Home Renovations That Do Not Add Value (and What to Do Instead)

If you have been thinking about selling your home, you may be wondering which home improvements you should tackle to increase your home’s value before it goes on the market. While there are many home renovations that can add appeal to your home, it’s important to know which projects will increase your property value and which will not.

From upgrading your bathroom to replacing your roof, this article will help you determine which home improvement projects are worth your investment. Whether you are preparing to sell your home in Portland, OR or Toronto, ON, here are 10 home renovations that do not add value and what you should do instead. 

House with Curb Appeal

Increasing closet space

Avoid: Removing a bedroom to increase closet space

The number of bedrooms your home has is one of the main factors that determines your home’s value. It’s better to have a bedroom with a smaller closet than to create a large walk-in closet and lose a neighboring bedroom in the process.

Instead: Find storage solutions for small closets

You can increase the functionality of a closet without increasing the square footage. Try installing closet organizers or creating storage solutions like built-ins to make small closets more practical.

Replacing fixtures

Avoid: Purchasing high-end fixtures

Although they may upgrade the look of a home, replacing your current fixtures with expensive, high-end alternatives is a home improvement that doesn’t add value. Installing custom faucets, ceiling fans, or lighting fixtures may sound like an easy way to elevate a room in your home, but these improvements won’t increase your home’s value enough to cover the cost it takes to purchase and install them. Plus, potential buyers won’t pay more for a home just for high-end fixtures. 

Instead: Install fixtures that are affordable and high quality

If you want to upgrade the fixtures in your home, consider products that are durable, high quality, and budget-friendly. This is one of the home improvements that add value by giving your home the facelift you are looking for, without losing money along the way.

Upgrading your patio

Avoid: Installing a sunroom

Sunrooms are tricky because some homebuyers love them while others find them unnecessary. Starting home renovations as large as enclosing your patio or deck to create a sunroom can be expensive, and is not usually included in a home’s total square footage. Since a sunroom will likely not be included in the final calculation, there’s no guarantee that adding a sunroom to your home will increase its value.

Instead: Spruce up your deck or patio by repainting and adding greenery 

Make the most out of your patio or deck by transforming it into a great bonus area for entertaining guests. You can turn your deck into an outdoor oasis or give your porch an upgrade by re-staining it or giving it a fresh coat of paint. You can also add plants and outdoor furniture to make your outdoor space feel like an inviting oasis.

Patio with plants

Repainting walls

Avoid: Painting walls striking patterns and bright colors

If your walls need repainting, it may be tempting to start home renovations by creating a statement wall by painting geometric patterns or using bold colors to make your home stand out. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same taste, and some homebuyers may see it as a wall they will have to repaint if they decide to purchase the house. Many homeowners are looking for move-in-ready homes, and having to repaint a wall may turn them away.

Instead: Repaint walls if needed and stick to neutrals

Repaint walls using neutral colors that can match any color palette. This is one of the best home improvements that add value to your home and it is easy to accomplish. Repainting walls in neutral colors creates a blank slate for homebuyers and it can make your home look modern and move-in ready.

Modernizing bathrooms

Avoid: Removing all bathtubs

If you’re looking to start a home renovation that will modernize the bathrooms in your home, the first thought that might cross your mind is to upgrade your shower tubs to standing showers. While this does provide a sleek look, it’s another example of home improvements that do not add value.

Instead: Upgrade to some standing showers, but keep at least 1 bathtub

When executing home renovations to your home with the hopes of increasing your home’s value, it is important to keep options open. Some buyers may like soaking in the tub or have small children and need to have a bathtub in their home. To keep your home practical, be sure to leave at least one bathtub in the home to appeal to every type of buyer. 

bathroom with a bathtub

Upgrading interior design

Avoid: Adding trendy items 

Many homes are incorporating bold wallpaper, intricate tile, or mid-century furniture, and you may be tempted to add these trendy features to your home to appeal to potential buyers. As with any other trend, they tend to go out of style fast. If your home stays on the market long enough for the trend to go out of style, these features might make your home look outdated. 

Instead: Stick to timeless and neutral features

Interior design trends are always changing, but there are a few staples that will never go out of style. Choosing neutral paint colors, installing solid color tile, and choosing simple decor will make your house look great to any potential buyer – no matter their style. 

Modernizing the kitchen

Avoid: Installing specialized high-end appliances

Costly home renovations like replacing outdated appliances with state-of-the-art appliances may make your kitchen look great, but you’ll likely not get a good return on investment on this project. Some potential buyers may appreciate the appliances, but it probably won’t increase the home resale value by much.

Instead: Upgrade your kitchen by repainting cabinets, or installing budget-friendly fixtures 

To give your kitchen a facelift, consider repainting your cabinets, upgrading light fixtures, or swapping out the main kitchen faucet. These simple changes are home improvements that add value to your home while being budget-friendly and will make your kitchen look much more appealing to potential buyers. 

Upgraded kitchen

Improving the entryway

Avoid: Buying an expensive new front door 

There are many other ways to make a great first impression with your entryway besides replacing your front door. Front doors can be costly, do not increase home resale value, and may not improve the overall quality of your entryway in the way you envisioned. 

Instead: Repaint the door and add plants to the porch

To make your entryway more appealing, try adding colorful plants and laying out an inviting welcome mat. If your front door needs some TLC, save money by painting it. These changes will greatly improve your curb appeal without spending a fortune.

Replacing flooring

Avoid: Replacing all flooring with carpet

If your home has carpets that need replacing, it may not be the best option to replace the area with new carpet. Many homeowners are looking for homes with hardwood floors, and you don’t want to spend money installing brand new carpet just to hear potential buyers say they would prefer a home with hardwood throughout.

Instead: Consider installing hardwood or neutral carpets

Homes with mostly hardwood floors often appraise for higher than homes that have equal parts hardwood and carpeted flooring. Consider installing hardwood or a hardwood alternative, like tile, to areas that need new flooring. If you choose to stick with carpeting, install carpets that are neutral and budget-friendly.

Large living room with hard wood floors

Replacing large features like the roof or HVAC system

Avoid: Replacing the roof or HVAC unless necessary 

Large home features like your HVAC system and roof should only be replaced when there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. Home improvement projects like these are costly and time-consuming. If they’re not damaged or broken, there’s no need to replace your roof or HVAC system to the newest, most efficient version.

Instead: Replace large features because it is necessary, not because you are expecting a high return on your investment

If there is something wrong with your HVAC system or roof, it will need to be fixed before selling your home. However, you should not upgrade these features only to give your home a higher home resale value.

Bonus: Does a pool add value to your home?

This question is a difficult question to answer because there are many factors to consider. The simple answer is, it depends on your location and what the buyer is looking for. A home with a pool in warmer climates like Arizona and Florida will likely increase in value since it can be enjoyed year-round. However, a home located in Indiana or Minnesota will likely not see this same increase in value because some homebuyers may see this as an unnecessary part of the home that can only be used a few months out of the year.

Another factor to consider is that many people find a pool a liability rather than a perk. Families with small children or pets can see the pool as a hazard while others may not want to spend the time and money it takes to maintain a pool. Building a pool can be time-consuming and expensive; since there is no guarantee that a pool will add value to your home there is no way of knowing if you will be able to get your money back from this project. If you are renovating your home to put it on the market, it is probably best to try other home renovations that are more likely to increase your home’s value.

Original Post – Redfin