If your home needs an upgrade, it’s helpful to know which home improvements provide the best return on investment (ROI) and can increase the value of your home. Whether you have your house for sale in Austin, TX, or just want to make sensible upgrades to enjoy for years to come, it’s important to ask yourself, “Will this home upgrade really pay off?”

Whatever your reasons for taking on a home improvement project, it’s critical to compare your choices and find out which projects can bring the biggest payoff. It is important to note that not all home improvement projects are created equal. What a potential buyer in Charlotte, North Carolina preferences will likely differ from a homebuyer in Indianapolis, IN. And while you may want to convert your garage into living space or install an extravagant water feature in your entryway, the ROI may be too low to be worth it in the Austin housing market.

There is no doubt that the housing market is extremely competitive. In fact, in 2021, 1,500 Austin homes sold for more than $100,000 above the asking price. If you want to increase the value of your property and get the best ROI, here are the top 10 Austin home improvements from the Cost vs Value Report 2021, ranked by highest to lowest ROI.

Top 10 Best ROI Home Improvements in Austin

1) Manufactured stone veneer

Average costs: $10.207
Average sales value: $9,696
Average cost recovery: 95%

Crafted stone veneer is incredibly versatile, offering homeowners many style options, including rustic, modern, and more. Not only can it increase the appeal, it’s also a wise investment. Adding engineered stone veneer is on the higher side for project costs, averaging $10,207, but offers a high return on investment: you’ll get about 95% of the cost back, about 4% more than the regional average. This high efficiency makes engineered stone veneer the best ROI home improvement project in Austin.

2) Garage door replacement

Average costs: $3,916
Average sales value: $3,564
Average cost recovery: 91%

Replacing your garage door is one of the best home improvements in Austin as it not only gives homeowners more protection and security, but also improves its attractiveness and reduces maintenance. And in Austin, TX, you may be able to recoup about 91% of the cost of installing a new garage door when it comes time to sell your home. The average cost is $3,916 and has a trade-in value of $3,564, nearly 6% higher than the regional average trade-in value.

3) Vinyl siding replacement:

Average costs: $15,264
Average sales value: $13,322
Average cost recovery: 81%

Vinyl siding not only protects you and your home from rain, wind, snow, sun and extreme temperatures, but also gives your home a fresh look. In Austin, TX, new siding comes with a hefty price tag of $15,264. However, this project is in the top three for best ROI improvements to the home, with a trade-in value of $13,322 and 81% of the cost recovery.

4) Fiber cement siding replacement

Average costs: $18,081
Average sales value: $13.933
Average cost recovery: 77%

Fiber cement siding can withstand harsh weather, is fire resistant, versatile and affordable. In Austin, TX, fiber cement siding is pricey, usually around $18,081. However, it delivers a 77% return on investment, 11% higher than the regional average.

5) Small Kitchen Renovation

Average costs: $24,242
Average sales value: $18,438
Average cost recovery: 76%

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house and serves as a central meeting place for the family and a necessary space for preparing meals. So it is easy to understand why a kitchen remodel can add value to your home. A minor kitchen renovation involves updating cabinets, replacing old hardware and appliances, and installing new countertops and floors. It may even include minor upgrades, such as replacing the sink and faucets, and repainting walls, trim, and ceiling. A minor kitchen renovation costs an average of $24,242 in Austin, TX. You may see a 76% return on your investment as the average resale value is about $18,438.

A galley kitchen with cabinets painted green, wooden floors and white countertops

6) Vinyl Window Replacement

Average costs: $19,409
Average sales value: $14,196
Average cost recovery: 73%

Replacing your windows can extend the life of your home and keep your family comfortable all year round — plus, they’re a huge selling point for buyers. New vinyl windows are made of plastic and can last more than 20 years. In Austin, TX, the average cost of vinyl windows is $19,409 and generally has a 73% ROI. This is still 12% higher than the average cost payback for the region, so consider adding this home improvement to your list.

7) Wooden Deck Addition

Average costs: $15.070
Average sales value: $10,705
Average cost recovery: 71%

If you want to make the most of your square footage, consider expanding your outdoor living space. A patio addition provides a comfortable outdoor retreat—whether you enjoy having an alfresco dinner or watching nature in your backyard—you won’t want to leave even in colder weather. In Austin, TX, a wood deck addition typically costs about $15,070 and yields a 71% return on investment, 11% higher than the regional average.

A backyard wood deck addition like this one is a top Austin home improvement

8) Wooden window replacement

Average costs: $23,215
Average sales value: $16.259
Average cost recovery: 70%

Wooden windows are visually appealing and give homes a natural, warm finish. Wooden windows are not only sturdy, durable and an excellent insulator, but they can often lead to lower electricity bills. Replacing your windows cost an average of $23,215 in Austin, TX, but you can see a 70% return on your costs as they have an average trade-in value of $16,259.

9) Replace asphalt shingles roofing

Average costs: $26,049
Average sales value: $17,812
Average cost recovery: 68%

When it comes time to replace your roof, consider choosing asphalt shingles. This material offers high performance at a lower cost than other roofing materials. After all, if your roof doesn’t work, everything underneath is at risk. In Austin, TX, the average cost of asphalt shingles is $26,049 with an average resale of $17,812, meaning you can recoup 68% of the cost.

10) Metal Roofing Replacement

Average costs: $42,648
Average sales value: $28,723
Average cost recovery: 67%

In addition to asphalt shingles, metal roofs can be another attractive option to replace roofing materials. They require minimal maintenance, are energy efficient and have quite a long life – as much as 40-70 years before they need to be replaced. With an average cost of $42,648 in Austin, TX, you’ll see a 67% return on your investment and an average trade-in value of $28,723.

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