4 Hot Home Renovations That Are SO Not Worth the Money

Roxanne Hale


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Home renovations and home additions are on the rise this year, as people spend more time at home due to the global pandemic. From home offices to major room additions. Kitchen updates for preparing more meals at home and outdoor fire pits for small gatherings. Right now, it seems everyone is considering improving their home in some way.

If you've been mulling over making changes to your own home, you want to be mindful to go with upgrades that improve your life AND your home's value – not reduce it.

What types of home improvements should you avoid and why?


Demand for pools rose 52% in 2020 as many families stranded at home sought ways to entertain themselves or get a little exercise without leaving their property. While having a pool in your own backyard is a fun luxury, it does come at a cost.

Pools are nice but require maintenance and upkeep costs, extra security and fencing, and additional homeowner insurance. Pool equipment, liners, decking, and security fencing all need maintenance and repairs over time.

In-ground pools may increase your home's value by 7%, according to Realtor.com, depending on your home's location. Adding a pool in an area where the weather allows for more months of use can increase your home's value. Prices for in-ground pools have risen sharply with demand, and the increase in property value will most likely not be enough to cover the cost of installation.

Also, many home sellers have found having a pool impacted their ability to sell their home easily because some potential buyers considered the pool a deal-breaker due to its maintenance cost and safety hazards.

Before you take the plunge (pun intended) and install a pool, you want to take into consideration both the short- and long-term costs of adding a pool.

Garage Redo

If you've been eyeing that extra space in your garage for a sweeping guest suite or home office, think again!

Eliminating the garage (even if you don't use it to store your car) can impact your home's value depending on your location. In many areas of the country, not having a garage makes it harder to sell a home.

Before you take the drastic step of converting your garage to livable space, consult a local real estate expert, or get an appraisal that considers the changes you have in mind.

Reducing Rooms

Your last kid moved out, and that room is just going to waste anyway. Maybe you could turn it into an elaborate walk-in closet or expand the kitchen!

You might want to reconsider! Losing a bedroom almost always hurts your home value. Bedroom count is one of the most important criteria people use to shop and buy homes. Typically, the more bedrooms a home has, the more marketable it is. Losing a bedroom is like giving away money or, in this case, home equity. Do your research first and only make this type of change if it's absolutely necessary.

Sliding Barn Doors

The hot home trend of installing barn doors inside a home looked great in pictures but suffered in practicality. Barndoors are heavy to move back and forth and often fall off their tracks. They don't close tightly and offer no real privacy, as you almost certainly can't lock them. The doors cost upwards of a thousand dollars, and that's before buying the elaborate hardware to hang them. The trend is already waning as many people return to more practical options.


When trapped at home, it's normal to daydream about making your space better. More comfortable. Before you take the leap and spend your cash, however, consider the longer-term impact of the change and its effect on your home value.

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Roxanne Hale, owner, and broker of Arthouse has spent over 20 years in the real estate business. Here you'll find a collection of stories about buying and selling real estate & home building advice, housing history, and architecture & design tips. Oh, and some fun personal stories every now and then!

Homewood, AL

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