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Siding Tops List for Best Return on Home Improvement Investment

Mary Butler

Maybe it's not the news you want to hear. But when it comes to home improvement projects that give the best bang for your buck, replacing your siding appears to make the most financial sense. For the fourth year in a row, Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report ranked adding fiber-cement board siding to your home as the best home improvement investment, based on return at resale. With an average job cost of $13,177, fiber-cement siding nets an 86.7 percent return.

Replacing your home's siding might not be as satisfying as remodeling a kitchen or adding a great room, but it's what resonates with home buyer's pocketbooks. 

Fiber-Cement Siding Equals Value

"In today's buyers' market, sellers know they have to go the extra mile to attract buyers, but often times the improvements made don't deliver a higher sale price and the money put into improvements is lost," said P.J. Rosch, senior product manager for James Hardie Building Products, which first introduced fiber-cement board siding to the U.S. in the early 1990s. 

Fiber-cement products are a durable, low-maintenance alternative to wood and vinyl. They're also very strong and nearly bullet-proof, as they're highly resistant to fire, wind, insects, impact, and moisture.

While fiber-cement siding took the top spot in report rankings, the No. 2 spot was snagged by foam-backed vinyl siding, which garners an 80 percent return on an average investment of $12,528. Other siding options, including wood, metal, and masonry, aren't ranked as part of the survey.

Home Improvement: What to Avoid
If siding is the most fiscally sound home improvement project, you might wonder: what's the worst financial bet? According the magazine's survey, remodeling your home office is the least effective way to spend your home renovation dollars. With an average cost of $28,094, a home office remodel reaps only a 54.6 percent return.

Sure, it's no fun to spend so much money on big-ticket items such as furnaces, roof replacements, and, yes, new siding, because you don't get the everyday pleasure you do from interior home improvements. But the good news is that such an expensive upgrade traditionally doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated at resale.
Vinyl Siding - VinylSidingZone.com
BobVila.com, Your Home's Exterior: Comparing Paint and Siding 
MSNBC.com, Remodeling Magazine's '08-'09 'Cost Vs. Value Report' Bolsters Sales of James Hardie

About the Author

Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado-based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

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