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Home Improvement Cost Versus Value

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

We are considering doing some remodeling to our home, but cannot decide between adding a bathroom or adding a deck in our backyard. Right now, it is just my husband and I in a three bedroom, one bath house. But, we are going to have children one of these days. A deck would be fun, but maybe another bathroom would be more practical?


Undecided about addition

Dear Undecided about addition,

Either project would enhance your home. A deck can be practical, extending the living space, allowing more entertainment and outdoor enjoyment. Adding a deck would be about one-third the cost of adding a bathroom and be less stressful during the building because the workers would be outside and not inside working on the deck.

However, a second bathroom is always a welcome addition, especially if you plan to extend your family or have guests who visit often.

One way to help decide is to compare the cost versus value for different home remodeling projects. The website Remodeling ( compares construction costs with resale values for dozens of additions and remodeling projects in the U.S. The website also offers reports for each of 60 cities.

According to Remodeling (, below are the 2007 national averages for bathroom and deck additions.

ADDITIONS (Midrange)

Bathroom Job Cost $37,202; Resale Value $24,553;

Cost Recouped 66%

Deck Job Cost $10,347; Resale Value $8,835;

Cost Recouped 85.4%

Remodeling also shows the cost versus value by region. Depending on where you live, the cost recouped could be much higher if you live in the Pacific region (California, Oregon, or Washington). For example, the bathroom addition cost recouped would be 83.5% and the deck addition would recoup 108%.

The bottom line is what you can afford, and what will give you the most enjoyment.

For more information about remodeling cost versus value, go to