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Making design decisions that will alter the exterior of your home can be downright nerve wracking. If you buy the wrong sofa, you can (usually) return it and find a replacement that fits the dimensions of your space. That failed-to-measure-accurately flub is between you, the delivery guy and an understanding customer service agent. But if you choose a type of exterior siding that doesn’t mesh with the architectural style of your home, your neighbors and every person who drives past will take notice (or so we think).

But improving your home’s curb appeal can pay off in a major way. Case in point: Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost Vs. Value Report, which “compares the costs of the most popular remodeling projects to how much the investment will improve a home’s resale value.” In other words, if you spend $50 repainting your front door a splashy color and it increases your home’s value by $1,000, you’ve recouped 1,900 percent of your original investment.

The authors of the Cost Vs. Value report studied 22 projects in 136 US markets, surveying more than 3,200 real estate professionals. Keep scrolling to find out which exterior renovation projects will yield the best return on investment when it comes time to sell.

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1. Garage door replacement – 97.5 percent cost recouped

There’s nothing sexy about a garage door replacement. I’m sure most people would rather spend that $3,611 on a romantic vacation in Italy, but sometimes a trip to Home Depot is a better investment. Nowadays, there are endless residential garage door styles, from farmhouse to industrial to mid-century modern.

2. Manufactured stone veneer – 94.9 percent cost recouped

Want to give your home a luxe look for less? Manufactured stone veneer is easy to install, low-maintenance and far less expensive than natural stone. While it’s not cheap (it’ll set you back about $8,907), you’ll be well-compensated for the upgrade.

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3. Deck addition (wood) – 75.6 percent cost recouped

Adding onto a wood deck means more room for an alfresco dining space, lounge area or even an outdoor kitchen. If you’re looking for a more durable solution, composite decking is fade, stain, scratch and mold-resistant. Although it’s more expensive ($19,150 compared to $13,333), it may actually save you money on upkeep.

4. Siding replacement – 75.6 percent cost recouped

Is your fixer-upper covered in cheap vinyl? Replacing the siding, which costs $16,036, can make a huge visual impact. Pinterest is chock full of exterior cladding ideas — vertical installation feels inherently modern, while traditionalists may favor cedar shingle accents.

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5. Entry door replacement (steel) – 74.9 percent cost recouped

Knock, knock! Who’s there? Hundreds of eager homebuyers, that’s who. Replacing the front door is a relatively easy and cost-effective way to totally transform your home’s exterior. A basic steel entry door only costs a few hundred dollars, but if you opt for a designer model, tack on the cost of installation and a can of paint, you’re looking at about $1,826.

6. Window replacement (vinyl) – 73.4 percent cost recouped

Replacing old, drafty windows with energy efficient vinyl models will not only lower your utility bills, it will entice potential buyers. It’s a significant expense ($16,802, on average) that first-timers can’t fathom incurring after spending all their hard-earned dough on a downpayment and closing costs. Wood windows, which offer a rustic aesthetic, yield a slightly lower return at 70.8 percent.

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7. Grand Entrance – 71.9 percent cost recouped

A ‘grand entrance’ is not just a door but a $8,994 display of wealth. These are custom designs, typically with cutouts for windows and ornate embellishments. Widening an exterior doorway comes at a cost, too, so don’t forget to factor labor into your remodeling budget.

8. Roofing replacement (asphalt shingles) – 68.2 percent cost recouped

Replacing or reshingling the roof is one of those necessary maintenance expenses that come with owning a home. Asphalt shingles typically need to be replaced every 15 to 30 years. If you’re wanting to add an edge to your home’s exterior, consider a metal roof, which yields a return of 60.9 percent. Installing a metal roof is an opportunity to experiment with color — like charcoal gray, copper, hunter green or navy blue.

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9. Backyard patio – 55.2% percent cost recouped

Wouldn’t we all like an outdoor space where we could entertain friends and family around a cozy fire pit or play a game of bocce on the adjacent lawn? A backyard patio is a sizable investment (roughly $57,000), but in this case, your enjoyment of the space may be more important to you than the return.

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