Remodeling's annual Cost vs. Value report compares average costs for 35 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 101 U.S. cities. The "mid-range" projects category consists of 22 projects, while the "upscale" projects category consists of 13.

We've broken down the mid-range project category to designate the top 5 cost-effective home improvement projects, and the average cost of each. These projects will give you the most bang for your buck at resale:

  1. Entry door replacement (steel)
    - Return: 96.6%
    - Average cost: $1,162
  2. Deck addition (wood)
    - Return: 87.4%
    - Average cost: $9,539
  3. Attic Bedroom
    - Return: 84.3%
    - Average cost: $49,438
  4. Garage door replacement
    - Return: 83.7%
    - Average cost: $1,534
  5. Minor kitchen remodel
    - Return: 82.7%
    - Average cost: $18,856

Check out each project's breakdown to see how the cost and value have changed over the years, and to see interactive examples. Our chart below displays how the top 5 projects in the mid-range index have varied over the past four years.
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SOURCE: Remodeling's 2014 Cost vs. Value Report