The 2016 Top 10 Remodeling Paybacks in the Chicago area

Each year the Cost vs. Value Report by Hanley Wood helps realtors and homeowners determine which remodeling projects have the greatest return when a homeowner goes to sell their home. The 2016 report shares that in the Chicago area, bigger and more expensive projects, rising new-home prices, curb appeal and energy efficiency all contributed to a gain in remodeling projects’ payback at resale. As a general rule, the simpler and lower-cost the project, the bigger its cost-value ratio.

The Top 10 Remodeling Paybacks in the Chicago area for 2016

insulation11) Attic Insulation 118%

2) Front Entry / Curb Appeal 89%

3) Wood Decks 73%

4) Window Replacement 72%

5) Midrange Kitchen Remodel  73%

ProjectArticle_Small_Photo36) Two-Story Addition  69%

7) Siding Replacement 68%

8) Roofing Replacement 64%

9) Bathroom Remodel 59%

10) Basement Remodel 56%


Takeaways from this year’s report:

  • First impressions are important and “curb appeal” is essential to maximizing value. Many of the highest-scoring projects were for projects completed on the exterior of the home (front doors, garage doors, entryways, siding, etc.)
  • BathrooomEvery realtor will tell you, “kitchens and baths sell houses” and the cost vs. value data supports this assumption. Kitchen and bath remodels have some of the biggest impact on your home’s value. In Chicago, an upscale bath remodel had a slightly lower return than a midrange bath remodel and a midrange kitchen remodel had a much better return than a major kitchen remodel.
  • Not surprisingly, attic insulation projects top the list increasing a home’s retail value by 118%.
  • Outdoor living is one of the fastest growing areas in the remodeling industry and in the Chicago area it has one of the biggest paybacks. Maximizing time outdoors on a well designed wood deck (which has a bigger return than composite decking) has great appeal to the Chicago area home buyer.
  • In general, replacements cost less and therefore provide a bigger payback than remodels or additions but as the value of homes increase, the value of these remodels and additions keep increasing right along with them.

The important thing for every homeowner to realize is that year after year, the cost of the average remodeling project keeps going up. A Chicago area homeowner will pay 5% more for their remodeling project in 2016 than in 2015. Taking into consideration the continued rise in labor and material costs, the predictions for 2017 put that number upwards of 10%. While every home improvement we make does not always equate with returns on the dollar, most homeowners want to maximize their investment when considering a remodeling project.

In this market, the longer a homeowner waits, the more expensive their remodeling projects become. If you are a homeowner considering any type of remodeling project — and want to pay less now and start enjoying your home’s investment right away — contact us today for a free consultation or call us at 847-922-3418.