Can home improvements decrease a home's value?

Uneconomical Home Improvements

Before we get to the specifics, there are some general things to keep in mind when you're considering a home remodeling task. Maybe most important is to make sure to rein in your personal tastes. It might be hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves in your leopard-print bedroom, and many people will balk at having to strip wallpaper or repaint every single room. Keep things as neutral as possible so your home will appeal to as many people as possible.

Make sure to keep all your improvements within the same style and flavor as the house as a whole. It's not good to have one perfect room while all other rooms in the house have obviously been ignored. There should be a nice balance so that potential buyers don't feel overwhelmed in one room and underwhelmed in the rest.

And there are a few projects you probably shouldn't undertake unless you're planning to stay in your house forever. First of all, don't install a pool if you don't have the climate for it. Buyers in Maine will see a pool as a liability rather than a luxury. Jacuzzis are another bad idea -- you have to remember that they don't suit everyone's taste, and many people just won't want to deal with the upkeep.

If you're thinking about converting your garage into a home office or playroom, think again. Most buyers like the idea of having a place to store their cars and -- let's face it -- their junk. And as we mentioned earlier, don't look to create an addition if it doesn't fit with the general style and feel of the original parts of the home.

With all this new knowledge you have about home improvements, you'll never be tricked into making renovations that will decrease the value of your home. There are certain improvements you should never consider, because they'll only cause heartache in the end if you try to sell your house. Happy renovating!

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • AOL. "Four Renovations That Won't Get You a Higher Selling Price." (Accessed 2/27/09)
  • Do It Yourself. "New Home Windows Add Value and Decrease Energy Costs." (Accessed 2/27/09)
  • Hutchinson, T. Paul. "Inconsistent Effects of a Feature on Home Prices-Lang's Two-Market Explanation." (Accessed 2/27/09)
  • Schroeder, Alayna. "Do Home Improvements Really Add Value?" (Accessed 2/27/09)