How much return on my investment can I expect from a remodel?

Is a remodeling project the best way to add value to your home? See more home design pictures.
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We know the real estate market has been shaky for years, but for homeowners, it can seem downright volatile. Depending on where you live and how much your home originally cost, your area might be rebounding from a crash, in the midst of crashing, self-correcting after a period of inflated prices, or any number of unpredictable market fluctuations. One thing's for sure -- when it comes time to sell your home, you want to get as much money out of the sale as possible.

A common way to maximize home value is by remodeling it. Homeowners seek to increase the eventual sale price by spending some money to get a new roof, update the kitchen, build a deck, put in an in-ground swimming pool, or replace aging windows. Some renovations bring a greater return than others, though. How can you decide what parts of your home to remodel to increase your return on the investment?

Let's start with a simple fact: There are no remodeling projects that will increase the value of a house beyond the actual cost of the remodeling. You'll almost never make money on a renovation. So if you're thinking of doing some remodeling, focus on things that will make the house more pleasant for you to live in for as long as you remain there. Don't remodel for the next owners; remodel for the current ones.

Of course, there's an exception to every rule. If you'd like to find out the one way to actually make money on a renovation, and how to get the most increase on your home's value before you sell, this article will show you the way.