If your home is in need of an upgrade, it’s helpful to know which home improvements offer the best return on investment (ROI) and can boost your home’s value. Whether you’re listing your home for sale in Austin, TX, or simply want to make wise upgrades to enjoy for years to come, it’s important to ask yourself – “Will this home upgrade really pay off?” 

Whatever your reasons for tackling a home improvement project, it’s crucial to compare your choices and learn which projects may have the biggest payoff. It’s important to note that not all home improvement projects are created equal. What a prospective buyer in Charlotte, NC prefers will probably differ from a homebuyer in Indianapolis, IN. And while you may want to convert your garage into a living space, or install an extravagant water feature in your entryway, the ROI may be too low for it to be worth it in the Austin housing market.

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

Top 10 best ROI home improvements in Austin

1) Manufactured stone veneer

Average cost: $10,207
Average resale value: $9,696
Average cost recouped: 95%

Manufactured stone veneer is incredibly versatile, giving homeowners many style options, including rustic, modern, and more. Not only can it increase curb appeal, it’s also a wise investment. Adding manufactured stone veneer is on the higher end for project costs, averaging $10,207, but provides a high return on investment: You’ll gain back around 95% of the cost, about 4% more than the regional average. This high return makes manufactured stone veneer the best ROI home improvement project in Austin.

2) Garage door replacement

Average cost: $3,916
Average resale value: $3,564
Average cost recouped: 91%

Replacing your garage door is one of the top home improvements in Austin because it not only offers homeowners more protection and security, but also improves curb appeal and reduces maintenance. And, in Austin, TX, you may be able to recover about 91% of the costs of installing a new garage door when it comes time to sell your home. The average cost is $3,916 and has a resale value of $3,564, almost 6% higher than the average regional resale value. 

3) Vinyl siding replacement

Average cost: $15,264
Average resale value: $13,322
Average cost recouped: 81%

Vinyl siding not only protects you and your home against rain, wind, snow, sun, and extreme temperatures, but also adds a fresh appearance to your home. In Austin, TX, new siding comes with a hefty price tag of $15,264. However, this project makes it into the top three for best ROI home improvements, with a resale value of $13,322 and 81% of the costs recouped. 

4) Fiber cement siding replacement

Average cost: $18,081
Average resale value: $13,933
Average cost recouped: 77%

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

5) Minor kitchen remodel

Average cost: $24,242
Average resale value: $18,438 
Average cost recouped: 76%

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home, serving as both a central meeting place for family and necessary space to prepare meals. So it’s easy to understand why a kitchen remodel can add value to your home. A minor kitchen remodel consists of updating cabinets, replacing old hardware and appliances, and installing new countertops and flooring. It can even include small upgrades like replacing the sink and faucets, and repainting walls, trim, and ceiling. A minor kitchen remodel 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, wood floors, and white countertops

6) Vinyl window replacement

Average cost: $19,409 
Average resale value: $14,196 
Average cost recouped: 73%

Replacing your windows can help extend the life of your home and help keep your family comfortable all year round – plus, they’re a huge selling point for buyers. New vinyl windows are made of plastic material and can last over 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 recouped for the region, so consider adding this home improvement to your list.

7) Wood deck addition

Average cost: $15,070 
Average resale value: $10,705  
Average cost recouped: 71%

If you’re looking to make the most of your square footage, consider extending your living space outside. A deck addition will create a comfortable outdoor retreat – whether you enjoy hosting an outdoor dinner party or watching the wildlife in your backyard – you won’t want to leave even in the chillier weather. In Austin, TX, a wood deck addition typically costs around $15,070 and yields a 71% return on investment, 11% higher than the regional average.

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

8) Wood window replacement

Average cost: $23,215
Average resale value: $16,259 
Average cost recouped: 70%

Wood windows are visually appealing – giving a natural, warm finish to homes. Not only are wood windows sturdy, durable, and a great insulator, but they can often lead to lower electricity bills. Replacing your windows costs an average $23,215 in Austin, TX, but you can see a 70% return on your costs, as they have an average resale value of $16,259.

9) Asphalt shingles roofing replacement

Average cost: $26,049 
Average resale value: $17,812
Average cost recouped: 68%

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

10) Metal roofing replacement

Average cost: $42,648 
Average resale value: $28,723 
Average cost recouped: 67%  

Second to asphalt shingles, metal roofs can be another attractive roofing replacement option. They require minimal maintenance, are energy efficient, and have quite the longevity – lasting a staggering 40-70 years before needing to be replaced. Costing an average of $42,648 in Austin, TX, you’ll see a 67% return on your investment and an average resale value of $28,723.

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