When the goal of your home remodel is to add the most value to your house as possible, you should look for information that is as specific to your location as possible. What works in one Bay Area neighborhood may not work in another. However, we can still offer you great data on what works in the Pacific region, including California, based on the highly respected Remodeling Cost vs Value Report of 2022. For more specific details about your home, reach out to us to talk about our experience in your area.

Exterior Projects

The data is very clear that improvements to home exteriors provide the highest return on value as a percentage of overall cost. However, that does not necessarily mean they are the best choice for you. For example, in the Bay Area, replacing your garage door will get you 95% of your investment. That’s great return, but the door only cost $4,190, so you only get $3,986 in recouped value when you sell. Most people are looking to add more value than that to their homes.

You can, of course, invest in multiple outdoor improvements to add more overall value. If you do, the data suggests that the top choices are adding manufactured stone veneer to your home’s exterior, replacing windows, siding, or adding a composite deck. However, all of these add a lower percentage of value than the next option, kitchen remodels.

Kitchen Remodels

Most people consider kitchen remodels to be the best way to improve their home’s value and the data largely agrees with them. You just have to be careful about what kind of remodel and what degree of complexity. It should be based on your market. In general, the rules are that you should make only minor improvements to a kitchen which is largely up-to-date. You should also meet, but not exceed, the quality and style expectations for your neighborhood. Adding a chef’s kitchen to a mid-range home will not necessarily get you a high percentage return.

Data suggests that in the Bay Area, different kitchen remodels offer different levels of return:

  • Minor kitchen remodels in the midrange offer 77.9% return.
  • Major kitchen remodels in the midrange offer 64.2% return.
  • Major kitchen remodels that are upscale offer 59.3% return.

Find out more about our kitchen remodeling services.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

While not covered in the remodeling report, as it is an addition and not a remodel, an ADU is a fantastic way to add value to your property. These units can provide a return greater than their investment (although you should not necessarily expect such results), assuming they can be rented out at a high amount per month. Regular homeowners and investors typically see these units favorably and assess their value based on the income they can generate.

Bathroom Remodels

Much like kitchens, bathrooms are one of the major areas of a home which you can upgrade in order to boost the value of the property. When done well, bathroom remodels can add very significant value. Research shows that:

  • Midrange bathroom remodels provide 67% return.
  • A bathroom remodel with a universal design provides 63% value.
  • Upscale bathroom remodels provide 60% return.

Remember that your specific area within the Bay Area and your specific neighborhood and home matter a great deal.