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Top renovations that add value to your Southwest Florida home

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Listing season is right around the corner on Florida’s Gulf Coast. With inventory numbers up and new construction contributing to that number heavily, many homeowners often wonder what renovations are worth their investment. Luckily, there’s an app for that…or rather a national study. Remodeling Magazine, the leading resource for professional remodelers, released their Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report this past summer. In this study, 22 remodeling projects from minor to major to upscale were measured across 136 U.S. markets to see which recouped their investment best at resale. Below, we’ve highlighted some notable findings from the national study along with the top five renovations for the Sarasota area specifically.

Overall returns are up

Despite the increase in cost for goods (likely due to tariffs affecting commodity markets), all 22 projects surveyed on the study reported increases in value resulting in slight growth.

Curb appeal for the win!

Out of the top 10 highest returns on investment, 9 involved the exterior of the home – with minor kitchen remodel as the only interior modification/enhancement in that lineup.

Consumer confidence is high in 2019

Perhaps the most notable of national commentary is the slight uptick in big ticket remodeling projects year over year. The seemingly insignificant increase actually says a lot. Upscale renovations, such as major kitchen remodels with top-of-the-line appliances and finishes, have historically provided a lower return than their more modest counterpart. Despite this logic, buyers have invested in more opulent choices at a greater rate this year, showing a strong sign of consumer confidence.


Taking a magnifying glass to our Sarasota area, here are the top 5 projects that can provide a pleasing cost-value balance. Before jumping into replacing or modifying anything in or around your home, however, we recommend consulting with your real estate agent or local remodeling professional to make sure the project is needed and aligns with your budgetary goals and HOA policies (if applicable).


1. Manufactured stone veneer 124.7% ROI

  • Enhances curb appeal

The unsung hero of the exterior of your home is also the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to curb appeal and resale value. Stone veneer is a popular accent that adds a touch of rustic character and visual interest.

2. Garage door replacement 106.2% ROI

  • Secures home
  • Enhances curb appeal
  • Improves efficiency
  • Less maintenance
  • Quickens sale process

Though not an obvious front runner, garage doors provide security and energy-efficiency in addition to being a stylish accent to the exterior of a home. Specific to our region, garage door integrity is especially important during hurricane season. According to FEMA, a breach in the garage door during a hurricane or tornado can cause a build-up of internal pressure, resulting in a blowout of the roof and supporting walls. The added benefit to sellers that do replace their garage doors in anticipation of selling is that it can be an appealing talking point for your realtor and help expedite the inspection and closing process.

3. Grand entrance (fiberglass) 101.6% ROI

  • Secures home 
  • Enhances curb appeal
  • Improves efficiency
  • Less maintenance

Front doors are the second first impression of your home and act as both a means to welcome and keep out. For the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report, a fiber glass door with 12″ glass sidelights proved to come out on top for being equal parts secure and grand.

4. Deck addition (wood) 99.2% ROI

  • Enhances outdoor living
  • Increases living space
  • Adds function

In the land of indoor-outdoor living and the pocketing slider, a deck or lanai that allows views of your scenic surroundings is definitely a draw. But beyond the vistas, adding a deck also adds versatility and functionality to your home – evoking visions of future backyard barbecues and tranquil weekends of relaxation in the minds of many buyers. A composite deck addition yielded 89.5% return.

5. Siding replacement 89.9% ROI

  • Enhances curb appeal
  • Improves efficiency
  • Less maintenance
  • Quickens sale process

In Southwest Florida, builders know that exterior materials need to be designed to withstand our wet climate and heat and, for the most part, siding doesn’t even begin to show discoloration until about 8-10 years into your home ownership. Considering it’s not always part of the questions we ask when buying, some tell tale signs that your siding could need replacing are: sagging interior wallpaper, higher than normal electric bills, interior issues with mold, and apparent warping or external wear.

Take a look at the full study to see the potential return on investment for your next home update or contact one of our area real estate specialists for a complete market analysis of your home.

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Top renovations that add value to your Southwest Florida home was last modified: September 12th, 2019 by Samantha Emelock