Updated: August 2023
Imagine spending thousands on a home renovation only to find out it has decreased your property’s value! Avoid this nightmare by learning about the home improvements that do not add value in the UK and how to invest wisely in your home.
7 Home Improvements That Do Not Add Value
While many homeowners undertake home improvement projects with the best of intentions, some projects simply do not add value to the property. Here are some specific pointless home improvements that homeowners should avoid:
Home renovations are carried out for different reasons. Sometimes people do them to improve the quality of their lives. Other renovations are done with the sole purpose of adding value to the property so it can be sold for a greater amount.
Let’s look at the 7 home renovations mentioned above in a little more detail.
1) Excessive Use of Wallpaper
Having wallpaper in your house has many benefits, some of which include the following:
- Adding aesthetic appeal and style to your home.
- Hiding wall imperfections.
- Wallpaper is more durable, so it generally lasts longer than paint.
Even a house in poor condition can look good with quality wallpaper. That said, you would be wise not to wallpaper everything if you’re looking to sell your home at some point in the future. The truth is that wallpaper is tough to remove, and most people do not enjoy removing it. Secondly, some wallpapers can come across as very unappealing for the average home buyer, which could put them off your property if they are looking to move straight into a home ‘as is’.
If you’re going to add wallpaper, use it on something like a feature wall and paint the rest. This way, you’re happy because you’ve added some style to your home, and potential home buyers will be happy because if they don’t like it, they only have to remove it from a single wall and not a whole room!
2) Fancy Paint Colors
Most people believe once they buy a house, they can do whatever they want because it’s theirs and rightly so!
However, if you cannot envision staying in your house for the rest of your life, you want to think twice about adding certain things to it, and one of them is extra bright or bold paint colours.
A standard home buyer would more than likely be against buying a property with a lavish colour scheme and opt for one with neutral colours. However, people generally like to add their own ‘touch’ to a property they have just bought, so buying a ‘blank canvas‘ property will be a priority over one with random colours they don’t particularly like.
This could result in you having to lower your property’s value so you can sell it or invest more into the property to rectify the problem.
3) Joining Smaller Rooms into One Large Room
Joining two smaller rooms into one large room can be a practical solution for you and your family. It can help create space as well as keep family members happy.
However, from a financial point of view, this will probably not increase the value of your property. There’s a very high chance that it will reduce what your property is worth.
Generally speaking, the more rooms a home has, the more it is worth. So even if joining two rooms together helps your family, another family would likely benefit more from the added room.
4) Built-in Over Personalized Features
When people daydream about their perfect homes, there’s no doubt things like on-suites, walk-in wardrobes, built-in TVs and more cross their minds.
Having these things in your dream home is absolutely fine, but if you add them to homes that you intend on selling at some point, there’s a good chance you won’t make back the same amount of money it costs to get these features added.
Simply put, people are picky and like their own thing. One thing could look perfect to you but terrible to someone else – it all comes down to personal preference.
For example, a walk-in wardrobe could be ideal for you, but someone else might think that space would be better for storage or an on-suite. To stay safe and get the most out of your home, try to avoid adding such features. Instead, let the new owners do it themselves!
5) A Swimming Pool
A swimming pool would easily top most people’s ‘dream home’ feature.
Saying that, it’s not always the best investment, and here are some reasons why:
- Swimming pools require a significant initial investment, so you don’t always make your money back.
- Swimming pools mean you need good weather. Do you want to invest thousands into a pool only to use it for a few months a year?
- You need a family of a specific age group for the pool to be used regularly to justify the investment.
- There are many added costs of maintaining a swimming pool which, added up, could actually cost more than the value it has added.
Although a swimming pool will add a little value to your home, the amount added is not worth it for the average home buyer and, in most cases, is a big turn-off!
Alternative: Instead of a swimming pool, consider investing in outdoor living spaces such as a deck or a patio. These additions are generally more appealing to buyers and can increase your home’s value.
6) Too Much Carpet
As with excessive wallpaper and fancy colours, carpeting is the same in the sense that much of it comes down to personal preference.
If you want to keep the value of your home static, opt for neutral carpet colours or no carpet at all. This way, if someone wants to buy your house, they can either choose to put in their own carpet or keep the current one without worrying about any extravagant colours every time they walk into their new home.
Alternative: Instead of wall-to-wall carpeting, consider installing hardwood floors or laminate flooring that mimics the look of hardwood.
7) A Home Office Conversion
Due to the advancement of technology, more and more people can get a job and work from home, thus resulting in the new trend of home office conversions.
A home office conversion is undoubtedly handy for someone who works from home as it gives them a dedicated space to work from with little interruption.
That said, for a typical home buyer just looking for more bed space, it won’t come across as very appealing, which means the money you’ve spent creating the room hasn’t added any value. Instead, it has left you a couple of thousand out of pocket!
This has begun to change since covid-19 in 2020 and as of 2023 it may be something more buyers look for.
The Importance of Home Improvements
Homeowners often undertake home improvement projects for a variety of reasons. One of the primary motivations is the potential to increase the property value. A well-thought-out home improvement can significantly enhance the value of a property, making it a more attractive investment for potential buyers. Additionally, home improvements can improve the functionality of a space, making it more comfortable and practical for the occupants. Lastly, home improvements can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a property, making it a more pleasant and enjoyable space to live in.
However, it is important to note that not all home improvements are created equal. While some projects can add significant value to a property, others can actually decrease its value. For example, some home improvement projects to avoid include over-personalizing a space, adding a swimming pool, or converting a garage into a living space. These are all examples of home improvements that add no value and can actually make a property less attractive to potential buyers.
Therefore, it is crucial for homeowners to carefully consider the financial benefits and potential impact of a home improvement project before undertaking it. By doing thorough research and planning, homeowners can make informed decisions that will ultimately benefit their property and its value.
Common Home Improvement Mistakes
Home improvement projects can be exciting and rewarding, but they can also be fraught with pitfalls. Here are some common home renovation mistakes that homeowners often make:
Ignoring the Neighborhood Norms: It’s important to consider the norms of your neighborhood when making home improvements. For example, if most homes in your neighborhood have a certain type of roofing or siding, it may not be wise to choose something drastically different.
Choosing Trendy Over Timeless: Trends come and go, and what’s popular today may not be in a few years. Opting for trendy design choices or materials can quickly make your home look dated.
Not Getting the Proper Permits: Many home improvement projects require permits (planning permission) from the local municipality. Failing to get the proper permits can lead to fines, maintenance costs, delays, and can even decrease the value of your home.
Underestimating Costs: Home improvement projects often end up costing more than anticipated. It’s important to create a detailed budget and include a contingency fund for unexpected expenses.
It’s important to note that some home improvements can actually decrease the property value. For example, converting a garage into a living space may seem like a good idea, but it can actually be a mistake to avoid when renovating home as it can ‘devalue your home’. Many buyers value having a garage for parking and for storage space, and removing this feature can make your home less attractive to them.
Additional Home Improvements that may not Add Value to your Home
Installing a Home Cinema: While it may seem luxurious, home cinemas can be expensive to install and may not appeal to all buyers.
Installing Solar Panels: While solar panels can help reduce energy costs, they are expensive to install and may not provide a good return on investment as not all buyers will value them.
Installing High End Appliances: While it’s important to have modern and functional appliances, investing in high-end, luxury appliances may not provide a good return on investment as not all buyers will value them.
Installing a Wine Cellar: A wine cellar may appeal to wine enthusiasts, but it can be costly to install and maintain, and may not appeal to all buyers. While it may add value for a specific subset of buyers, it may not provide a good return on investment for the general market and can potentially decrease the property’s value for buyers who see it as a negative feature.
How to Avoid Decreasing Property Value
- Do Your Research: Before undertaking any home improvement project, it’s important to do thorough research. Look at comparable homes in your neighborhood and see what types of improvements they have made. This can give you an idea of what types of projects will add value to your property and which ones are renovations to avoid.
- Consider the ROI: Before starting a project, consider the potential return on investment (ROI). Some projects, such as updating a bathroom or kitchen, generally have a higher ROI than others, such as adding a swimming pool.
- Consult a Professional: It’s always a good idea to consult a professional before undertaking any major home improvement project. An estate agent, for example, can provide valuable insights into what buyers in your area most seek after types of improvements.
- Don’t Over-improve: While it’s important to keep your home updated and well-maintained, it’s also important not to over-improve your property. Adding high-end finishes or amenities that are not common in your neighborhood can make your home stand out in a bad way and may not provide a good return on investment.
- Keep it Neutral: When updating your home, it’s important to keep the decor neutral. While you may love bold colors and patterns, potential buyers may not. Keeping the decor neutral will make it easier for buyers to envision themselves in the space.
The Bottom Line
Home renovations are a great way to add value to your home, but we advise caution when picking particular renovations. The important thing here is to know your long-term goal. If you plan to stay in your home forever, then it doesn’t really matter what you do; however, if you’re planning to sell up in the future, think twice before doing anything too radical.
We hope the 7 points we’ve provided in our article help you understand the difference between personal renovations and home renovations that can increase the value of your property!
Are you someone who’s looking to add value to your home and then go for a quick house sale? Housebuyers4u might be perfect for you! We are genuine cash buyers with decades of experience with the cash funds to secure a sale within 7-14 days!
Give us a call and see what we can do for you. Get your free no obligation offer today!