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Every year, Remodeling Magazine issues its annual cost vs. value report on what homeowners are renovating, what it costs, and how much return they’ll get on their investment. The report started about 1980 and it’s a popular read with remodelers and builders.

When this year’s report arrived, we looked back in time at the 1987 Remodeling cost vs. value edition to see how much less remodeling cost back then. Some of the average, moderate-cost projects from that era would cost three times as much today.

Part of the increase in price is due to inflation, of course. But you’d have to admit that our expectations have changed when we remodel.

Here are just a few of the special touches today’s homeowners are asking for:

  • Quartz, marble and granite on countertops in the kitchen, of course, but also in the bathrooms where homeowners seem anxious to remove every square-inch of cultured marble.
  • Stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, but also restaurant-grade stoves with six burners or more and giant exhaust fans to carry away the heat from using those high-powered ranges.
  • Kitchen islands where a chef can slice and dice and dinner can also be served.
  • Super-size refrigerators that in some cases are twice the size of what we used to have.
  • Not just beautiful, spacious new cabinets, but also walk-pantries.
  • Spacious showers with several shower heads to create the experience that you might have in a tropical rain forest. At least one handheld shower with a hose and pivoting head.
  • See-through glass on shower doors needs super-slick coating so no one has to scrub away dried-on soap scum anymore.
  • Hard-wired makeup mirrors in the bathroom along with special cabinets to store and plug in electric toothbrushes, hair dryers and curling irons.
  • TVs and musical sound systems in the bathroom.
  • Home automation systems.

Even though remodeling is a great way of improving the sales appeal of your home, it’s better to do a remodel at least a few years before your house goes on the market. That way you can enjoy those expensive improvements yourself.

To view this and past year’s cost vs value reports visit:


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