10 most valuable home improvements

Siding replacement

Replacing your old wood or vinyl siding with fiber-cement siding, which is factory primed and painted, costs $13,378 and adds $11,645 to your home's value, 87% of the cost.

This project assumes you'll replace 1,250 square feet of existing siding, according the Remodeling Magazine survey.

James Savary, a remodeling consultant with Case Design/Remodeling Inc. of Bethesda, Md., says the product gives the high-end look of wood with the maintenance of lower-end vinyl, which costs a comparable $11,475 but recoups only 78.2%.

"It’s almost the same as having granite versus laminate counter tops," he says. "There’s just no comparison."

Savary says factory-primed and -painted fiber-cement siding should last 25 years. Some maintenance is necessary, like caulking, which should be done annually.

Source: Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvalue.com).