What Home Improvements Have the Least Pay Off?

Home Improvements That Pay Off The Least

If you’re planning to do some home improvements that you think would help increase the value of your home, think again. Listed here are some that pay off the least.

painted hallway


During the "Happy Days" of the 50's, the recreation room in the basement was popular. But people nowadays don't like going down the basement. The rec room has been substituted by the family room on the main living level. As an outcome, you can expect to get back merely part of the money you spend on a basement renovation.

But a finished basement having some paneling and carpeting is worth more as compared to a bare basement of concrete block, particularly if it is an extra living area. This also is a rather inexpensive improvement to make.

Converting Garages to Family Rooms

Taking away a garage to add a family room usually may not always be a good investment for everyone, however, it's not saying that Americans care more about their cars than their families. People would want a place to park their cars, and they can't park in the family room. Furthermore, the room often is not really that accessible to the rest of the house. It looks strange from the outside since the driveway usually goes right up to the room window.

Finished Attic

Appraisers say you can expect to get back only half or less of your investment in an attic conversion in added value. These rooms look nice in the magazines and makes for a good bedroom for the kids, but most people don't want to climb those stairs and be away from the main house. If you need the extra space, you can save by doing much of the work yourself.

Baseboard Heat

Installing baseboard heat is not a guarantee on getting much return. The electric bills could be higher than the return. If this is the only method you can add heat, install separate controls in separate rooms to can bring down the heating bills.

Botched-up Work

By doing your own home improvements, you will be able to save money—about a third or even half of the cost. However, poor workmanship on a room addition stands out like a sore thumb and cuts the value of the project. This is usually an extremely visible problem with do-it-yourself projects. If you can't do it yourself properly, don't do it. Be sure what you pay for is done correctly if you wish to get your money's worth.

Luxury Items

Generally, additions like tennis courts add value only to tennis lovers. The same is true for elaborate gardens and decks or patios. Odds are you won't get more than a fraction of your money back. Some experts' survey allege greenhouses, at an average cost of $14,850, are bringing back 100 percent of costs in added value. Other experts differ, and it is questionable whether greenhouses have a wide enough appeal to be good home-improvement investments.

Swimming Pools

Don't dive into a swimming pool project and expect to make a great splash in terms of an investment. You will be lucky if you get 30 percent of the cost back in added value. It is a risky investment in most places. Buyers consider pools as more trouble than value. They can be expensive to maintain, pose a hazard for small kids, and add up insurance costs.

Other related reads:

Hobby Room: To Use or To Store?