When you live in a home, it is practically impossible not to dream of all the different ways to improve, remodel, and add on. It is thrilling to imagine all the ways that you can increase the value of your home and one day see it fly off the market the moment you put it up for sale.

As you are dreaming, pinning, and calling contractors, keep in mind that not all the projects you desire have the best resale value. In fact, there are some remodeling projects that can suck the money right out of your pocket and leave you with very little in return – the least of all improved value of your home.

With all remodels, it is important to keep in mind the market you live in, the location and climate of your home, and what the purpose is of your remodel. Sometimes there is no price tag that can be put on enjoyment and utility. With that kept in mind, there are some projects that might be best to avoid if you are looking for resale value.

Remodeling Magazine studied the potential prices on 36 home renovations projects and what home owners can expect to get in return in 102 US markets. Three of the home renovation options that they mentioned that might be best to avoid include:

1. High End Garage Addition

Renovating your garage can be a great investment and have a pretty nice return according to Renovation Magazine. However, if you are looking to do a fully finished garage such as heating, cooling, organization – the works – this kind of renovation can be a major one with some big dollar signs. According to the 2014 study, Renovation Magazine estimated that this kind of project would have a return value of about 58%. An alternative idea would be to take the more modest road and not finish the inside of the garage. This can give a return value of almost 70%.

2. Home Office Remodel

Adding a home office might be a necessity for you and something that can’t be avoided. However, it has one of the lowest returns of value. As reported by Remodeling Magazine, a renovation of a home office can cost up to $30,000 in the East North Central region of the U.S. with a market value of less than half (48.7%) of that returned. While this may be the case, the added tax benefits if you own your own business might still be worth going for that renovation, but knowing the return value is a good to keep in mind.

3. Bathroom Additions

An additional bathroom can really make a difference when it comes time to sell your home and can add a lot of enjoyment in the meantime. The important part is to do it smart. Initially, it might make sense to attach a bathroom to the back of your house, however, anytime you add extra square footage to your home it involves extending the foundation and roof, and outside walls.

This can be a pricey project. The midrange national average cost for a bathroom addition is $39,578 with a cost recoup average of 57.8% as reported by Remodeling Magazine in the same study. If you want that extra bathroom, a better idea would to try to find a way to fit it into your existing square footage. Another option would be to make a bigger extension such as adding on more living space. When you do that, the actual cost of a bathroom ends up not being as pricey.


There are many reasons people decide to take on a project and remodel their home. Sometimes, it’s a matter of sanity to add that additional bathroom. Maybe you already found your dream home and you simply just need to build that much desired sunroom. Those remodels might not add as much value to your home, but will add a gigantic value to your life and no price tag can be put on that.

Take Away

Having another pair of eyes as an extra opinion can be a super helpful way to ensure that you are making the best decisions for you and your family. Hiring a home stager or decorator might seem like a waste of money at first, but it could help you save a lot of money in the long run.

If you are planning to put your house on the market, invite your real estate agent to come in and provide their opinions on how best to improve and spend your money before you do your renovations. Their insights will be helpful as you plan for the future. Renovating can be a fun and exciting – keeping in mind the best choices with help you have the confidence as you move forward.