The Joy (Score) of Remodeling

remodeled bathroom

Each year the National Association of Realtors conducts a survey asking homeowners to quantify the joy score of a recent remodeling project.  In other words, how happy they feel with the outcome. Whether the reason for doing the project was improved aesthetics, adding personality, better functionality or energy efficiency, or just plain “time for a change,” finished remodeling projects put a big fat smile on your face. Overall, the average joy score was 9.6 out of a perfect 10. Interestingly, the average professional renovation scored 9.6 while a do-it-yourself project came in higher at 9.9.

Inside the home, a complete kitchen renovation, done by a professional or the homeowner himself, achieved a joy score of 10 as did a DIY smaller kitchen upgrade. Closet renovations also tied for top score.

Interior paint jobs also topped survey results. A full interior paint job scored 9.8 while doing an individual room scored just a 10th of a point lower. It is long known in the industry that paint is one of the easiest and least expensive upgrades you can make to a home and, as the joy score reveals, a fresh coat of paint (and most likely a new color) obviously brings great satisfaction.

Also high on the list are basement conversions (9.7), bathroom renovations (9.6 for both professional and DIY projects), and hardwood floor refinishing (9.6). I was surprised that both new wood flooring and the addition of a new bathroom only came in at 9.2 while a new owner’s suite ranked even less at 8.4.

The national survey sought joy scores on exterior projects as well. A new front door, vinyl windows, and roof scored at or above average, followed by a new fence, insulation, vinyl or cement siding, garage door, and doggie door all achieving greater than 9.0 survey results.

At times, I have clients who ask me if they’re spending too much on remodeling given the home’s current or post-reno value. If the concerns are not strictly budgetary, I urge them to think of the remodel not only as a monetary outlay in their home, but as a rewarding investment in the joy they will derive living there.

With many satisfied clients since 2008, Barbara Graceffa owns and operates Secretary of the Interior in Quincy, MA offering decorating services at reasonable rates. If you want to suggest a blog topic or have a decorating, downsizing/decluttering or home staging project needing professional help or are interested in hosting a workshop or quilt show, please contact her via her website or phone 617.921.6033.

By Barbara Graceffa

Barbara Graceffa, CEO of Secretary of the Interior, serves decorating clients; assists with professional organizing, home staging and moving assistance; teaches on these subjects; and delivers quilt lectures and trunk shows.

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