Every year we look forward to seeing the release of Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value report. This report allows us to help homeowners compare average costs to expected returns based on a survey of Realtors, Builders, and Remodelers specifically in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area. It helps paint a reality of what kind of investment it will take to complete a job, but more importantly, it allows homeowners to see what kind of increase in home value they can expect from a remodeling project.



The Cost vs Value report is compiled from a pool of real remodeling project data and real estate transactions to determine an average cost and expected property value increase for specific project categories. The report is organized by national, regional, and individual metropolitan areas. Projects are broken into different brackets and each project type is provided a description to allow a homeowner to compare a close approximation of apples to apples.

The return on investment or “Resale Value” of a project is determined by real estate sales figures and is something commonly used by real estate agents to give clients an idea of what a project might cost to make a certain improvement on a home.

There is a large difference in performance between different regions throughout the U.S. and we wanted to highlight some of the different project performance in the Twin Cities.


While we can’t publish all the data, it is free to download at www.costvsvalue.com. You can navigate to the region or city you are most interested in seeing data for and download a report specific to that area.

In Minneapolis, we evaluated the year-over-year changes for a few projects, so we wanted to highlight those.

Overall the best value-adding home improvement projects in the Twin Cities for 2018 are Garage Door and Entry Door Replacement. Both have a recouped value of greater than 90% meaning that for every dollar invested, you can expect an increase in home value for resale of more than $0.90 on every dollar invested.

Another notable highlight from the 2018 data is that we’ve seen significant increases in project costs over the past 5 years. This is likely due to the shortage of labor and general condition of the economy. We’ve also seen some fluctuation in recouped costs for projects like patio door replacement (slight increase) and replacement windows (slight decrease).


As one of our core products at Great Plains Windows and Doors, we know that entry doors have always contributed significant value to homeowners. This is a popular improvement for curb appeal and first impressions because everyone entering a home touches the front door. For 2018, the cost recouped on a steel entry door in Minneapolis is estimated at 93%. For instance, if a contractor furnishes and installs a new entry door for $2,500, the added value to your home for resale would be approximately $2,325.

Here’s the description for the entry door replacement project in the survey:

Remove existing 3-0/6-8 entry door and jambs and replace with new 20-gauge steel unit, including clear dual-pane half-glass panel, jambs, and aluminum threshold with composite stop. Door is factory finished with same color both sides. Exterior brick-mold and 2.5-inch interior colonial or ranch casings in poplar or equal prefinished to match door color. Replace existing lockset. – Remodeling Magazine: Cost Vs Value, January 2018

We offer industry-leading entry doors from Provia. Made in Ohio, these doors are available in fiberglass or steel. A new door for your home is the easiest investment decision you’ll ever make. The return for a replacement entry has increased by 20% over the past 5 years, proving the staying power of this particular home improvement.



Replacing windows, especially with wood, is the most significant change in the report from 2017 and it’s also one of the biggest variations from the national averages.

Here’s the description for the window replacement project:

Replace 10 existing 3×5-foot double-hung windows with insulated, low-E, simulated-divided-lite wood windows. Interior finish of stained hardwood; exterior finish of custom-color aluminum cladding. Trim exterior to match existing; do not disturb existing interior trim. – Remodeling Magazine: Cost Vs Value, January 2018

Wood windows continue to be a top performer in the Cost vs. Value Report. Though not showing returns nearly as high as doors, stainable wood windows are still well above average when it comes to return on investment. For 2018, the report shows that the average investment for the project described above is $20,819. With a return of nearly 60%, the value added to your home is immediate. Surprisingly, most homeowners considering a window replacement project often overlook added value and instead are looking for an immediate benefit like comfort, energy efficiency, or ventilation. So any additional resale value for homeowners is an additional benefit for homeowners considering short-term occupancy.

As an Andersen Windows certified installer and contractor, we’ve been partial to wood windows for years, but this is a validation of choosing to work with a company that provides a quality product for the long-term. Not only is the product more likely to add warmth and energy efficiency to your home, but it’s also supplying increased value to your home from day one.

Windows are the best investment you can make for your home in Minneapolis, MN.



Great Plains Windows and Doors is a residential window and patio door installer in Oakdale, MN. As an Andersen Certified Contractor and Andersen Window Service Provider, we exclusively install Andersen Windows across the Twin Cities area. We’ve been a partner with Andersen since 1991.

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