|Kitchen remodel: Yay or nay?|
We both know this isn't our permanent home, which means we have to consider things like resale value and "Will potential buyers really like this change?" At last, we have a firm answer: Remodeling.HW.net has published its annual Cost Vs. Value report, which analyzes the cost recouped from various home remodeling projects, down to the city level.
So which projects in Allentown, PA, give you the most bang for your buck?
Entry door replacement (steel)
Average job cost in Allentown: $1,202
Resale value: $1,112
Cost recouped: 92.5%
I'm guessing this takes the #1 slot for one unfortunate reason: Allentown has a lot of crime.
Average job cost in Allentown: $52,195
Resale value: $47,762
Cost recouped: 91.5%
More like an attic apartment: According to the report, this project entails converting an unfinished attic space to a 15-by-15 foot bedroom with a 5-by-7 foot full bathroom, complete with four new windows, a dormer, carpeting, and air-conditioning.
Deck addition (wood)
Average job cost in Allentown: $10,152
Resale value: $7,868
Cost recouped: 77.5%
Despite spending half the year swallowed by the polar vortex, Allentown residents love their decks! How big a deck are we talking? Sixteen by 20 feet, made out out of pressure-treated wood, with a built-in bench.
Minor kitchen remodel
Average job cost in Allentown: $19,455
Resale value: $13,997
Cost recouped: 71.9%
To qualify as a "minor" remodel, you have to replace your cabinet doors with new raised-panel ones (leaving the old cabinet frames intact), install new hardware, replace the wall oven and cooktop with energy-efficient models, abolish any trace of laminate, install a "mid-priced" sink and faucet, repaint the trim, update the wall color, and put in new flooring. So much for minor updates, huh?
Entry door replacement (fiberglass)
Average job cost in Allentown: $2,863
Resale value: $2,041
Cost recouped: 71.3%
Yet again, security = priceless.
Major kitchen remodel
Average job cost in Allentown: $56,471
Resale value: $39,998
Cost recouped: 70.8%
I'm kind of scared to report what's required for a major kitchen overhaul: semi-custom cabinetry (including an island), laminate countertops (odd, I'd expect granite, minimum), double stainless sink, an energy-efficient wall oven and cooktop, ventilation system, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, custom lighting, resilient flooring, and painted walls, trim, and ceiling.
Backup power generator
Average job cost in Allentown: $12,028
Resale value: $8,004
Cost recouped: 66.5%
Hurricane Sandy, Winter Storm Pax, the occasional earthquake: A backup system has you covered.