Exterior products overwhelmingly recoup more of homeowners’ remodeling investment, according to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, and windows are among the top 10 returners. The annual study by Remodeling magazine compares the average costs of 22 remodeling projects with the value those investments will retain at resale.

In this year’s Cost vs. Value Report, exterior products made up nine of the top 10 products delivering the most return on investment. Vinyl window replacement offered the fifth-best return for the second year in a row, with 67.5% of cost recouped; wood windows weren’t far behind with 66.3% of cost recouped.

For vinyl windows, the study looked at the return potential for replacing 10 existing 3-foot-by-5-foot double-hung windows with vinyl windows with insulated, low-E glass and simulated divided lites, along with a custom-color exterior finish.

Along with vinyl and wood windows, other exterior products at the top of the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report list included garage doors (93.3% cost recouped); manufactured stone (91.4%); fiber cement siding replacement (68.3%); vinyl siding replacement (67.2%); wood deck addition (64.8%); steel entry door replacement (63.8%); and composite deck addition (62.1%). The only interior project in the top 10 was minor kitchen remodel (71.2%).

“‘Curb appeal’ and ‘first impressions’ are strong concepts in real estate because they have a surprisingly big impact on how much money prospective home buyers are willing to pay for a home,” the magazine explained. “Prospective buyers who see a ‘buttoned up’ exterior form the impression that the house is in good shape—or, as we all like to say, ‘has good bones’—and they proceed to fit all the new information they learn once they walk through the front door around these positive impressions.”

Vinyl windows recouped a higher percentage regionally vs. nationally in the Pacific (Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and California, at 75.5%; New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island), at 69.6%; Mountain (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico), at 68.9%; and East North Central (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) at 68.4%.

See the full study and evaluation of trends at www.costvsvalue.com.

(Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report: © 2022 Zonda. Complete data from the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.)