Small Outdoor Projects Predicted To Have the Biggest Return on Investment in Home Remodeling Trends for 2015

When it comes to home remodeling trends, there’s one thing that should always be at the front of your mind: Will the return on investment be worth the cost of this particular project?

According to the 17th annual Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report for 2015, it’s clear that smaller outdoor projects are most likely to product the biggest return on investment.

By comparing the construction costs of mid-range and upscale remodeling projects with the resale values of homes with similar remodeling additions, the Cost vs. Value Report analyzes which remodeling trends are most likely to be good investments, regardless of where the house is located.

At the top of the list this year were moderately priced roofing replacements, replaced garage doors and entry doors. Energy-efficient replacements, like windows and insulated siding, also offer a high return on investment. Last but not least, outdoor additions like small wooden decks and manufactured stone veneer continue to be popular.

Although these slightly bigger outdoor projects are more likely to give a better return on investment in temperate regions where homeowners spend a lot of time outdoors, something like a small wooden deck has the effect of expanding a kitchen or living room, while costing only a fraction of the price of remodeling a full room.

While these remodeling project may not seem to make much sense, one recent LA Times article deftly explains the odd change in design trends: in Los Angeles real estate markets (but likely in many markets across the country), homeowners are putting more emphasis on the size of their homes, rather than their yards. Whereas a few decades ago, a backyard was an essential location for family entertainment, the rise of technology-based entertainment has caused families to seek more space indoors.

Additionally, as more Americans begin to recover from the Great Recession, many homeowners are finding that they have a small amount of disposable income to spend on exterior projects that focus on a home’s aesthetic quality.


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