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Report: Exterior Remodeling Offers Largest Return on Investment

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If you're looking to do some home improvement projects this year, sprucing up the outside of your home is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck, according to the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value report released this month.

The report, an annual collaboration between Remodeling magazine and REALTOR Magazine, compares the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 101 U.S. cities.

Eight of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally, in terms of value recouped, are exterior projects.

"With many factors to consider such as cost and time, deciding what remodeling projects to undertake can be a difficult decision for homeowners," said National Association of Realtors President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc. Realtors in Dayton, Ohio. "Realtors know what home features are important to buyers in their area, but a home's curb appeal is always critical since it's the first impression for potential buyers."

A steel entry door replacement was deemed the project expected to have the biggest return on investment, with an estimated 96.6 percent of costs recouped upon resale. This particular remodel project is consistently the least expensive in the annual Cost vs. Value Report, at around $1,100 on average.

Excited to dive in? Here are the top 10 cost-effective improvements from this year's report:

1. Replace Your Front Door: 97% ROI

2. Add a Deck or Patio: 87% ROI

3. Add Space/Attic Bedroom: 84% ROI

4. Replace Your Garage Door: 83% ROI

5. Remodel Your Kitchen: 82% ROI on a minor remodel; 74% ROI on a major remodel

6. Replace Your Windows: 79% ROI

7. Replace Your Siding: 78% ROI for replace vinyl siding; 87% ROI to replace siding with a fiber-cement mix

8. Basement Remodel: 78% ROI

9. Update Your Bathroom: 73% ROI

10. Two-Story Addition: 72% ROI

See more about the top 10 home improvement projects to tackle this year, or visit NAR's consumer website to explore the "Best Bets for Remodeling Your Home in 2014" slideshow. The site also provides information and advice on various home improvement projects, including a guide to kitchen remodeling with the best payback and dozens of exterior replacement projects.