Remodeling Projects: Which Ones Are Worth the Investment?

September 2, 2016 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: Home Rehabilitation/Repairs, Homeownership

One of the most exciting things about buying a home is that you can make it your own.  From the paint colors to the floor plan, owning a home gives you the ability to customize everything to fit your specific wants and needs. As an added benefit, many improvements add value to your home, helping you protect and grow your investment.

With the housing market on the mend, many homeowners are feeling more comfortable investing in their homes. According to research conducted by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, homeowners are spending about $300 billion annually on home improvements and repairs. 

Leslie Rouda Smith, Chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR), explains why home improvements are on the rise. "A growing number of Texas homebuyers are opting to purchase lower-priced homes that can be remodeled to suit their exact needs or make the home more energy efficient. More and more Texas home sellers, too, are seeing the value in investing in a few, strategically chosen projects before listing to sell their home faster and potentially at a higher price.” 

But home improvements aren’t cheap, so whether you just bought a fixer-upper or are looking to put your home on the market, it can be hard to determine which improvements will give you the most bang for your buck. TAR's annual Texas Remodel Valuation Report helps homeowners answer this complicated question by tracking the average return on investment for several popular home improvements.

According to the latest report, both nationally and in Texas, the top home remodeling projects tend to be the ones that either improve the home’s energy efficiency or curb appeal. For example, homeowners who added fiberglass attic insulation, which increases energy efficiency and decreases utility bills, recouped up to 163 percent of the total cost of their project. Replacing the garage door, a simple way to improve curb appeal, was also found to be a valuable improvement, with homeowners recouping up to 112 percent of the total project cost.

On the other hand, improvements that add livable square footage to the home are among the least profitable. For example, homeowners who invest in bathroom additions or remodels may recoup as little as 25 percent of the total cost of their project. Master suite additions also ranked low on the list, with homeowners recouping as little as 26 percent of what they spend on the project.

The value of home improvements can also vary depending on where you live.TAR’s research found that homeowners in Austin tend see the highest return on investment for home improvement projects, recouping between 50 and 163 percent of their project costs.

Thinking of taking on a home improvement project? We encourage you to read the full report here to help you determine which projects you should tackle, based on where you live and how long you plan to live in your home.

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.


Robert Alan

You beautifully detailed the idea of good remodeling in order to make the home beautiful.
Thank you very much for the article that you have shared.


I agree that it’s important to focus on energy efficient and curb appeal when choosing a home remodeling project. Installing vinyl windows is a great project that focuses on both of those.

Green Energy Audits

Thanks for the great share! I also like the idea of Hydrogen fuel cells. The best part I like is this: The reliability and availability of modern energy sources cause people to tend to assume that it will always be accessible. And as for the case of non-renewable energy sources, most people do not know or maybe even refuse to accept that it will eventually run out.

Leave a Comment