Some small home projects can bring big bucks

by Judy Stringer  

New garage doors and updated siding are among the remodeling projects that will net Cleveland-area homeowners the most return on their investment, according to Zonda Media’s 2022 Cost vs. Value Report (

The report finds replacing a garage door will cost a local homeowner $3,944 on average and increase the home’s value by $3,756, resulting in a 95.2% return on investment.

Replacing existing siding with new vinyl, meanwhile, costs an average of  $17,976 and adds $15,374 worth of value, an 85.5% ROI. Upgrading the bottom third to stone veneer runs about  $10,737 and adds about $9,893, for a 92.1% ROI.

Other good investments include minor kitchen remodels (67.3%) and midrange bathroom remodels (62.9%). According to the report, a minor kitchen remodel entails replacing cabinet fronts and hardware (but not the whole cabinet), upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, painting and installing engineered flooring. Midrange bathroom remodels include replacing all fixtures; updating the tub and adding tile surround; installing ceramic tile flooring; and painting. 

Projects with the lowest ROI were kitchen remodels (49.9%), bathroom additions (45.8%), upscale bathroom renovations (43.8%), entry door replacement (47.1%), and master suite additions (35.5%).

Not all home projects have to be time-consuming and expensive to get a return. In a mortgage newsletter, PNC Bank suggested eight smaller DIY enhancements that can add value to homes:  

• Turn up the light. Brighten up your home by cleaning windows and skylights. Update lighting with a modern chandelier or ceiling fan.  

• Make landscaping “greener.” Adding beds of mulch instead of grass or choosing drought-tolerant plants can improve your home’s curb appeal, save time and help the environment.  

• Paint to please. Applying a fresh coat of paint will give a crisp, updated look to your home. Keep the colors neutral to appeal to more potential buyers.  

• Captivate with the kitchen. Whether getting new appliances is a choice or a necessity, opting for stainless steel and energy-efficient models is always a win.  

• Do a clean sweep. Quick day-to-day tidying and occasional deep cleaning are two of the easiest and cheapest ways to keep your home looking its best.  

• Pass your own electrical inspection. Make sure appliances, sprinkler systems, door bells, lights and outlets stay in working order. You’ll keep surprises at bay when it’s time to sell.  

• Update your bathroom. Outdated bathroom fixtures can be an immediate turn off, but they are an easy fix. Upgrading knobs, pulls, faucets and shower tiling can increase the overall “wow” factor.  

• Ditch the old doormat. While you may not notice the same, worn-out doormat you’ve been stepping on for years, potential buyers will. And first impressions count. ∞