Home Renovations That Can Hurt Property Value

Americans spend more than $400 billion annually on home renovation projects. While some projects, such as a minor kitchen remodel and garage door replacement, significantly increase the resale value of their houses, others never do. If you want to increase property value or sell your house fast in Ohio, avoid the following remodeling projects.

1.  DIY Home Improvement Projects

While sprucing up your home with simple DIY projects, such as hand-painted cabinets, mirrors, and faux fireplace, is tempting, these upgrades won’t increase the resale value of your property. Unlike other remodeling projects, prospective buyers can identify DIY installations from far for the wrong reasons.

Besides producing less desirable results, DIY home improvement projects often cost homeowners more than anticipated. Unfortunately, the high cost of completing these projects won’t translate to a better return on investment. While watching HGTV and other channels can prompt you to undertake these projects, you’ll be exposing your house to several risks.

2.  Adding a Swimming Pool

Even if you or your family enjoy swimming, you should consider the costs vs. long-term value before committing to such a pricey project. Installing a standard in-ground pool costs between $36,750 and $66,500. You should also budget approximately $4,000 for yearly maintenance, water treatment, and safety installations, such as a water alarm and gated fence.

Despite these costs involved, you will unlikely recoup all the costs of constructing a swimming pool when selling your home. While a swimming pool can increase property value, it cannot surpass a 7% increase. Even then, an increase in property value due to pool addition is subject to the following:

  • You should reside in high-end neighborhoods where swimming pools are the norm.
  • The style of your constructed swimming pool should fit the neighborhood
  • The pool should be well designed and maintained
  • Optimal if you live in warm climates where homebuyers can enjoy the pool all year round

Generally, you should consider pool construction an investment that fits your lifestyle. Don’t expect it to increase your property’s resale value.

3.  Overbuilding for the Neighborhood

If you want to construct an additional structure in your house, like a home office, additional floor, or an extra bedroom, ensure that you don’t overbuild for the neighborhood. You should think carefully about whether your planned improvement will make your home appear different from other homes in the neighborhood.

For instance, an expensive remodel, such as adding a second story, certainly makes your property more appealing than others in the neighborhood. However, if other houses around are small, one-story buildings, your expensive additional story won’t affect the resale value, regardless of how gorgeous it looks.

This is because potential buyers won’t part with $500,000 for a property in a neighborhood with a lower average sale price. While you can renovate and make upgrades, the price per square foot shouldn’t surpass those of neighboring homes with a big margin.

4.  Invisible Improvements

Invisible improvements are costly improvements that make your property comfortable to live in but are rarely noticed by potential buyers. For instance, replacing your HVAC unit or plumbing system is great. However, most homebuyers will assume these systems are functional and rarely pay more because they were replaced recently.

While making these upgrades before listing your property for sale is smart, don’t expect to recoup the costs. You should consider these improvements as regular maintenance costs and not investments that can increase property value.

5.  Building Specific Spaces for Your Hobbies

Most homeowners convert rooms into special spaces for their hobbies. While this improves your living condition and satisfies your lifestyle, don’t expect to recoup the initial cost of constructing these spaces. Common additional spaces include:

  • Man caves
  • Home theaters
  • Home offices
  • Home gyms
  • Library and study rooms
  • Built-in aquariums
  • Fully themed kid’s bedrooms

Unlike other home improvements, these renovations involve converting a generic room into a space designed for a specific interest or hobby. Even though they satisfy your lifestyle, these conversions affect property value. For starters, there are no average construction costs for this category. However, expect to spend four to five figures without expecting anything in return.

Having a dedicated hobby room can also turn away prospective buyers. Some don’t want a home theater or an aquarium on their property. Therefore, you’ll have a few interested buyers who won’t be willing to pay extra for these rooms.


High-end landscaping, going big in the kitchen and bathroom, sunroom addition, and wall-to-wall carpeting are other home improvement projects without a significant return on investment. Before listing your home for sale, prioritize simple upgrades like new neutral paint and other improvement projects that increase marketability and property value.