Top 10 Renovations That Cost More Than They Are Worth

There are many renovations that cost more than they are worth when it comes time to put
your house on the market. Home upgrades come in many different shapes and sizes. While
everyone has their ideas of what will increase their home’s value, there are several
renovations to steer clear of.

Going Overboard

Before you consider remodeling anything in your home, get a general idea of what other
houses in your neighborhood are doing. This will have an impact on your appraisal value. Be
cautious of going overboard with renovations, as this may prove to be a waste of time and
money in the end. (An appraiser calls this “over-improvement” for the market.)

Designs and Fixtures

Prior to implementing new designs and fixtures in your home, ensure these things will flow
well for the buyer that will be walking through. Do the new designs and fixtures make sense
to the rest of the home’s style?


When an appraiser is performing a market analysis, he or she must be able to prove that a
typical buyer will pay more for these renovations, like upgraded landscaping. Fountains,
rock walls, and intricate landscape patterns will indeed enhance the beauty of your yard,
but these things won’t lure buyers to pay extra for them. Buyers may see maintenance,
watering and weeding in what you see as beauty.

SheetrockPaint brush against a wall

A renovation that certainly costs more than it is worth is hanging new sheetrock. This is not
necessary. Consider a cheaper alternative by patching your current sheetrock and putting a fresh coat of paint on it.

High-End Upgrades

A lot of times, high-end upgrades are personal preference items. These include things such

  • Swimming pool
  • Sauna
  • Steam shower
  • Heated floors
  • Sound systems

Keep in mind what a typical buyer will be looking for and expecting in your market. These
items take a large chunk from your budget and do not contribute enough value to your
home’s resale price. Steer clear of this renovation that costs more than it is worth.

New Flooring

Although you should ensure your floors are in good shape and do not show any signs of
damage, totally replacing them is a renovation that could cost more than it is worth.
Consider having your carpets or hardwood floors professionally cleaned. This process will be
much more worth your time.Person laying hardwood at home

New Front Door

A renovation that certainly costs more than it is worth is replacing the front door. Curb
appeal is a factor in the appraisal value, however there are much more cost effective
methods to improving this area. Simply clean up the front area of your home. Pressure wash
the area or simply add a new coat of paint.

Upgrading Electrical Systems

Upgrading your electrical systems is another renovation that certainly costs more than it is
worth. If you do not have a current problem with your electrical system, do not touch it.

Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations

While the kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms in which home renovations have the
most impact, it is important to not go overboard. You can freshen up your space without
replacing everything. Incorporate a new paint color, change out your fixtures, faucets, and
lighting. These minor upgrades will give your rooms a completely different look without
gutting everything and starting fresh.

Floor Plan Alterations

When considering home renovations, steer clear of making floor plan alterations. It is never
wise to take rooms away. Often times, a homeowner will take two smaller bedrooms and make one larger bedroom. However, this often results in an odd floor plan, which is not
appealing to buyers.

Definitive Valuations is here to help you determine what a renovation project will actually
add in value to your house before you get started. Contact us today!

Definitive Valuations is North Alabama’s premiere appraisal firm. Our mission is to provide
superior valuation and consulting services in Huntsville, Alabama, and surrounding areas.
Our staff strives to understand your needs and to provide the best solution for your
situation – whether for financial planning, relocation, tax dispute, legal matters, pre-listing,
or any other purposes. Discover more here.