5 Worst Home Renovations That Will Waste Your Money


5 Worst Home Renovations That Will Waste Your Money | Century 21 Action


Today we're talking about five of the worst home renovations that offer the worst return on investment (ROI). Home remodeling TV shows may have you believing that the money you spend improving your digs will somehow magically return to you via a higher listing price when you sell. But it doesn't always work that way. 

Don't waste your time or your money on these upgrades if you're getting ready to sell your home. Some of these may surprise you! 

We're using Remodeling magazine's annual Cost Vs. Value Report and this online article from MoneyWise to show you the worst returns on your investment. You might be lucky to get back half the money you spend on them. Spend wisely, friends.


Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling magazine | Century 21 Action

"Spending a lot of money does not automatically mean your house will just ride the escalator up and be worth a lot more."  

Craig Webb, Remodeling magazine.
master suite addition renovation | Century 21 Action

5. Master Suite Addition

Return on investment: 57%-48%

Statistically, messing with your master suite poses far more risk than reward. Making it larger by stealing square footage from another room poses the possibility that you’ll create an awkward space in the master, the adjoining room or both. And, by knocking out a wall, you could unwittingly unearth some troublesome and costly structural surprises to repair. 

Should you decide to expand your master by expanding your home's footprint, the cost to add foundation alone could easily tip your bill to six figures.


Upscale Bathroom Remodel | Century 21 Action

4. Upscale Bathroom Remodel 

Return on investment: 56%

As with the tricked-out entrance, it’s easy to overdo an upscale bathroom remodel, given the expensive but appealing enticements such as whirlpools, fireplaces, waterfall showers and through-the-roof-expensive imported tile.

The further you pursue your own beatific bathroom, the greater the chance that its unique character won’t suit the tastes of cost-conscious buyers, who may see only endless upkeep.

"Appraisers and buyers basically walk in the door and see one bathtub," Justin Pierce, President of Snow Goose Homes notes. "They don’t see the difference between a $100 fiberglass tub and a $1,000 bathtub. It's just a dang bucket."


Upscale Bathroom Addition | Century 21 Action

3. Upscale Bathroom Addition

Return on investment: 55%

Most homeowners choose to endure the cost, noise and general household pandemonium of adding on a bathroom for the years of blissful bathing ahead. But they may be overlooking the potentially adverse effects the addition may have on their appraised home value. If you make your house the biggest on the block, that can be a problem. 

“That extra square footage is probably going to cost you between $150-$200 per square foot, depending on the market," Pierce says. "But an appraiser is going to look at it and probably assign some cursory value, maybe $25-$50 a square foot."

Suffice to say, it’s risky to add square footage and expect a favorable return on the investment.


Sunroom Addition | Century 21 Action

2. Sunroom Addition

Return on investment: 49%

According to Remodeling, a sunroom addition can cost between $30,000 and $50,000, making it one of the most expensive home upgrades. Because the value of sunrooms themselves are location- and market-dependent, their returns on investment tend to be higher in temperate southern states than in the four-season north.

Pierce sees sunroom expansion as prohibitively expensive for one reason: “If it requires putting additional foundation on your home, it’s usually going to be a killer, because foundation work is really expensive." he says. "I don’t see any scenario where adding foundation to your home is going to pay off."


Mid-Range Backyard Patio | Century 21 Action

1. Mid-Range Backyard Patio

Return on investment: 48%

Outdoor living has become so popular in recent generations that it has changed our expectations of our home amenities.That said, fancy patios return less than half what they cost to install.

Pierce says people like to spend time outside, especially around a grill. Moderation is the key to finding the sweet spot for spending on a patio.

"If your home is high enough to do a deck, that’s always going to be cheaper and a better ROI than a slate patio. But if you can do Home Depot pavers instead of slate, it might be a better choice."

Justin Pierce, Snow Goose Homes
Justin Pierce, President of Snow Goose Homes | Century 21 Action


What has your experience been with home renovations? Do you have any advice to offer on what to do or what not to do when making upgrades to your home? We would love to hear from you!


5 Worst Home Renovations That Will Waste Your Money | Century 21 Action

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