Top 5 Atlanta home improvement projects for 2013

The top five home improvement projects in Atlanta for 2013 are all about economics: resale value and...

The top five home improvement projects in Atlanta for 2013 are all about economics: resale value and energy efficiency. Choosing the best projects for your home will reduce your energy bills and ensure a high-return investment.

1. Steel entry door

Installing or replacing a steel front door is one of the best home improvement projects to both increase your home's energy efficiency and resale value. Replacing your front door with a steel door can yield a 129 percent return on investment, according to a survey by Remodeling magazine. Steel doors are not only less expensive than fiberglass and wood, they can also seal the doorway efficiently, yielding a high cost to value return.

2. Attic space bedroom

Remodeling your attic space into a bedroom is another top project. It has a high-investment cost, with conversions averaging $50,000. However, it's one of the most efficient ways to add a bedroom and bathroom to your home, with a 72.5 percent return on investment. The project is great for changes in family structure, such as an elderly parent or college graduate moving into the home. It's a less expensive alternative to a home expansion, which averages more than $90,000. Basement finishing is another possibility for adding a bedroom suite.

3. Siding replacement

Siding replacement can be a big project, but it also yields a big return. With upscale siding, you can expect to pay around $10,000 and get your money back in value. Mid-range siding replacements cost an average of $7,000 and have a 95.5 percent return. The project is a great face lift for your house, particularly if you're considering resale.

4. Deck installation

Installing a deck is definitely a popular choice in Atlanta, where the temperate climate begs for outdoor living space. One important decision is whether to build with wood or composite. Wood decks usually have a higher return on investment, recouping around 80 percent in value. Composite decks cost about 50 percent more than wood; however, if you're not planning a quick resale, composite can be a good long-term investment since it doesn't require maintenance or replacement.

5. Window replacement

Window replacement, particularly of wood windows, is a good choice for energy efficiency and value. The payback period is long, with the project averaging $12,000. However, if your existing windows are in bad shape or energy efficiency is a key problem, it's a project to consider. Energy efficiency can be important in the summer months in Atlanta, where air conditioning costs are high without newer efficient windows.

For more information on home improvement projects in Atlanta, consult a local remodeling professional.

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