Top remodeling projects to avoid

2016-04-28 06:00
PHOTO: sourced A built in aquarium may not be a good option.

PHOTO: sourced A built in aquarium may not be a good option.

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BEING able to customize your home and complete home improvement projects can be the fun part about owning your home. You can basically design the home just as you please. Before you start remodeling, there are few home improvement projects you should try to avoid, especially if you plan on selling your home in the future.

Some home improvement projects just aren’t worth the money.

Built-in aquariums

You may love the look of a beautiful built-in aquarium, however, potential buyers can be turned off by this addition. Aquariums can look stunning and add a touch of luxury, but not everyone wants to deal with the maintenance. For these reasons, it’s just not a practical investment. Built-in aquariums are at the top of the list of improvements with a poor return on investment.

Home office

Although many buyers may be seeking a home office, adding one to your home is generally not a good idea. If a room in your home doesn’t include a closet, it can’t be considered a bedroom. Homebuyers would rather have an extra bedroom than a fancy home office. An elaborate home office renovation can be pricey, while homeowners will only recoup about 46% of their investment.

Many people only need a desk, chair and good lighting to complete their home office. So we suggest skipping all of the pricey wiring and other home office components.


A seasonal room can be a beautiful place to relax, however, there are some drawbacks to this type of addition. A sunroom is a very expensive project if you’re adding one to your home and it adds very little to a home’s value. In fact, a sunroom only recoups about 50% of the initial investment. Additionally, glass won’t provide insulation, so a sunroom will also raise energy costs in the winter and summer.

Expensive landscaping

Landscaping can transform the way your home looks and is an important part of curb appeal. Potential buyers will be looking for an upkept lawn and garden, however, going over the top to create a backyard paradise won’t add to your asking price. If you plan to sell your home, you won’t recoup the cost of expensive landscaping in the sale.

Instead of investing in pricey landscaping, you can invest in landscaping that will add curb appeal to your home. You can “wow” potential buyers with a well-kept lawn and some shrubs and small trees.

Garage addition

An addition to your garage can cost tens of thousands of rands. Many times, homeowners will only recoup about 60% of their investment.

If you’re looking to stay in your home for a while and more space in your garage would add to your quality of life, then go ahead and build onto your garage.

An addition on your garage can provide a wonderful space for an extra car, additional work space or for storage. If you’re worried about recouping your cost on investment when you sell your home, then you may want to avoid this big-time project.

Whirlpool baths

A whirlpool bathtub in your master bathroom may sound fun and relaxing, however, potential buyers won’t pay extra for a newly installed bath. Many homeowners install luxury bathtubs, only to discover they need to invest in a larger hot water tank for the tub to work properly. A whirlpool tub may also result in higher energy bills and additional monthly maintenance costs. This can send warning signs to some buyers.

We suggest thinking twice before installing a new whirlpool bath. This is a costly project, costing homeowners thousands of dollars. Additionally, if you run into problems during the install, you can run up a hefty bill that wasn’t in your budget.


As a homeowner, you have many different options for home improvement projects that add value to your home. If you’re planning on remodeling your home, we suggest focusing on energy-efficient and small upgrades that add value.

If you’re looking to sell your home soon, steer away from luxurious upgrades and custom add-ons to appeal to more budget-minded buyers.

- Supplied

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