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Cost vs. Value Report 2016: Project Descriptions From Remodeling Magazine

Click on a project name for a detailed description.

Attic Insulation (Fiberglass)

Air-seal a 35x30 attic floor to address any air leakage from conditioned space to unconditioned space.  then add fiberglass loosefill insulation, placing it on top of exiting insulation if present.  Fiberglass loosefill is applied until thickness equating with R-30 insulation value is reached.

Back-Up Power Generator

Install modular propane gas-powered electrical backup system with capacity for providing 70 amps of emergency power in two 240-volt circuits and six 120-volt circuits.  Assume existing propane gas supply.  Include generator mounted on 2-by-4 foot concrete or composite pad, automatic transfer switch, load center, exterior disconnect, and grounding rod.  Include 30 feet of conduit and electrical cable for generator connections; grounded cable for circuits; 5 feet of flexible fuel line for connection to existing rigid gas supply line; and automotive-type storage battery. 

Basement Remodel

Finish the lower level of a house to create a 20-by-30-foot entertaining area with wet bar and 5-by-8–foot full bath; construct 24 linear feet of finished partition to enclose mechanical area. Walls and ceilings are painted drywall throughout; exterior walls are insulated; painted trim throughout. Include 5 six-panel factory-painted hardboard doors with passage locksets. Electrical wiring to code. Main room: Include 15 recessed ceiling light fixtures and 3 surface-mounted light fixtures, and snap-together laminate flooring system.

Bathroom: Include standard white toilet, vanity with cultured marble top, resilient vinyl flooring, two-piece fiberglass shower unit, a light/fan combination, vanity light fixture, recessed medicine cabinet, towel and paper-holder hardware.

Bar area: Include 10 linear feet of raised-panel oak cabinets with laminate countertops, stainless steel bar sink, single-lever bar faucet, under-counter refrigerator, and vinyl floor tile.

Bathroom Addition: Mid-Range

Add a full 6-by-8-foot bath over a crawl space with poured concrete walls. Include cultured-marble vanity top with molded sink; standard chrome faucets; 30-by-60-inch white fiberglass tub/shower with ceramic tile surround; single –lever temperature and pressure-balanced faucet; white low-profile toilet; general and spot lighting; electrical wiring to code; mirrored medicine cabinet; linen storage closet or cabinet; vinyl wallpaper; painted trim; and ceramic tile floor.

Bathroom Remodel: Mid-Range

Update an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4 inch ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid–surface vanity counter with integral sink;recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper.

Deck Addition (Composite)

Mid-Range: Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4 posts anchored to concrete piers. Install composite deck material in a simple linear pattern. Include a built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. Include stairs, assuming three steps to grade. Provide a complete railing system using a matching system made of the same composite as the decking material.

Deck Addition (Wood)

Add a 16-by-20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4 posts anchored to concrete piers. Install pressure-treated deck boards in a simple linear pattern. Include a built-in bench and planter of the same decking material. Include stairs, assuming three steps to grade. Provide a complete railing system using pressure-treated wood posts, railings, and balusters.

Family Room Addition

In a style appropriate to the existing house, add a 16-by-25-foot room on a crawl space foundation with vinyl siding and fiberglass shingle roof. Include drywall interior with fiberglass insulation, pre-finished hardwood floor, and 180 square feet of glazing including windows, atrium-style exterior doors, and two operable skylights. Tie into existing HVAC. Add electrical system to code, including 12 recessed ceiling lights.

Garage Addition: Mid Range

Construct a 26x26-foot free-standing two-car garage, including footings and slab-on-grade foundation, 2x4 wood frame with OSB structural sheathing, and gable truss roof at 6/12 pitch. Install 25-year asphalt shingle roofing with galvanized metal flashing; vinyl siding and trim. Install 5 double-hung 30x48-inch vinyl windows; one 30/68 exterior door with half-glass and lockset; and two composite 9x8 overhead doors with motorized openers. Include 100-amp breaker at main house panel and 50 Lf of trench buried conduit to feed new electrical sub-panel. Provide electrical wiring for openers; 3-way switching for florescent ceiling fixtures over each bay; 3-way switching for 2 exterior spotlights; outlets to code. Interior wall, floors, and ceilings remain unfinished.

Home Office Remodel

Convert an existing 12-by-12-foot room to a home office. Install custom cabinets to include 20 linear feet of laminate desktop, computer workstation, and wall cabinet storage. Rewire room for computer, fax machine, and other electronic equipment, as well as cable and telephone lines. Include drywall interior, painted trim, and commercial-grade carpeting.

Major Kitchen Remodel: Mid-Range

Update an outmoded 200-square-foot kitchen with a functional layout of 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, including a 3-by-5-foot island; laminate countertops; and standard double-tub stainless-steel sink with standard single-lever faucet. Include energy–efficient wall oven, cooktop, ventilation system, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. Add new resilient flooring. Finish with painted walls, trim, and ceiling.

Master Suite Addition: Mid-Range

Add a 24-by-16-foot master bedroom suite over a crawl space. Include walk-in closet/dressing area, whirlpool tub in ceramic tile platform, separate 3-by-4-foot ceramic tile shower, and double bowl vanity with solid-surface countertop. Bedroom floor is carpet; bath floor is ceramic tile. Painted walls, ceiling, and trim. General and spot lighting, exhaust fan; electrical wiring to code.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

In a functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops, leave cabinet boxes in place but replace fronts with new raised-panel wood doors and drawers, including new hardware. Replace wall oven and cooktop and slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. Replace laminate countertops; install mid-priced sink and faucet. Repaint trim, add wall covering and remove and replace resilient flooring.

Replace Roof: Mid-Range

Remove existing roofing to bare wood sheathing and dispose of properly. Install 30 squares of 235-pound fiberglass asphalt shingles (min. 25-year warranty) with new felt underlayment, galvanized drip edge, and mill-finish aluminum flashing. Assume a 5-square hip roof; custom flashing and two average-sized skylights; and custom cap treatment at vented ridge.

Replace Siding: Mid-Range

Replace 1,250 square feet of existing siding with new vinyl siding, including all trim.

Sunroom Addition

Construct a 200-square-foot sunroom addition, including footings and slab-on-grade foundation. Post-and-beam framing exposed on interior side. Wall glazing: vinyl or aluminum clad awning and casement windows with low-E laminated or tempered glazing and screens. Roof glazing: 10-large aluminum clad venting skylights with screens. Provide ceiling fan; insulate all non-glass areas; provide movable shades for glass area. Quarry tile or equal on floor.

Two-Story Addition

Add a first-floor family room and a second-floor bedroom with full bath in a 24-by-16-foot two-story wing over a crawl space. Add new HVAC system to handle addition; electrical wiring to code.

Family room:

Include a pre-fabricated gas fireplace; 11 3-by-5-foot double-hung insulated clad-wood windows; an atrium–style exterior door; carpeted floors; painted drywall on walls and ceiling; and painted trim.


5-by-8-feet. Include a one-piece fiberglass tub/shower unit; standard white toilet; wood vanity with solid-surface countertop; resilient vinyl flooring; and mirrored medicine cabinet with built-in light strip; papered walls; and painted trim; exhaust fan.


Include walk-in closet/dressing area; carpet; painted walls, ceiling, and trim; general and spot lighting.

Replace Windows: Mid-Range (Wood)

Replace 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with insulated wood replacement windows, exterior clad in vinyl or aluminum. Wrap existing exterior trim as required to match. Do not disturb existing interior trim.

Entry Door Replacement (Fiberglass)

Remove existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and jambs and replace with new fiberglass door with simulated wood grain, stained same color both sides; dual-pane, decorative half-glass panel with zinc caming; PVC-wrapped exterior trim in color to match existing trim; 2.5-inch interior colonial or ranch casings in hardwood stained to match door. Replace existing lockset with mortise lock with lever handle and integrated deadbolt in oil-rubbed bronze or satin-nickel finish.

Garage Door Replacement: Mid Range

Remove and dispose of existing 16 x 7 foot garage door and tracks. Install new 4-section garage door on new galvanized steel tracts; reuse existing motorized opener. New door is uninsulated, single-layer, embossed steel with two coats of baked-on paint, galvanized steel hinges, and nylon rollers. 10-year limited warranty.