Remodeling’s winners and losers

With the housing market springing back to life, many of us are dusting off remodeling plans that we’d placed on hold. But which jobs pay off at resale and which ones send buyers running? And once you’ve picked your project, what will it mean to your homeowners insurance?

In an informal poll of local and online resources, here’s what we found gets buyers’ attention (for better or worse):


  • Siding. To make a good first impression, consider durable fiber cement siding, popular thanks to its fire and rot resistance.
  • Kitchens. All those things you see on HGTV – solid-surface countertops, hardwood floors, and stainless steel appliances – really do turn buyers’ heads.
  • Bathrooms. Adding a second bathroom to a one-bathroom home can recoup 100% of its cost at resale. Replacing dated fixtures and swapping vinyl floors for tile win at resale, too.


  • Swimming pools. What seems like family fun to some screams maintenance, expense, and potential lawsuits to others.
  • Wallpaper and wall-to-wall carpet. Few colors and patterns have universal appeal. Concerns about allergies and mold are carpet turnoffs. And almost everyone’s heard a wallpaper-removal horror story.
  • Garage conversions. They do add livable space. But buyers don’t want to sleep in the garage. They want to park there.

Adding safety features like a security alarm or fire-sprinkler system?

Ask for a discount!

Call before you write the first check
One in four remodeling projects boosts the home’s value by more than 25%, according to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. If you don’t update your policy limits, that’s enough to leave you short on coverage if your home suffers a fire or other calamity – even during construction.

It’s not just big-ticket projects like gutting rooms or adding square footage that can stretch your policy beyond its limits. Cumulative smaller upgrades – things like swapping laminate counters for granite, replacing vinyl floors with hardwood, installing high-end appliances, and switching off-the-shelf blinds for custom shades – add up quickly.

Don’t wait for your policy to come up for renewal – protect your investment from the start! Call your local PEMCO agent or 1-800-GO-PEMCO.