Between trying to save money and customizing a home to an exact lifestyle, homeowners can make some big mistakes. Whether they decrease resale value, go way over budget, or increase maintenance costs, some renovations are better left undone. These are the projects homeowners most commonly tell us they regret.
MAKING A BEDROOM INTO A CLOSET
Most of us dream of a big closet, but converting a bedroom into a walk-in will make your realtor cringe. First, removing a bedroom usually decreases a property’s value up to 15 percent. Second, installing shelves typically costs between $1,000 to $2,600. Instead of going this route, consider maximizing the storage space you already have. Use pre-built racks and closet organizers to take advantage of your existing closet space.
INSTALLING A POOL
Pools come with a few unexpected costs people don’t always consider. First, building a pool can increase the cost of homeowners insurance and property taxes. If local codes require pool owners to install a barrier, you’re looking at more than $2,500 in fencing costs. Installation is expensive, and the ongoing time and pool maintenance costs can also be steep. If you’re on a budget, a pool can easily become a regretful addition.
SPRINGING FOR AN EXPENSIVE BATHROOM REMODEL
High-end finishes like time-consuming tile patterns, costly tubs and showers, and luxury faucets or fixtures can end up breaking your budget and falling short of your anticipated return on investment. Getting rid of the rust and laminate and adding efficient features is great. Just don’t go overboard. Set a budget in advance. A general guideline is to spend no more than 10 percent of the home’s value on a bathroom remodel.
ADDING A SUNROOM
According to Remodeling Magazine, sunrooms typically yield returns less than half of your initial investment. The average sunroom costs over $16,000. Unless you’re adding much-needed livable square footage to a small floor plan, building and furnishing a sunroom can drain your bank account and create less enjoyment than you hope.
INVESTING IN EXTENSIVE LANDSCAPING
It’s easy to overdo landscaping, but it can be a fine line between just enough and too much. Too many trees, shrubs and plants can detract from the natural beauty and curb appeal of the home. Plus, homeowners can end up spending thousands of dollars and all of their free time doing yard work. Intricate landscaping is a choice most homeowners wish they hadn’t made.
ANYTHING WITH INFERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP
From the smallest update to the largest renovation, it pays to choose better quality. It’s easy to end up with mediocre or regretful results when you accept the lowest contractor bid or go the DIY route. In the world of poor-quality construction, there are nightmare stories of contractors who demanded extra money to finish the job, used substandard or dangerous materials, or just stopped showing up altogether. The best way to avoid this? Interview at least three contractors before you hire, verify licensing and insurance, and always call to check the references of any professional you’re considering hiring.