Which Remodeling Projects Bring the Most Joy?

Posted by Ben Thompson on 04.28.22

In the fall of 2021, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) conducted a joint study to uncover a homeowner's "Joy Score" after the completion of their remodeling project.  Joy Scores were based solely on the homeowner's level of happiness with their project on a scale of 1 to 10 .

In addition, the study looked at the recovery percentages for popular remodeling projects. To arrive at the percentage, NARI determined the cost estimates for each project type and Realtors provided their estimates for the value it would add to the house at resale.

Interior and exterior projects were studied separately and a total of six interior project types scored a perfect Joy Score of 10!  Five exterior projects scored a 9 or above, but none received a score of 10.

Here's a look at the findings:

Interior projects with a perfect Joy Score of 10

  • Interior painting
  • Adding a home office
  • New hardwood flooring
  • Closet renovation
  • Insulation upgrade
  • Converting an attic to a living area

Interior projects with highest recovery percentages

  • Refinishing hardwood floors - 147%
  • New wood flooring - 118%
  • Insulation upgrade - 100%
  • Basement conversion to living space - 86%
  • Closet renovation - 83%

Exterior Projects with Top Joy Scores:

  • 9.8 - Siding painting
  • 9.6 - New vinyl windows
  • 9.5 - Steel & fiberglass Doors
  • 9.2 - Roofing
  • 9 - Garage door

Exterior projects with the highest recovery percentages

  • Roofing - 100%
  • Garage - 100%
  • Fiber cement siding - 86%
  • Vinyl siding - 82%
  • Vinyl windows - 67%

If you've been considering a remodel, now is the perfect time to get started. Please reach out to the Thompson Remodeling team to discuss your ideas and needs. 










REALTORS® provided an estimate of the likely dollar value each project would add to the house at resale. In comparing that dollar value to the estimated cost of each project provided by NARI members, a Recovered Project Cost percentage was calculated.




Topics: Featured, recoup value