Q&A: Renovations with high returns

Dear Liz: What renovation projects reap the most return when selling? Replacing windows and carpeting is what I had in mind.

Answer: Remodeling magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value report puts window replacement near the top of renovation projects that pay off, but none of the projects the survey tracked recouped more than they cost.

In 2014, a homeowner could expect to recoup about 79% of the cost of window replacements, assuming the home was sold soon after the improvement. Major kitchen remodels offered a 74% return on a mid-range project that cost about $55,000, or 64% of a high-end project that cost about $110,000. The amount you can expect to recoup usually declines over time as the improvements start to get dated or suffer wear and tear.

The survey doesn’t track projects that are typically considered more maintenance than improvement, such as replacing carpeting or painting. Those projects may, however, get a home sold faster if done just before the house is put up for sale.

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