Do you want to be happy, or do you want a hefty return when you sell your home?

Mortgage & Real Estate

When it comes to home renovation, there are big differences in the projects that make people the happiest and the work that results in the biggest payback at the closing table.

New kitchens gave people the biggest thrill, whether they were buyers looking at properties or owners planning to stay put, according to a poll of 20 remodeling projects by the National Association of Realtors. However, new roofing and new floors have the biggest payback, the report showed.

A kitchen upgrade typically cost about $38,300 and returned about 52% of that with a higher sale price, according to the report. A complete kitchen renovation that cost $68,000 returned about 59%, NAR said.

A bathroom renovation that cost $35,000 returned about 57%, while the addition of a new bathroom that cost $60,000 returned about 50%, the report showed. Adding a new master suite might cost $150,000 and return about 50%, NAR said.

A basement conversion to living area costing $46,900 probably would return about 64%, while converting attic space could cost $80,000 and return 56%, according to the report.

Now, for the boring stuff that had the mega payback:

A new roof typically might cost $7,500, and sellers likely would recover 107%, NAR said.

A project to install new wood floors that cost $4,700 probably would result in a 106% return, and a $2,600 project to refinish wood floors would have a 100% payback, the report said.

A new garage door that cost $2,100 probably would return 95%, NAR said.

The replacement of a home’s HVAC system might cost $8,200 and would return about 85%. Insulation upgrades might cost $2,400 and return 83%.

A new steel front door might cost $2,000 and return 75%, while a new fiberglass front door that costs $2,700 probably would return 74%, the report showed.

Fiber-cement siding could cost about $19,700 and return 76%. New vinyl siding might cost $15,800 and return 63%, the report showed.

New vinyl windows might cost $22,500 and return 71%, while new wood windows could be around $35,000 and return 57%, the report said.