3 home improvement projects with the highest return before and after COVID-19


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3 home improvement projects with the highest return before and after COVID-19

Bright kitchen with white cabinets and wooden countertops

Remodeling the kitchen you’ve been saving? You may not add value to your home today as much as it did three years ago. This is because the returns on investment in home improvement projects, in general, are lower now than they were in the pre-pandemic period. But there are still many improvements—including a kitchen remodel—that can help homeowners recoup the majority of their investment.

Angi analyzed data from Zonda Media’s Remodeling 2022 cost-to-value report to find the three projects that saw the highest percentage of their costs. The analysis compares the cost and return on investment for those projects in 2019 and 2022 to see the situation before and in the aftermath of COVID-19, honed in the 10 largest US cities for 2022, the three projects with the highest cost recoveries being garage door replacements, manufactured stone veneer, and remodel Mid-range kitchenette.

Overall, home renovation costs have generally increased steadily over the past two years, as global supply chains have been thrown into disarray by pandemic-era regulations and public health precautions.

Labor has also become an increasingly expensive part of construction and home renovation due to the national shortage of skilled workers in construction trades. Employers face pressure to raise wages in order to attract needed workers, which leads to a larger bill at the end of the day for consumers. The United States is expected to experience a shortage of 650,000 construction workers for the remainder of 2022, according to a February 2022 report from Associated Builders and Contractors.

But rising costs haven’t stopped Americans from upgrading their homes. Home remodeling activity in the United States has been heating up since the end of 2020 and is now beginning to decline, according to the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies.

There is one thing to keep in mind if you are planning a new project: The demand for building materials has increased over the past year. As a result, manufacturers are increasing the price of materials. Prices are up 10% to 15% this year, and many parts of the country are also seeing extended delivery times, according to Angi’s industry analysis. If you’re planning a construction project, start as early as possible in the season, be prepared for possible price fluctuations, and allow extra time to order materials.



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Garage doors maintain the highest return on investment

Contrasting bar chart showing percentage change in ROI for garage door replacements, with text annotation for 2022 ROI.

If you can get one, your brand new garage door will provide the best return on investment of any project, according to Remodeling’s latest annual report. However, the return on investment a homeowner will see from replacing their garage door has been declining over the past three years in most major cities.

Garage doors are a home component that even large home builders have difficulty obtaining reliably. Yes, building materials prices have skyrocketed, workers are hard to find, and home builders have hit other supply chain bottlenecks in the past year. But garage doors, specifically, emerged in 2022 as the number one sourcing challenge for builders, according to John Burns, a real estate consultancy.

Experts point to disruptions, including hurricanes and the Texas winter of 2021, that have choked off plastic production at oil refineries along the US Gulf Coast. This year’s hurricane season could cause another series of disruptions to the supply chain globally. Steel stocks are also limited due to supply chain problems and a constant backlog caused by high demand in recent years, according to the World Steel Association.



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Garage doors are also a relatively low cost project

A dot chart showing garage door replacement cost in 2019 and 2022 in 10 different cities and nationwide

A new garage door will cost an average of $4,041 in 2022 – 12% (or $430) and is on average more expensive than in 2019. However, it is one of the more expensive renovation projects homeowners can undertake. In major Texas cities, garage door cost has risen faster than the national average.



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Manufactured stone veneer yields declined in most major cities

Contrasting bar chart showing percentage change in ROI for manufactured stone veneer, with text annotation for 2022 ROI.

The return on investment for this project increased pre-pandemic payoffs in Phoenix, San Diego, and New York. Where stone siding could have boosted home values ​​prior to the pandemic in Los Angeles, San Jose, Philadelphia and Dallas, homeowners in those cities will have to settle for most of the money spent on it today.



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Manufactured stone veneer costs have gone up, but remain at the lower end

Bitmap showing the cost of installing stone veneer manufactured in 2019 and 2022 in 10 different cities and nationwide

Upgrading the sides in your home to include an accent of stone veneer provides the second best return on your investment after garage door replacement. These projects nationwide have increased 24%, on average, since 2019. The average stone veneer renovation job will set a homeowner $11,066 back in 2022.



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Kitchen remodels have seen a sharp decline in return on value

Contrasting bar chart showing percentage change in ROI for small and medium-sized kitchen shapes, with text annotation for 2022 ROI.

A large, upscale kitchen remodeling project will see only half of its costs reimbursed in 2022 – but a smaller project will return nearly 70% of your investment when you sell the home. A small kitchen remodel can include replacing large appliances with energy-efficient models or updating decorative countertops and laminate. It does not include a complete cabinet renovation or similar sized projects.



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Small kitchen remodel is more expensive, and costs increased by the highest margin

A dot chart showing the cost of remodeling a small mid-range kitchen in 2019 and 2022 in 10 different cities and nationwide

The value of making minor kitchen updates has slipped since 2019, as difficulties finding large appliances — and their rising costs — drove the return on investment down. Nationally, the cost of a middle-class kitchen remodel is up 26% on average compared to pre-pandemic period.

Kitchen utensils are one of the many consumable items that have increased cost and delivery backlog. As with furniture, consumers have seen delays in home appliance delivery by months over the past two years.

This story originally appeared on Angi and was produced by
Distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


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