Blame all the renovation TV shows for this one. In 2015, Americans spent over $320 billion on remodeling their home. There’s no doubt that home renovations are a good idea - especially if you’re looking to sell an older house in need of some TLC in a hot market. However, not all renovation choices are smart, or produce much return at all.

So, before you spend a few grand shiplapping your entire front wall, here’s the top 5 places to put your improvement money for the biggest bang for your buck:

1. Garage Door Replacement

This is typically not the first thing you think of when putting on your Fixer-Upper hard hat, but surprisingly enough, a brand-new garage door has a 97.6% return when it comes time to sell your home. With the average cost of a brand new garage door at $3600, the amount you will get back when it’s time to sell is roughly $3500. Solid return!

2. Light Kitchen Remodel

For kitchens with decent bones and cabinetry still on its hinges, light kitchen remodels (as opposed to wall-moving, full-blown remodels) can give you a nice return. This includes painting cabinets (or replacing cabinet faces) and changing hardware, all-new stainless appliances, granite countertops, updated backsplash, updated faucets, and some new flooring. While this will put you back an average of $22,500, it will give you back around $18,000 at the closing table (that’s an 80.5% return).  

3. Wood Deck

Who doesn’t love to grill out on a wood deck? Apparently most Americans do, and the numbers show that they will certainly pay more for it when buying a home. Wood decks cost anywhere between $13,000 and $13,500, but will give you $10,100 back when you sell. That’s in the ballpark of a 75% return, which is not bad for an improvement that your family will enjoy prior to selling.

4. Steel Door

Replacing a wood or fiberglass door with a sturdy steel door will up the ante on any home that you go to sell. Not only does it provide better security, but delivers a more expensive feel over a lighter, cheaper-looking alternative. At $1400, a brand new steel door will hand you back $1300 when you’re ready to sell, which is a 91% return on your home improvement investment. Not bad!

5. Siding

Siding makes a huge difference when it comes to the perceived value of your home. Siding that is dark, worn, rotting, or damaged can make even the nicest home on the inside appear to be old, outdated, and undervalued. Replacing siding costs around $15,000, but will give you back about $11,500 of resale value. At a 77% return, and with curb appeal a huge factor when it comes to selling a home quickly, we would suggest taking a look at your siding before anything else.

We hope this will help you on your remodeling journey! Sound off in the comments if you’ve had experience with these remodels, and what your resale value came out to.