Boost your home's value

To make your renovation dollar go furthest, focus on the part of the house everyone sees first.

1 of 5
Replace siding
Replace siding
Payback: 82% to 87%

Cost: $10,000 to $13,000 for the typical house

When it makes sense: Your existing siding is visibly worn or has suffered damage (from a storm, for example).

Best way to do it: Choose traditional wood siding (such as redwood) or fiber cement, says Tim Carter, an experienced remodeler and founder of Fiber-cement siding returns the most value for the money of any material, according to the Remodeling survey. It costs about 40% more than vinyl and requires painting from time to time, but it lasts for decades (in fact, many products come with a 50-year warranty).

Caveat: Getting prepainted siding, which Carter recommends because it saves on maintenance later, will add roughly 10% to the up-front price.

Cost-saving move: If only part of your siding is in bad shape - say, the south-facing wall - consider replacing only that portion and patching and painting the rest.
NEXT: Get yourself a deck
Last updated February 20 2009: 8:42 AM ET
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