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Top Home Additions, Renovations To Avoid

We often think of our house as just our home. However, in reality it is much more than a home, it is also a big investment.


Once you have bought your home, it might be easy to dream up ideas for exciting home additions. With all the amazing technology on the market today, it can be tempting to add a home cinema room. The idea sounds great, but you need to consider if it offers value for the money and if it will increase the value of your property.

There are in fact many home additions and home renovations that should be avoided as they decrease the value of the property. Quirky and innovative ideas can even make your property more difficult to sell.

How to avoid making the wrong decision

When you are considering any type of home addition or renovation, you should at first weigh up all the pros and cons. Here are a few points to consider:

Cost - make sure that you will see a return on the money you are about to invest
Time - how long will it take to complete the project
Value added to property - will the project increase the value of your property
Personal - are you just on a personal trip? Will a future buyer appreciate your home cinema room?

Let's take a look at ten of the classical home addition, remodeling and renovation mistakes property owners make.

Luxury Kitchens

Kitchens can be intensely personal spaces, and in my experience it is better to keep them simple. It may be tempting to install a luxury kitchen complete with a crystal chandler over the kitchen table, but this is not to most people's taste. As a matter of fact, it will deter a lot of people from buying your property. Women especially will need to be able to identify themselves with the kitchen in your property. If a woman cannot see herself in your kitchen, you may risk losing the sale.

Master Suite

Your property may already come with a nice master bedroom complete with its own bathroom. Most buyers are happy with that, so if you are thinking about adding a dressing room you should think twice.

Adding a dressing room would often mean that you would need to convert one of the property's bedrooms. Yes, it may look nice but to any potential future buyers, it will mean loss of space.

For a fraction of the price you can probably order purposed built wardrobes instead which will look great, and add crucial storage space.

Sun rooms and Winter gardens

Sun rooms, or winter gardens, can potentially add value to your property. They will give a growing family an extra space to spend time together, and do appeal to a lot of people. That is, if they are done nicely.

This can easily end up being a home addition project which goes over budget. There are many points to consider such as glazing, shading in the summer, flooring and heating. It is not a project you should consider doing yourself.

Sun rooms can be very costly so make sure you will be able to get a return on your investment. Don't forget that it is not only the sun room itself, you need to furnish it as well.

Elaborate Home Office

If you work from home it is nice to have your own personal space. The idea sounds great to start with, but you should consider what else the room can be used for. Dual functionality should be a top priority. This simply means that you should perhaps add a bed and wardrobe to your home office space.

There are some great wardrobes designs available, and many of them would not look at place in a home office. A bed placed against a wall can be covered with throws and cushions, and end up looking more like a sofa when not in use.

A lot of homes with dedicated home offices do not sell quickly. Once again, it is a matter of space.

Garage additions

How many cars do you have in your family? A lot of families have cut back on car use, and we now own fewer cars. Before the financial crisis hit we had bigger cars, and we may also have had a special car for the weekend. Most families only have one or two cars, and would not need extra garage space. On top of that, it is almost impossible to service or work on your car yourself. Cars are now brimming with technology, and unless you are qualified auto technician, or have the right program on your lap top, you may not even be able to figure out what is wrong with your car. A garage addition is one of the costliest home additions, and you really want to consider if someone would like to pay an extra $50,000 to store their car.

Whirlpool Baths

A whirlpool bath does look nice, but I have never known one to sell a property. There are many reasons for that. Our hygiene culture has changed and we know mainly take showers. Water is also very expensive and filling up a whirlpool bath is a very costly business.

Whirlpool baths also take up a lot of room, most buyers would prefer the extra space in a family bathroom.

Indoor Swimming Pools

We are spending more and more time in our homes, and home additions such as indoor swimming pools are becoming popular. They can make a great addition for you and your family, but properties with indoor swimming pools have a very limited market.

Indoor swimming pools are both costly to install and run, and buyers are now watching their ongoing household budgets very carefully. What is comfortably affordable to you may not be affordable to someone else.

You are very unlikely to see a return on this type of investment. Stop and think about all the things you need to do and pay for. There is groundwork to consider, water and filtration systems and a structure for the pool. Your are unlikely to see any change from $75,000, and you are even less likely to be able to add the cost of the project to the sale price.

Room Remodeling

Remodeling or reinventing a room can bring down the price of your house. Most buyers will look at your gorgeous home cinema room complete with popcorn machine and bar, and see it as a waste of space. They would prefer an extra family room instead, or perhaps even another bedroom.

There are other options available, and a well designed family room will help to sell a property and add value to it at the same time.You could find a skilled home remodeling contractor using local remodeling contractor resources.

Luxury Bathrooms

Luxury bathrooms are beautiful but may not be practical. Adding a luxury bathroom to your property will never increase the value of the property, it may in fact do the complete opposite.

Once again, bathrooms are personal spaces, and if a potential buyer does not like the design you will have a problem. He or she will take one look at your luxury designer bathroom and consider removing it. This would mean immediate cost, so this is another home renovation project which will not give you a good return on your investment. As a matter of fact, I have known potential buyers to ask for a price reduction if they don't think the main family bathroom is for them.

Custom Gardens

Gardens do form part of your home and property, and you should consider any remodeling projects very carefully. Costly garden structures are better avoided as they may not be to a buyer's taste. A wise Roman Emperor once said about the statues in a villa he was considering purchasing " I don't need these people staring at me." He was right and the same principle still applies today.

Personalize your space but don't expect someone else to adopt your statues when you try to sell. Make sure everything in your garden can easily be removed.

There are of course home additions and renovations projects which will give you a return on your investment. Projects such as insulating your property to a high standard will be not only help to sell it but will also add value.

Replacing windows and renovations that give the property plenty of natural light are fantastic investments. However, the best investment in your property is always a good maintenance program. Making sure that all the basics work and the property looks good will make sure you get a return on your investment.

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