Rockford Realty Group

Sellers: DIY Projects that pay!

top 5 projects - best return

Home improvement projects don’t have to be large-scale to return a big value at the time of sale. According to the 2015 Cost vs. Value report, even something as simple and inexpensive¬†as replacing a steel door returns an average of 101.8% nationally.

Relatively simple DIY projects are the ultimate money-saving tools for homeowners. In addition to saving money, DIY projects offer pride of workmanship and lifelong skills. But, it’s also very important to consider the time and labor involved. It’s also important to consider the complexity and risk of the job. For example, it’s always best to hire a licensed professional for major repairs such as roof replacement or electrical work.

With the technology available these days, learning the tricks of the DIY trade is easier than ever. You can find step-by-step instructions for almost every project on YouTube, Pinterest,, and many manufacturer websites.

Here are the five best home improvement projects with a positive return on investment (ROI) according to the Florida Association of Realtors.

  • Deck addition: It’s fairly simple to build a 12-foot-by-16-foot wood deck addition. It should take three or four days to complete, depending on the decision to use concrete piers instead of poured concrete footings. The ROI of doing this type of project is 490 percent, compared to 80.5 percent if a professional installs it. When it’s time to sell, owners can expect to get back $8,085.
  • Small bathroom upgrade: Installing ceramic tile may be one of the more labor intensive DIY projects, and one that typically requires being without a bathroom for six to eight days, but it provides a great ROI at 170 percent compared with the 70 percent if a professional handles the job. The profit when it comes time to sell? $11,707.
  • New front door: Steel door replacement not only provides great curb appeal, it has a huge cost return. The ROI if replaced by a professional is 101.8 percent, but if done as a DIY project, the ROI is 501 percent. When it comes time to sell, owners can expect to get back $1,252.
  • Replacing the garage door: This easy DIY project can net $1,410 when it’s time to sell. Swapping out an older garage door for a steel door has a ROI of 166 percent if done by the owner; 88.4 percent if hiring a professional.
  • Window replacement: If replacing more than three windows or windows on a second story, it’s best to leave this to the pros. Window replacement has an ROI of 72.9 percent if done by a professional, but 320 percent if handled by the owner. DIY window replacement can expect to gain $816 when it’s time to sell.

Source: "Best Money-Saving DIY Projects (and Tips for Doing Them Right)," Houselogic, June 2015.
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