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Thanks for the link. From IRS Pub 523: "Your home's adjusted basis does not include the cost of any improvements that are no longer part of the home." Examples in 523 also very useful.

BTW, I'm aware of the $500k exclusion. Been here 10 years, plan on staying another 10 at least, so that much appreciation is a real possibility. And I'd rather not wade through 20 or 30 years worth of receipts when I sell, just easier to keep a list as I go.

Whether appliances stay with the house or not varies regionally: when I accompanied my sister on her house-hunting expedition in Chesapeake, VA, I was astonished to see house after house with no washer, dryer, or refrigerator. Here (MD) they always convey. Anyway, having just paid a plumber $600 to hook up my gas dryer (solid pipes), and run the rigid ductwork through a hole in my foundation wall, I consider the dryer to be as permanently attached as the built-in dishwasher or any of my lighting fixtures. So I have to think some more about whether the Maytags are capital improvements. Will save receipts and decide later. Meanwhile, the Amanas are definitely out.

Thanks to everyone for your help!
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