MoneyWise Live | March 8, 2019

Remodeling Project Payback

Show Notes

The humorist Will Rogers once said, “I am more concerned with the return of my money than the return on my money.” Something to think about when we invest especially if we’re “investing” in home renovation. Not all home improvement projects are created equal when it comes to getting your money back out. Rob West has the numbers for us and some may surprise you. 

We thought we’d start low and work our way up as far as a return on investment is concerned. 

  • Adding on a backyard patio. 
  • A master suite addition with a return of 60% on your investment.
  • Just a simple bathroom addition— and I’m assuming it’s within existing space in the house— and it too yields a 60% return on your money. 
  • For a major kitchen remodel— meaning new cabinets, sink, appliances— maybe throw in an island— you get a return on your money of 62%. 
  • A bathroom remodel, not an addition like we mentioned earlier— and that jumps up to a 67% return on your investment.
  • A typical asphalt roof replacement. It returns 68%.
  • Entry door replacement, a deck addition, and siding replacement— each giving you back 3 out of 4 dollars that you spend at 75%.
  • Which home improvement project gives you the biggest rate of return?  Putting a manufactured stone veneer on your house. It returns 95% of your investment. 

Next, Rob and Steve answer these questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at

  • If you have a 16 year old house that is in need of new windows, where should you think about getting the money?
  • If you're 3 years from age 55 and have a 403(b) with about $350,000 and have been offered an opportunity to transfer into a 20 year annuity, should you do that or just take the 5 year distribution?
  • If you're age 56 and you've recently switched employers, should you leave your previous 401(k) with a $60,000 balance where it is, transfer it to another retirement fund or take the money and pay some bills?   
  • If you're currently enrolled in a credit counselor and one of creditors is denying the offer from the counselor, what can you do?
  • If you and your spouse have had financial troubles lately because of medical bills, and it's been recommended you declare bankruptcy but you resist because you consider it biblically irresponsible, what should you do?
  • If your son wants to open a Roth IRA, how should you counsel him?

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