Home has never meant more to us than it has over the last year. From Zoom rooms to garages-turned-gyms, homeowners certainly transformed their interior living spaces to meet their new needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exterior home improvements also hit a new peak in 2021 according to national data from Zonda Media’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report. While interior renovations to a kitchen or bathroom make a big splash, an exterior facelift to the front or rear of a home will vastly improve curb appeal, often at a fraction of the cost and a higher return of investment.
According to the report, manufactured stone veneer (MSV) ranks number two nationally for providing high ROI, with 92.1% of purchase cost recouped in value following installation. In fact, only garage door replacement, which claimed the top spot nationally, also ranked in the 90th percentile in this year’s study.
Across the country, the addition of manufactured stone offers more than 90 percent ROI in all nine regions, with the highest rate of return in the South Atlantic and West North Central States.
Other key figures include:
- an impressive 94.1% return in West North Central states (Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas), which tops the charts in that region and ranks higher than any other region or the national average
- a chart-topping 93.0% return in the South Atlantic (Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C.)
- a 93.5% return in Pacific states (Alaska, California, Hawai’i, Oregon, Washington)
- a 92.1% return in the Mountain region (New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Arizona)
- a 91.1% return in the West South Central states (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma)
Manufactured stone’s ranking is based on replacing a 300-square-foot continuous band of existing vinyl siding from the bottom third of the street-facing façade with manufactured stone veneer, sills, corners, and address block, along with outlining the entry archway and adding a keystone and soldier course on either side. This representative installation includes two separate layers of water-resistive barrier laid over bare sheathing, corrosion-resistant lath and fasteners, and nominal ½-inch mortar scratch coat.
It’s All About the First Impression
For the third consecutive year, exterior projects dominated the results of the Cost vs. Value Study. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, nine of the top ten positions are dedicated to exterior renovations. After garage door replacement and manufactured stone, this year’s report ranks the following among the top 10:
- fiber-cement siding replacement
- vinyl window replacement
- vinyl siding replacement
- wood window replacement
- wood deck addition
- steel entry door replacement
- composite deck addition
The only interior remodeling project to make the list was midrange minor kitchen remodels, which yield a 72.2% return nationally.
“Exterior facade face-lifts improve the curb appeal and make a great first impression as buyers approach the home,” Remodeling reported. “That translates to real dollars at the closing table, which is why we see such tangible returns on those investments.”
To read more analysis and see additional results, including those broken down to metro area, visit the 2021 Cost vs. Value portal.
Sarah Lograsso is the Director of Marketing for Boral North America’s stone division of brands (Cultured Stone, Eldorado Stone, Kindred Outdoors + Surrounds, Versetta Stone, Dutch Quality, StoneCraft and ProStone), where she manages all of the brands’ marketing, advertising and promotional projects and objectives. She is well versed in manufactured stone and brick veneer, masonry techniques, biophilic design, fireplace surrounds, outdoor living, fire bowls, color and texture, and up-to-date industry and market trends.