10 Home Renovations That are a Waste of Money


Not all home improvement projects yield a nice return on investment. That being said, here are ten home renovations you might want to think twice about springing for.

10. Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool
Source: Pixabay

Many people believe that adding a swimming pool will increase their home’s value. And, while that’s true, it will only be a very minor potential value increase. The truth is, swimming pools are very costly and high maintenance. And, if you plan on selling your home at some point, keep in mind that there are some people who see this high maintenance amenity as more of a headache than anything else. Adding a pool will only limit the number of potential buyers, as the people who typically want them are families with young kids. And, even if you do find a buyer, the harsh reality is that “many folks will never recoup the cost of the pool when they sell their home,” Ryan Fitzgerald, owner/broker of Uphomes, told Reader’s Digest.

TIP: If you want to add a pool, make sure you live in an area where it’s hot at least half of the year. Otherwise, you’ve wasted your money.

9. Hot Tub

Hot Tub
Source: Pixabay

Like swimming pools, hot tubs also require a lot of maintenance. Plus, they take up valuable space. Not only that, but potential home buyers — particularly those with children — may see that hot tub as a safety hazard. And, even though they can have it removed, it can be very costly to do so.

TIP: Consider getting a portable hot tub instead of a built-in hot tub. That way you can take it with you when you move and the new homeowner doesn’t have to worry about paying an arm and a leg to have it removed.

8. Over-the-Top Fencing

Source: Pexels

When it comes to fences, it’s best to stick with a basic white picket or black steel fence. Over-the-top fencing (e.g. decorative caps, concrete posts, elaborate finials, wrought iron fencing, etc.) looks nice, but, unfortunately, it won’t give you a big return on your investment.
Plus, big fences make you a target for a burglary. According to KGW-TV, burglars don’t want to be seen, so they will look for homes with big fences, overgrown trees or bushes, and the like.

7. High-End Tech

Media Room
Source: Pixabay

LED shower heads, in-house theaters, high-end pool lights, expensive sound systems and built-in or customized electronics are cool, but that doesn’t make them great investments. That’s because not only are these upgrades costly, they also become outdated rather quickly. So, not only will they not add any significant resale value to your home, potential buyers will likely be turned off by all those aging gadgets.

TIP: This advice applies to high-end kitchens, too. According to an article published by GOBankingRates, the national average for a major kitchen remodel in 2018 was $62,158, but the resale value was only $40,560. Their advice? Choose mid-range appliances instead.

6. Built-In Aquarium

Source: Pixabay

Yes, that built-in aquarium can give your home a more upscale look and feel. But, if you’re not planning on living there for the rest of your life, you might want to avoid this purchase altogether. For one, a built-in aquarium requires constant maintenance. And, just like hot tubs, they can be costly to remove. Potential home buyers, then, may not want the headache of having to care for a tank full of fish — which is both costly and time-consuming.

TIP: Purchase a standard fish tank instead. You can take it with you when you move, plus it costs a lot less to maintain.

5. Replacement Windows

Window Replacement
Source: Pixabay

According to Bruce Irving, an independent renovation consultant and real estate agent from Cambridge, Massachusetts, you should “think long and hard before you replace your windows. If they’re original to the house and are in half-decent shape, they can and should be resuscitated.”

“Anyone claiming that you will earn your money back in energy savings by installing replacement windows is either misinformed or looking for your money himself,” he told Architectural Digest.

TIP: Adding storm windows cab be helpful when it comes to energy-efficiency.

4. Backyard Patio

Source: Pixabay

According to MoneyTalksNews, the average cost of a backyard patio is $56,906 with a return on investment of just 55.2 percent. While a patio can be loads of fun, it’s not worth what you’ll end up spending on a gas grill, storage, sink, mini-fridge, cedar pergola, gas fire pit, all-weather deck chairs, and whatever else you decide to add — unless, of course, you don’t plan on selling your home.

The same goes for out-buildings. Sheds, barns, man caves and other outdoor structures can be fun. Unfortunately, they won’t add much, if any, value to your home.

3. Doors

Source: Pixabay

Whether it’s the front door, your home’s interior doors, or the garage door, the experts agree — replacing your doors won’t increase the value of your home. This is true even when it comes to a designer door or a door with a keyless entry. Instead of spending an arm and a leg on these upgrades, find cheaper ways to upgrade your doors. Here are a few ways you can do that:

-repaint or re-stain your doors
-change the door handles
-power wash your front stoop

2. Roofing

Source: Pixabay

Unless you’ve got cracked shingles or a leaky roof, it’s best to leave this type of investment alone — especially if you’re thinking about using clay tile, cedar shakes, or architectural shingles. Yes, they’ll make your home look nice, but they won’t make a potential buyer want to part ways with their money. That’s because “buyers will view these improvements as necessary for the home to function properly and assume the reason you made the purchase is that you received full use of the old one,” Fitzgerald told Reader’s Digest. In other words, they won’t see it as a luxury item that they’d be willing to shell out extra money for.

TIP: Opt for asphalt shingles instead of a metal roof. You’ll get a slightly higher (62.8 percent vs. 60.9 percent) return on investment.

1. Flooring

Tile Flooring
Source: Pixabay

Quirky and/or top-of-the-line flooring is all fine and good if you plan on staying in your home for a long time. But, if you have plans to sell it in the future, your unique style might clash with that of potential home buyers. “Adding tile or wood can make an improvement in value — unless you get that person who wants the 1950s diner look and installs black-and-white tile. For their vision, this is the pinnacle of cool. But for a resale value, most homebuyers will see it as a distraction and something they will need to rip out,” Bob Gordon, realtor and blogger at Boulder Real Estate News, said in an article published by GOBankingRates.

TIP: Opt for traditional white tile flooring.


Do you have any additional home improvement tips? Please share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!