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Think windows when considering remodeling

Pasco Press correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM
NEW PORT RICHEY -

Want to do some home remodeling, but can’t settle on a project? To get the most bang for your buck on the Suncoast, upgrade your windows, according to the Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, www.costvsvalue.com.

The report says you can recoup between 80 and 83 percent of your estimated $9,000 to $10,000 replacement cost in the added value to your home. Replacing any vinyl siding, if your home is outfitted with siding, is just as cost effective.

The report compares construction costs with resale values for 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 81 markets across the country. Data are grouped in nine U.S. regions, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is the 15th consecutive year that the report, which is produced by Remodeling magazine publisher Hanley Wood, LLC, was completed in cooperation with the National Association of Realtors.

Replacing 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated divided-light wood windows adds the most value to the home at 83.2 percent of the cost. Upgrading to the same number of insulated, low-E, simulated divided-light vinyl windows gets an 80.1 percent cost vs. value rating.

The second best improvement for the area and tops on the regional and national lists is putting in a steel entry door. The job calls for a new 20-gauge steel unit, including clear dual-pane half-glass panel, jambs, and aluminum threshold with composite stop, a job that averages about $1,100. Replace the existing lockset with new bored lock in a brass or antique brass finish.

Also high on all the lists is replacing the garage door with a galvanized steel door, a job that costs around $1,500, the report says.

The highest rated indoor project is a minor kitchen remodel at an estimated cost of $17,500. The report says you can replace fronts with new raised-panel wood doors and drawers with new hardware.

Wall ovens and cooktops are popular. If you have them, upgrade; if you don’t consider getting energy-efficient models. Replace laminate countertops; install a mid-priced sink and new faucet. Repaint trim, add wall covering and remove and replace resilient flooring.

Adding an attic bedroom was second highest rated interior remodel in national listings.

NAR says the 2013 national average cost-to-value ratio rose to 60.6 percent, ending a six-year decline. The ratio represents nearly a three-point improvement over 2011-2012.

Lower construction costs are the principal factor in the upturn, especially when measured against stabilizing house values. In addition, the cost-to-value ratio improved nationally for every project in this year’s report and is higher than it was two years ago for both remodeling and replacement projects.

Complete data from the Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

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