Pandemic projects paid off. See the 3 most valuable home renovations

Pandemic projects paid off. See the 3 most valuable home renovations

Homebuying in the digital ages means the first impression is usually a photo. Even in a seller’s market homeowners need to make sure their house looks picture perfect.

The National Association of Realtors released its 2022 Remodeling Impact report ranking the exterior projects that gave homeowners that added curb appeal.

Survey results measured how satisfied consumers were with 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 house at resale. In comparing that dollar value to the estimated cost of each project provided by NARI members, a Recovered Project Cost percentage was calculated.

Here’s the three exterior remodel projects that had the most bang for their buck:


A new roof can be a costly project but one that pays off in dividends. This project had a 100% recovered value, according to the report.

Remodelers estimated the average cost of repairing a roof was $12,000. During the pandemic, realtors reported a 15% increase in a demand for this project.

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

After completing the project, 63% said they feel a major sense of accomplishment.

Garage Doors

Tying roofing at number one for resale value was adding new garage doors.

Remodelers estimated this project cost about $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 intended to sell their home in the next two years. Among realtors, 13% advised adding a new garage door before selling.

New Siding

Sellers know homebuyers are judging a book by its cover when they see their listings, so new siding became a popular pandemic project.

Survey results showed 63% of homeowners would have taken on this project even if they weren’t at home during the pandemic.

When estimating the cost versus resale value, remodelers and realtors were asked to base the analysis on a 2,495 sq. ft. house —the average size according to U.S. Census data. They were told to assume the house was a post-1981-built home with no hidden issues.

The Remodeling Impact report breaks down the cost effectiveness based on materials used. Vinyl siding was estimated to recover 82% of the $18,300 cost while fiber cement siding recovered 86% of its estimated $18,600 cost.

Other projects

Exterior projects that still recouped more than 50% of expenses were windows and doors.

A top reason for upgrading windows was to improve energy efficiency. Homeowners who went with vinyl windows recovered 67% of their estimated cost of $30,000.

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

Adding a new front door was top of mind for homeowners who wanted to modernize. Nearly a third of homeowners who added a new front door said the reason was “time for a change.”

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

Although not as cost effective as bigger projects, new windows and doors gave homeowners a greater sense of happiness. Both projects were in the top three for “Joy Scores,” meaning homeowners were either happy or satisfied with their project. Out of 10, windows scored 9.6 and doors 9.5.

Across the board, painting — both interior and exterior — scored the highest on the joy score scale.

To see what interior projects had the best resale value click here.

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