Whether you are selling now or in the future, investing in your home is a smart way to add to and hold your home’s value. If your home’s structural integrity is sound, the best area to focus your attention is curb appeal. Curb appeal is the number one way to attract a potential buyer’s attention and make sure they return to look at the interior of the home. Some of the most successful curb appeal improvements include siding, replacement windows, sunrooms and entry doors. These exterior improvements regularly and yearly make the lists for home improvements with the best return on investment. We want to show you just where they stack up and the potential for return.

In 2013, new siding, especially composite siding, was the most recommended way to increase curb appeal and home value, even though replacement entry doors offered the highest return on investment. Take a look at HGTV’s 20 ways to add value to your home for a well-thought, visual list.

Return on investment compilations, like those found on home improvement and home buying sites are often populated with help from the Cost vs. Value Report, which is created by The National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine. 2014’s Cost vs. Value Report features and compares the average cost for the 35 most popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 101 U.S cities. The report can be narrowed by region (click here for East South Central Region, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi) and select cities and allows comparison to the national averages.

We are excited to say that the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report shows an increase since 2013 in recouped sales for all categories of home improvement. Here’s where siding, replacement windows, entry doors and sunrooms rank in this list of the top 35 most popular remodeling projects for 2014:

  • #1: Entry Door Replacement (steel) with 96.6% cost recouped
  • #3: Siding Replacement (fiber-cement) with 87.0% cost recouped
  • #8: Window Replacement (wood) with 79.3% cost recouped
  • #9: Window Replacement (vinyl) with 78.7% cost recouped
  • #10: Siding Replacement (vinyl) with 78.2% cost recouped
  • #11: Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl) with 78.1% cost recouped
  • #13: Window Replacement (vinyl upscale) with 76.6% cost recouped
  • #16: Window Replacement (wood upscale) with 74.0% cost recouped
  • #19: Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) with 70.8% cost recouped
  • #20: Grand Entrance (fiberglass) with 70.7% cost recouped
  • #34: Sunroom Addition with 51.7% cost recouped

We love that entry doors, siding and replacement windows dominate this list and it proves that exteriors are the ultimate way to add value to your home. Sunrooms and upscale replacement options may be lower on the list, but they are still successful home improvement choices and offer other ways to regain your investment, especially if you plan to stay in your home for a while after renovation. It’s important to remember that these percentages can change yearly and in different local markets, but exterior improvements continue to maintain their reign of value-increasing home improvements.