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When deciding on an improvement project for your home, it’s important to consider which ones add the most value to your home, should you decide to sell. Here are the top 10 home improvement projects that added the most value to a home, according to a 2006 survey by Remodeling magazine.

#10: Replacing Windows (89.6% return)

If your house has inefficient, single pane wood windows that are in need of puttying and painting; you might want to consider replacing them with low maintenance, insulated, double pane vinyl or aluminum clad windows.

Not only do insulated windows save energy and reduce heating and cooling bills; they also help reduce outside noise—a big plus if you live in the city or near a highway.

Find out more at What to Consider When Replacing Windows

#9: Finishing Basement (90.1% return)

Turning an unfinished basement into living space is a great way to add square footage to your home at a reasonable cost, since the floor, walls, and roof are already there.

But before taking on a basement renovation, consider if your basement:

    • Leaks or has other moisture problems.
    • Has adequate exterior doors and windows to provide natural light and meet building codes.
    • Do the basement stairs meet building codes for width, tread to riser ratio, and handrails.
    • Are the ceilings high enough.
  • Is the existing heating/cooling, wiring, and plumbing sufficient.

Danny Lipford on newly built wood deck addition.

#8: Adding a Deck (90.3% return)

Outside entertaining is more popular than ever, making a deck valuable addition to your home. While composite decks are more expensive than wood, they require less maintenance and last longer.

Find out more at Deck Addition Project

#7: Major Kitchen Remodel (91% return)

Gutting an existing kitchen and putting in new cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances is an expensive proposition; but it can add quite a bit a bit of value to your home.

Solid wood cabinets are more costly but hold up better over time than plywood or particleboard. Both granite and quartz countertops are very expensive but provide more value over the long run than plastic laminate.

#6: Major Bathroom Remodel (93.2% return)

If the tile and fixtures in your bathroom scream 1960s, it might be time for a major renovation. You can’t go wrong with tile floors, wood vanity, and natural stone tops with an undermount sink.

Consider tile, too, for tub and shower surrounds, along with water saving toilets and showerheads.

Completed major bathroom remodeling project with glass shower.

#5: Attic Bedroom Conversion(93.5% return)

Converting an attic into a bedroom can be an inexpensive way to add living space to your home if:

    • The ceiling is high enough.
    • The floor is strong enough to support the added load.
  • There is a staircase or other entry already in place.

Find out more at Turning an Attic Into Living Space

#4: Two-Story Addition (94.6% return)

Adding a two-story addition to a two-story house is often less expensive per square foot than building a single-story addition, since there is only one roof structure needed.

#3: Minor Kitchen Remodel (98.5% return)

Painting the cabinets and walls in your kitchen, and replacing the knobs and hinges can go a long way toward improving the look of your home without breaking the bank.

If you have more money to spend, consider replacing the doors on your cabinets and the countertops with new inexpensive plastic laminate, which mimics the look of real stone.

Find our more at How to Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Completed major kitchen remodeling project.

#2: Minor Bathroom Remodel (102.2% return)

Sprucing up an existing bathroom by painting the walls and replacing the hardware, accessories, and faucets can do wonders to a bathroom that’s looking a little dated without spending a fortune.

#1: Replacing Siding (103.6% return)

If your wood siding and trim are in need of painting . . . again . . . consider covering it with quality, foam-backed vinyl siding.

Find out more at Choosing Vinyl Siding for Your Home

Fiber cement siding is another more durable alternative to wood. While it requires painting, fiber cement siding holds a finish much longer than wood and is rot and termite resistant.

Find out more at Fiber Cement Siding: A Durable Alternative for Your Home

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Drywall Cutting Tip

Drywall Cutting Tip

To cut drywall extend a tape measure to the length needed and hold the tape between thumb and finger at the top of the sheet. Hold a utility knife on the drywall at the end of the tape measure, and pull the tape and knife along to score the sheet. Snap the sheet along the score line, then use the utility knife to cut through the paper on the back of the sheet. For smaller measurements, substitute a combination square for the tape measure. (Watch Video)

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Leviton Tamper Resistant Outlet

Leviton Tamper Resistant Outlet

Installing plug guards in outlets is an inexpensive way to provide protection from electrical shock, but they can be hard to remove when using the outlet. This is no longer a problem, thanks to Tamper Resistant Outlets from Leviton. The outlets have a special shutter that prevents items other than plugs from being inserted in the outlet while allowing plugs to be inserted easily. Leviton Tamper Resistant Outlets are available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Drawing Landscape Plans

Drawing Landscape Plans

Drawing landscape plans is a good way to plan landscaping for your yard. Start by sketching the lot, house, and other permanent features to scale on a piece of typing paper. Lay a sheet of tracing paper over the plan, and use colored pencils to add landscaping details that you are considering adding, using different colors for each type of item. To make changes overlay with a new sheet of tracing paper. (Watch Video)

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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