Costs for Popular Improvements in Houston

by Marcus Pickett

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Now that you've decompressed from the retail crunch of the holidays, it's time to start thinking about yourself and your home. Whether your monthly income didn't have any room left with the Christmas shopping or you need to unwind from the marathon grind of retail lines, any number of home improvement projects can lighten your monthly load with reduced utility bills and/or enhance your ability to enjoy and take pride in your home.

Understanding both where your home most needs attention and the potential benefits of each home improvement out there will help you make the best decisions for your home, your finances, and your future. Here's a rundown of the most popular home improvement projects, what they have to offer, and how you can go about optimizing their value.

Kitchen, Bathroom, and other Major Home Remodels
The most popular home improvement projects every year are kitchen and bathroom remodels, and for good reason. These projects combine added convenience and luxury to your day-to-day life and increase the value of your home. Don't get trapped into unrealistic expectations, though. Some homeowners have come to believe that major home remodels essentially pay for themselves. In fact, the average home remodel will add about 80 percent of its cost to the value of your home. Without a doubt, this lightens the load and sticker shock of the price tag, but it's hardly a free pass on your finances.

That said, the choices you make can influence just how much of the cost is recouped in increased property value. No type of kitchen or bathroom remodel is guaranteed to see 100 percent on your investment. The primary goal of any home remodel should always be personal satisfaction with the remodel itself. If the financial aspect of your remodeling project is something that's important to you, here are a few rules of thumb:

  • Stay middle of the road with your remodeling. Extravagant or luxurious installations may offer unmatched performance, but rarely make the same return on their cost. Similarly, decorative touches such as paint and trendy decorating styles may look great, but won't increase the value of your home. Home appraisers don't even look at color schemes when assessing a home's value.

  • Spread your money around. Don't sink half your remodeling budget into one appliance or installation. More holistic plans that stretch your dollar are also more likely to stretch the value of your investment.

  • Talk to your remodeling contractor about the design of your remodel. Don't get bullied out of what you want, of course; but some remodeling contractors are so eager to give you what you want and be easy to work with that they may hold their tongue about what they think is the best course of action.

Cost of a Full Kitchen Remodel
National Average: $54,250
Houston Average: $52,600

Cost of a Full Bathroom Remodel
National Average: $12,900
Houston Average: $11,900

New Asphalt Roofing and Replacement Windows
Major remodeling projects are sexy, but just as often, what a home really needs is a more practical home improvement. A new roof or replacement windows will keep your home safe, secure, and more energy efficient. The vast majority of both hot and cold air loss occurs through these two areas of your home. Replacement windows will help in both areas, as well as shore up child safety and control the amount of sunlight that enters your home, potentially harming your carpet and other home furnishings. New asphalt roofing will also optimize your home's energy efficiency, and keep your home dry and protected even during heavy rains. If your roof has begun to show signs of deterioration but is still in fair condition, you can lay new asphalt roofing right down over the old roofing, significantly reducing the cost of your roofing project.

Cost of New Asphalt Roofing
National Average: $5,900
Houston Average: $4,900

Cost of Replacement Windows
National Average: $6,600
Houston Average: $5,900

The Cost of New Vinyl Siding and Exterior House Painting
In Houston, a good amount of attention must be paid simply to maintaining sound structural integrity for your home. If you're fairly confident in the condition of your roof and windows, it's probably time you look at your home's siding. Vinyl siding is a great product for your home's exterior, but alternating periods of heavy rain and piercing sun can cause your vinyl to fade or even crack. Even siding that is in fairly good condition can often use some general maintenance to revamp and enhance your home's curb appeal. Exterior house painting will simultaneously protect your vinyl siding and give your home a sharp look. Alternately, maybe all you need is a handyman to swing by your house with a commercial pressure washer to give your siding a long overdue clean.

Cost of New Vinyl Siding
National Average: $7,600
Houston Average: $7,500

Cost of Exterior House Painting
National Average: $3,000
Houston Average: $2,700

Install a New Deck
Texas was made for decks. Even in a wetter climate such as Houston, it's hard to imagine a home being complete without some type of backyard deck. There's no easier or more cost-effective way to increase the living space of your home than with a deck installation. If you already have a deck, it may also be time to maintain and/or upgrade your current deck. Deck sealing is only the beginning of deck maintenance. Deck covers, outdoor misting systems, deck and patio heaters, and new deck furniture are all great additions to your deck. For older decks, it may be time to lay down new decking. Much like asphalt roofing, if your old deck planks are in reasonably good condition, it may be possible to lay composite decking right down over the old decking.

Cost of Installing a New Deck
National Average: $7,700
Houston Average: $5,500

Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.