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Slideshow: The Real Cost of Home Improvement

By Ben Steverman - 2012-11-26T19:03:24Z

Photograph by evirgen/Getty Images

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New Windows and Doors

Average cost: $7,082

Homeowners can recoup 68 percent of the cost of replacing windows, while a new fiberglass entry door recoups 56 percent and a steel entry door 73 percent. Most exterior doors should last as long as the house does, though vinyl doors have a life expectancy of 20 years. Aluminum windows have a life span of 15 to 20 years, while wooden windows should last more than 30 years.