Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The 2015 Cost Vs. Value Report

Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost Vs. Value report was just recently released.

I believe that it is a good idea for DIY'ers and pros to look at the report. As a DIY'er you can
see how much its supposed to cost and you can compare what you actually paid to
the projected cost to figure out your new, better payback.

For the pros you can see how your numbers match up to average costs and if your numbers
are way higher you better have a good explanation locked and loaded.

This also is a good time to talk about whether or not you believe in any of it.
Half of the report seems reasonable. Pro contractors bid the jobs described. The other
half of the report,....well,... Real Estate Pro's (including the reptile realtors) somehow decide
how much the completed jobs will increase the value of the house. Ahem, sounds a bit
hand-wavey to me...

That and I haven't come across a single construction pro who thought the numbers where valid.
At best they are numbers to get you in the ballpark.

Lets take a look a at couple of specific jobs from the Upscale Projects Section.

Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4 posts anchored to concrete piers. At one corner, add a second, 10-foot-diameter six-sided platform one step down from the main deck. Include stairs on the smaller deck, assuming three steps to grade. Install composite deck
material in a simple linear pattern. Trim the perimeter joists and wrap the 4x4 posts with composite materials to match the decking. Using the same decking material, include a built-in bench and planter along one 16-foot side. On the remaining perimeter, provide a railing system using composite material of and trim should provide contrasting or complementary colors that includes decorative balusters, post caps, and lighting. Railing for overall curb appeal to the outdoor living space by integrating the deck with the home’s color and architecture, creating a custom look.
cost=$45219 Value=$46879 Cost Recouped=103.7%
Wow, a plastic deck is worth more than a quality tropical hardwood deck? Wha?

Remove and dispose of existing 16x7-foot garage door and tracks. Install new 4-section garage door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks; reuse existing motorized opener. New door is high tensile strength steel with two coats of factory applied paint and foam insulated to minimum R-12 with thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels. Windows in top panel are ½-inch insulated glass. Hardware includes galvanized steel hinges and ball-bearing urethane rollers. Lifetime warranty.
Cost= $3298 Value=$5150  Cost Recouped= 156.2%
So, I've three garage doors and if I replace them all I'll have........a jillion dollars! Did I do that
math right?

Remove existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and cut and reframe opening for a 12-36-12 entrance door with dual side lites. Move double gang electrical box with two switches. Fiberglass door blank matches upscale entry, including color, threshold, lockset, and decorative half-glass; side lites match door. PVC-wrapped exterior trim in color to match existing trim; wider interior colonial or ranch casings (3.5-inch to cover new jack studs) in hardwood stained to match door. All work to be completed in one day.
Cost=$8475  Value=$9942  Cost Recouped=117.3%
Wow again, fiberglass is the upscale choice.

Replace 1,250 square feet of existing siding with new fiber cement siding, factory primed and factory painted. Include all 4/4 and 5/4 trim using either fiber-cement boards or cellular PVC.
Cost=$18587  Value=$23963  Cost Recouped=128.9%
I guess fiber cement is long lasting and can come factory painted.

Replace 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite vinyl windows. Simulated wood-grain interior finish; custom-color exterior finish. Trim exterior to match existing; do not disturb existing interior trim.
Cost=$12867  Value=$13640  Cost Recouped=106.0%
Yay, vinyl!!!!

Replace 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite wood windows. Interior finish of stained hardwood; exterior finish of custom-color aluminum cladding. Trim exterior to match existing; do not disturb existing interior trim.
Cost=$20296  Value=$23559  Cost Recouped=116.1%
Finally a wood thing returns decent value...
Those are all the projects on the upscale side that return more than 100%.

I don't know if any of the above makes sense. It seems like we are seeing other
factors rolled up with those numbers. Currently houses around here are appreciating
like mad. In the upscale list of jobs the lowest performer was 83.6% for a master suite addition
while the national ave return is only 53.7%.

Or, in other words, 'Real Estate is Crazy Around Here.'



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