5 Renos That Up Your Home’s Value … And 5 That Don’t

Home renovationIs digging up the backyard to put in a pool worth it? What about upgrading a tired-looking kitchen with gleaming marble countertops? And what about installing high-tech speakers—throughout the house?

If you’re planning to renovate your home, you may already be asking yourself these very questions. But when it comes to increasing your home’s appraisal value, the answer to them isn’t always a resounding yes.

To help ensure that your reno dollars are well spent, we asked real estate experts across the country to weigh in on the top five home improvement dos that can boost resale value—and five don'ts that just aren't worth the extra expense.

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  • Dee

    I love this! I’m in the process of buying a house right now and we want to make some changes, but since we plan to sell it in a few years I don’t want to invest in things that won’t pay themselves back when we sell it. Thank you so much for this. The high-tech one is a real surprise though, I would have thought that this is not a real selling factor…

  • Anonymous

    “Renos” oh puhleez

    • LeeLee

      Yeah…. I had to take a minute to convert the title back to English.

  • MahtaMouse

    Re: knocking down a wall to visually connect a room to the kitchen… I would never ever expose a kitchen to the living or family room again!! It doesn’t matter how neat and clean a kitchen is, it will always look cluttery and messy, especially during and after meal time; UGH!!

  • MahtaMouse

    I wouldn’t think that installing speakers and surround sound would be a very good and/or cost effective selling factor, unless it’s something YOU want and plan on living with. Not everyone likes staring at little black boxes on their living room walls such as you see in the above picture… unless ofcourse your marketing to men. Personally, I’d have to deduct the cost of having the ugly things removed, from the purchase price of any house I was interested in; otherwise it would be a deal killer for me.

    • It need not be those black boxes. There are many high quality speakers available on the market now that can be painted to match the wall, or even embedded behind special wall materials that allow the sound to penetrate but are 100% indistinguishable from the rest of the wall. This might not be cost-effective for pre-sale renovation, but if you like the house, and you see these black boxes, just know that they can easily be replaced without rewiring the whole place.

  • AFriendlyHouse

    I would respectfully disagree that installing shiny knobs as an upgrade; handles give much better leverage for gripping and are good for people of all ages. (http://afriendlyhouse.com/gallery/kitchen/)
    I would also hesitate to recommend installing tech equipment unless it is something the owner plans on using. How many homes have some kind system installed in every room that immediately dates it?