8 smart moves to boost your curb appeal

Replace, don't renovate

Remodeling Magazine says replacement projects consistently provide a better return on investment than discretionary remodeling projects. The average replacement project should return 73.7% this year, while a remodeling project might only bring back 65.1%.

In its 2014 survey, conducted in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors, seven of the top 10 best home improvements were exterior replacements.

A new steel entry door will return nearly 97% of its cost, which averages $1,162. Add a wood a deck and you’ll recoup about 87% of your $9,539 expense.

Another moderately priced improvement is garage door replacement, which recoups about 84% and costs $1,534. Another pricey project, wood window replacement, costs nearly $11,000 but returns 79.3% of its expense at resale.

These costs are hypothetical; what you’ll actually pay depends on how much materials cost, the finishes you choose and what contractors are charging in your area.

If your home isn’t in good condition overall, or if your local market is performing poorly, you might not see much of a return on your projects.