvements, speak with an expert to understand how you can get the most for your investment. Custom Exteriors offers free consultations. Our design experts will give you ideas on which products will work best for your home and share costs and savings with you.

*Data from the Remodeling 2020 “Cost vs. Value Report”.


**From a nationwide survey of consumers’ estimates of perceived home value based on exterior appearance. Not based on actual home sales. Results may vary based on region and home style. Therma-Tru’s National Home Valuation Study was commissioned by Therma-Tru in 2015 and conducted by TNS, an independent provider of Internet-based research.