The 10 Best Outdoor Home Upgrades for Your Money

Photo by Monkey Business Images /

Many of us are focused on home this summer. One great way to take advantage of the warm weather is to make improvements to the exterior of your house.

On the whole, remodeling is more a consumption purchase than an investment. Rare is the remodeling project that recoups 100% of the cost. And even fewer remodeling jobs actually make money for the homeowner. A remodel, instead, lets you enjoy an upgraded home, or prepare your place for resale.

Nevertheless, some projects pay back better than others.

Remodeling Magazine, which assesses home improvements for their return on investment for its annual Cost Vs. Value report, rates the following upgrades as the best uses of exterior remodeling dollars in 2020. All numbers represent national averages.

1. New manufactured stone veneer

  • Cost recouped: 95.6%
  • Project cost: $9,357

2. Garage door replacement

  • Cost recouped: 94.5%
  • Project cost: $3,695

3. Fiber-cement siding replacement

  • Cost recouped: 77.6%
  • Project cost: $17,008

4. Vinyl siding replacement

  • Cost recouped: 74.7%
  • Project cost: $14,359

5. Vinyl window replacements

  • Cost recouped: 72.3%
  • Project cost: $17,641

6. New wood deck

  • Cost recouped: 72.1%
  • Project cost: $14,360

7. Wood window replacements

  • Cost recouped: 68.9%
  • Project cost: $21,495

8. Steel entry door replacement

  • Cost recouped: 68.8%
  • Project cost: $1,881

9. New composite deck

  • Cost recouped: 66.8%
  • Project cost: $19,856

10. Asphalt-shingle roofing replacement

  • Cost recouped: 65.9%
  • Project cost: $24,700

At the other end of this spectrum is a fiberglass “grand” entrance. This project entails removing the existing front door of a home and widening the opening to fit a new fiberglass door with matching sidelight panels on both sides.

But a fiberglass grand entrance has the lowest return of any exterior project in Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 report. Researchers found that it pays back only about half — 53.3% — of its $9,254 average cost.

To learn more about the best exterior and interior home improvements for your money, check out “11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020.”

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