Remodeling That Pays

Upgrading your home is always appealing, but which enhancements really get you a good return for your money when it’s time to sell? A survey by Remodeling Magazine and REALTOR® Magazine has the answer.

Bathroom Remodel  
Midrange 89.3%


Bathroom Addition  
Midrange 95%
Upscale 84.3%
Major Kitchen Remodel  
Midrange 74.9%
Upscale 79.6%
Master Suite  
Midrange 76.4%
Upscale 76.9%
Family Room  
Midrange 80.6%
Midrange 104.2%
Basement Remodel  
Midrange 79.3%
Siding Replacement  
Midrange 98.1%
Window Raplacement  
Midrange 84.8%
Upscale 87.0%
Attic Bedroom  
Midrange 92.8%


12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

1. Get at least three written estimates

2. Get references and call to check on the work. If possible, go by and visit earlier jobs.

3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.

4. Be sure that the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.

5. Make as small a downpayment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.

6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.

7. Be sure that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.

8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will do parts.

9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.

10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.

11. Guarantee that materials used meet your specifications.

12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® . Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.