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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

The Five Remodeling Jobs with the Worst Returns on Investment


O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


The Five Remodeling Jobs with the Worst Returns on Investment

Chelsea O'Donnell

 It’s the first week of March and as spring fever starts to creep into many people’s minds, so too does remodeling projects. Spring is also known as real estate season, which means that many homeowners are looking for small improvements they can make on their properties to increase their home’s sale price.

Back in January, Remodeling magazine put out their annual Cost versus Value Report, where they compared the average cost for 30 remodeling projects with the value those projects retained at resale. When the report came out, I covered the project with the top resale value, which was added to the list for the first time and shot to the top with a 162.2% return on investment. That project was adding fiberglass insulation to your attic and I wasn’t surprised by the result. Adding insulation to your attic is easy, cost effective and will save you in heating and cooling bills for years to come. Plus with 75% of homes in our area deprived by under-insulation, it’s an investment that can make a home stand apart from the resale competition.

So we know what the best investment is, but what about the worst? The five projects with the lowest resale value in Hartford County might surprise you!

Number five is a family room addition. With an average cost of $96,298 in Hartford County, a family room addition offers an average resale value of under $48,000, making the cost recouped a mere 49.6%. 

Number four is a backup power generator. Many homeowners think these will come in handy, and often times they do, especially with our wild weather. But with a cost average of $13,337 and a resale value of $6,458, you’ll only end up getting back 48.4% of the money you put into it.

Bathroom facelifts are always popular on the list of remodeling for resale projects but don’t expect to make your money back on this one. With an average spend of $19,384 and a resale value of $9,318, that job will get you back just over 48% of the cost.

Well, what about the basement? A man cave or rec room might sound like a good idea, but it will only get you back 45% of your investment, according to the report. This is based on a spend of $75,063, which equates to a resale value of $33,750. Yikes!

So if these popular remodels occupy spots five through two, what could possibly be number one? Believe it or not, the worst return on investment would be the coveted extra bathroom, netting home sellers only 43.6% of the average $45,904 put into it. It’s a big job too!

With spring, and real estate season on the way, it’s a good idea to know what fix-it jobs will offer your home real value, especially if you’re in the market to sell. You can view the Remodeling Cost versus Value Report in its entirety by visiting and filtering the report by region.