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By Shaina Mishkin
January 24, 2019
Artazum—Shutterstock

If you’ve seen stately stone siding popping up on homes in your neighborhood, it’s for good reason: The look is one of the most cost-effective renovations this year, according to a new report.

Replacing some of your home’s vinyl siding with manufactured stone veneer, a siding made from concrete that mimics the look of real stone, will practically pay for itself, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value report. On average, the $8,907 project recoups $8,449 at sale, or nearly 95% of the initial outlay. That’s an anomaly on the list, which finds that more popular projects, like major kitchen and bathroom renovations, recoup only about two-thirds of their initial cost at sale.

That high value is part of why the look is gaining steam among mid-range houses, says Daniel M. Fries, chief appraiser at the Georgia-based Daniel Fries & Associates. The versatile veneer is favored by builders, who find it easier and less costly to work with than real stone, and appreciated by home buyers.

“Adding the stone gives it a little bit of a flair,” Fries says. “Right now, it’s starting to be a little more in style.”

Not every state has the same appreciation for stone siding. The look goes the furthest in Pacific states like California, Oregon and Washington, where an initial $9,507 renovation can net homeowners $10,449 at resale, the Remodeling report says — nearly $1,000 more than the original price.

On the other hand, homeowners in the New York Metropolitan Area might not want to bother. In mid-Atlantic states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania or New York, the average manufactured stone veneer will run you $9,120 and only recoup $7,260 — a return of just 79.6%.