10 Home Improvements That Don't Pay Off

Bathroom Remodel
> Cost: $57,411
> Resale value: $32,998
> Return: 57.5%

Expand an existing 35-square-foot bathroom to 100 square feet within existing house footprint. Relocate all fixtures. Include 42-by-42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls with accent strip, recessed shower caddy, body-spray fixtures and frameless glass enclosure. Include a customized whirlpool tub, stone countertop with two sinks, two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting, a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. Use all color fixtures. Use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on the diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. Add general and spot lighting including waterproof shower fixture. Cabinetry shall include a custom drawer base and wall cabinets for a built-in look. Extend HVAC system, and include electric in-floor heating and heated towel bars.

Deck Addition (Composite)
> Cost: $37,943
> Resale value: $21,877
> Return: 57.7%

Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by four-by-four posts anchored to concrete piers. At one corner, add a second, 10-foot-diameter six-sided platform one step down from the main deck. Include stairs on the smaller deck, assuming three steps to grade. Install composite deck material in a simple linear pattern. Trim the perimeter joists and wrap the four-by-four posts with composite materials to match the decking. Using the same decking material, include a built-in bench and planter along one 16-foot side. On the remaining perimeter, provide a railing system using composite material of contrasting or complementary colors that includes decorative balusters, post caps, and lighting. Railing and trim should provide for overall curb appeal to the outdoor living space by integrating the deck with the home’s color and architecture, creating a custom look.

Major Kitchen Remodel
> Cost: $119,909
> Resale value: $73,707
> Return: 61.5%

Update outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of top-of-the-line custom cherry cabinets with built-in sliding shelves and other interior accessories. Include stone countertops with imported ceramic or glass tile backsplash; built-in refrigerator, cooktop and 36-inch commercial grade range and vent hood; built-in warming drawer, trash compactor and built-in combination microwave and convection oven. Install high-end undermount sink with designer faucets and built-in water filtration system. Add new general and task lighting including low-voltage undercabinet lights. Install cork flooring, cherry trim.

Methodology: Data for the “Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report” was based on construction cost estimates generated by RemodelMAX, and resale value data were aggregated from estimates provided by real-estate professionals on an online survey containing project descriptions and three-dimensional illustrations, plus construction costs and median home prices for each city. Respondents were instructed not to make judgments about the motivation of the homeowner in either the decision to undertake the remodeling project or to sell the house. The survey for this 2016 data was in the field for approximately 10 weeks between August and October of 2015. Nearly 4,000 real estate professionals participated.