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RISMEDIA, Jan. 25, 2007-Vinyl replacement windows and siding are among the top home improvement projects for recouping costs at resale, according Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost v. Value Report.

In 2006, nationwide, midrange vinyl siding replacement recouped over 87% of the job cost at resale, even in a cooling market, the report notes. This means that the average cost of these home improvement projects was less than 23 cents on the dollar, with the rest going directly back into the home through increased resale value.

Upscale foam-backed vinyl siding replacement recouped 83.1% of job cost, nationwide. For vinyl replacement windows, midrange projects recouped 83.7%; upscale projects, 84.7%.

But the national averages don't tell the whole story. The Cost v. Value Report calculated nine regional averages, following the U.S. Census Bureau divisions, and in many regions, vinyl replacement projects outstripped the national figures. In New England, midrange vinyl replacement siding recouped 94.4% of cost and upscale foam-backed vinyl, 93.6%.

In the East South Central Region (KY, TN, AL, and MS), upscale foam-backed vinyl siding recouped 92.2% and midrange vinyl siding, a whopping 104.7%.

Vinyl replacement windows also showed impressive returns. For example, in New England, midrange projects recouped 86.6%; upscale projects, 88.4%. On the West Coast, both midrange and upscale projects recouped more than 96.3%.

An article on the report in Realtor(R) Magazine suggested that a major reason for the impressive showing of vinyl replacement projects should be their energy efficiency in the face of rising fuel prices; yet Realtors and salespeople cited in the article pointed first to simple aesthetics. Prospective buyers are attracted by curb appeal, they said, and dingy old windows and siding turn people off.

The Cost v. Value Report, issued in December 2006, was prepared by Hanley Wood LLC in cooperation with Realtor Magazine and was based on information from 2,188 real estate professionals in 60 cities.

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