The 2017 Top 10 Remodeling Paybacks in the Chicago area

Each year, the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report ( helps realtors and homeowners determine which remodeling projects have the greatest return when a homeowner goes to sell their home. The 2017 report shares that in the Chicago area, 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.

insulation1The Top 10 Remodeling Paybacks in the Chicago area for 2017

1) Curb Appeal: 71 – 104%

  • Front Door (steel): 104%
  • Stone Veneer: 104%
  • Grand Entrance (fiberglass): 71%

2) Attic Insulation: 89%

3) Kitchen Remodel: 75%

4) Siding Replacement: 71%

5) Window Replacement: 71%

6) Two-Story Addition: 70%

7) Family Room Addition: 64%

8) Deck Addition: 62%

9) Bathroom Remodel: 61%

10) Master Suite Addition: 60%

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.)
  • Every 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 slightly better return than a major kitchen remodel.
  • Not surprisingly, attic insulation projects increase a home’s retail value by 89%.
  • 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 composite deck (which has a slightly larger return than wood 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 2017 than in 2016. According to Metrostudy, this trend will continue through this year and into 2018 with remodeling projects increasing in cost an average of 5% per year. 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.


Complete data from the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at All data from the report © 2017 Hanley Wood Media Inc.