So, you're thinking about making home renovations. You've watched every home makeover show on HGTV and now you're itching to transform your own humble abode into the house of your dreams. Fair enough, but keep in mind that not every remodel affects the value of your home in a positive way. In fact, there are even some home renovations that can actually lower the value of your home. Yes, even the firefighter's pole you're thinking of installing between the first and second story can put off potential buyers.
1. Making Your Home Renovations Too Personalized
Sure, your home is for you and your family. You bought it with the intention of filling it with your things and making it your own. But renovating your home to fit only your needs can cost you when it's time to sell. Removing the island counter space in your kitchen to make room for a pool table probably isnÂt the best idea if youÂ're planning on selling your home at some point.
Dos and Don'ts
- Don't go theme-crazy on your kid's room. Your child will quickly out grow that spaceship mural on his wall and will eventually become an eyesore for potential buyers.
- Do use wall mount tape where you can, instead of drilling holes and using nails or screws in the dry wall. 3M makes heavy duty wall hangers with adhesive backs that are easily removable and won't damage your walls.
- Don't tamper with key items that add value to your home. This includes hardwood floors, midrange attic bedrooms, and open floor plans.
2. Going Too Big Overdoing It
Upgrading often comes with the mentality that bigger is better. Your full bed became a queen, then a California king and now the only standing space left in your bedroom is one square foot in front of the door. When it comes to home renovations, it's tempting to buy the biggest and the baddest but you have to remember that space is a hotter commodity than an indoor hot tub. Size matters in a renovation and, when considering the space you have to work with, that means that bigger isn't always better.
Dos and Don'ts
- Do research placing techniques and wall colors that can make rooms look larger than they appear.
- Do remember that storage is your friend when trying to convert a closet-sized bathroom into a spa-like refuge.
- Don't favor luxurious, high-end appliances over space.
3. Overly Ambitious DIYs
Thanks to the DIY channel and Pinterest tutorials, we've all become overconfident in our abilities to create, construct, and repair on our own. Home remedies and weekend projects have replaced the neighborhood contractorÂbut are the extra bucks we're saving by not hiring a professional worth it in the long run? Painting walls and thrifted coffee tables are great DIY projects, sure, but trying to navigate larger home renovations on your own with little resources and experience can cost you. Before your future home buyers are asking for 30k less because of the shoddy roof job your uncle did three years ago, consider which renovations are fine for you to do on your own, and which aren't.
Dos and Don'ts
- Don't ever attempt any structural repairs on your own. This includes plumbing, roofing and electrical, unless you happen to be a plumber, roofer or electrician.
- Do add 10 to 15 percent over your budget allowance for surprise setbacks. They always happen. Always.
- Do maintain fireplaces if you have them. Neglected fireplaces can develop cracks that break safety codes and can be a extremely costly (setting the value of your home back).
4. Too Trendy
Remember shag carpeting? What about patterned curtains? Garden tubs? Grass cloth wallpaper? These all used to be big home trends, but when the fashion faded and people put their houses on the market, their cutting edge remodels fell flat.
Just as that Beiber tattoo might be a bad idea in the long run, a trendy remodel now could mean big losses further down the line.
Dos and Don'ts
- Don't go to extremes with niche add-ons, like an indoor hockey rink or aquarium floors.
- Don't go wild on your landscaping. Topiary Disney characters tend to scream "high maintenance" to potential buyers. Keep your yard maintained and clean, but don't overdo it.
- Do spruce up bedrooms with new furniture and updated wall paintÂchanges that won't drastically transform the structural integrity of a home.
5. Going Color Crazy
Walking down the paint aisles at your local home improvement store can feel a little bit like strolling through Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory. There's so many colors, but limited amount of wall space. Before you start turning your living room walls into a kool-aid night club, keep in mind, that tangerine wallpaper and neon yellow LED lights might not sit too well with home buyers and appraisers.
This shouldn't stop you from painting your walls if you plan on staying in the home for an extended period. Just make sure you're prepared to paint the walls back to a neutral color if you ever did decide to sell.
Dos And Don'ts
- Don't color your wall trim or texture your walls, which are more of a hassle for buyers to undo.
- Do choose paint over wallpaper.
- Do consider bright furniture and art to add pops of color, while keeping walls neutral.
When preparing to renovate your home, it's important to be mindful of each project's potential return in investment. Are you adding value to your property or just creating a hassle for future buyers? Another thing to consider is where you liveÂsome projects can be more valuable in certain areas than others.
SEE ALSO: 5 Best States to Own a Home
Areas Of Highest Return Rates
The above map shows which areas experience higher return rates on their home renovations. According to the Remodeling Cost vs. Value report done by The National Association of Realtors and Remodeling, properties in the Pacific region see better rates because "the high cost of remodeling in the region is more than offset by high values at resale."
Renovating your home isn't necessarily a bad thing and can even increase the value of your propertyÂthat is, if it's done correctly. In order to avoid lowering the value of your home, you need to do your research before committing to home renovations. Map out your budget plan, consider which home renovations are worth more in your area, and always ask yourself: would this sell in a competitive market?