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Remodeling: How to get the most bang for the buck
Susan Straight / The Washington Post / May 9, 2013
Arlington resident Janet O’Grady recently had the front walkway and porch steps replaced on the rambler she’s owned for 30 years. She also had her kitchen painted.
Now she’s planning to upgrade her countertops to granite.
She’s in good company.
As the housing market recovers, spending on remodeling is rising. Whether to increase resale value or to simply make their surroundings more contemporary, homeowners spent 9 percent more on renovations in 2012 than the previous year, according to an April study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Renovation spending is expected to increase again this year, the study says.
The top improvements homeowners make, according to the latest American Housing Survey, are upgrading appliances and major equipment as well as flooring, paneling, ceilings, windows and doors. Garages, at a median price of $15,000, are the most expensive project. Kitchen remodeling, at a median price of $5,000, is the next most expensive one, followed by roofing, at a median cost of $4,559.